The crystalline spheres theory, which was closely related to Christian doctrine, was the first cosmology introduced by Western missionaries to China in the late Ming. This article surveys discussions about this theory, of which that by Matteo Ricci, based on Christoph Clavius＇ In Sphacram Joannis de Sacro Bosco Commentarius, was the most comprehensive and influential. Although crystalline spheres theory was being superseded in Europe at that time, it was the earliest cosmology introduced to China and had widespread influence on Chinese literati. Even after more comprehensive information about Western astronomy had been transmitted, this theory still influenced Chinese scholars seeking for the true structure of the cosmos. Thus, the theory played an important role in shaping the Chinese literati＇s view of the structure of the cosmos in the late Ming and early Qing.