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China, Kangxi, issued his edict on Christianity at Beijing. In effect this edict granted Christianity, as practised in the pro-Confucian tradition of the Jesuit pioneer, Matteo Ricci, the same imperial recognition as had been granted to Buddhism centuries before. In this same period in south India a parallel fruitful interaction between Christianity and Hinduism was taking place under Jesuit leadership.

We will return to these areas and their significance later. In 1660, encounters with Confucianism, Hinduism, and Buddhism were comparatively new experiences for western Christians. This was not so, however, in the case of Islam. Islam is the religious tradition, other than Judaism, with which Christianity has had the longest interaction and it thus deserves to be considered first.

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