Named after the great Italian sinologist, Matteo Ricci, the Ricci Institute was founded in 1966 by Fr Yves Raguin (1912-1998), Jean Lefeuvre and other Jesuits as a work of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus. The purpose of the Institute was originally to continue the Jesuit lexicographic endeavor while developing research in comparative spiritualities and Chinese religions. The TRI is the co-author of the Grand Ricci. Since the beginning of the 90s. the Institute has refocused its work on (a) Taiwanese studies, especially aboriginal languages and religious/ cultural transformations; (b) dialogue with Chinese intellectuals on cultural diversity, sustainable development and spiritual empowerment; (c) and, presently, coordination of various research programs on Pacific and Austronesian studies.
The Institute has developed a rich library now being transfered to Taiwan Central Library.
In January 2004, the Institute founded "Renlai Monthly", in order to foster debate in the Chinese world on issues linked to cultural diversity, sustainable development and spiritual empowerment. The companion "eRenlai.com" website also contributes to nurture communication among social agents, intellectuals and grassroots communities.
Read more on the history of the Institute