Historical Geography Research ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (1): 105-116.

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Discussion on the Controversy of the Religion and Knowledge on An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa

Guo Man   

  1. The Center for Studies of Fujian and Taiwan, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Received:2020-11-06 Online:2021-02-20 Published:2021-02-20


After the colonial rule of Dutch in Taiwan, the West’s concern for Taiwan has not been ended. On the contrary, there has always been a “Formosa complex”. In 1704, the publication of An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa written by Psalmanazar, while satisfying the readers’ psychology, was also linked to serious religious and political issues, which led to Propriety Debates. Whether the author was a Taiwanese or not is always been confusing, the analysis of the differences between the different parties about this issue was not only reveals the spread of Taiwan’s knowledge in Europe in the early 18th century, but also the different attitudes of diverse countries to knowledge in different religious beliefs.

Key words: “Formosa Complex”, propriety debate, religion and knowledge

CLC Number: 

  • K928