A Companion to the Early Modern Catholic Global Missions


A survey of the latest scholarship on Catholic missions between the 16th and 18th centuries, this collection of fourteen essays by historians from eight countries offers not only a global view of the organization, finances, personnel, and history of Catholic missions to the Americas, Africa, and Asia, but also the complex political, cultural, and religious contexts of the missionary fields.
The conquests and colonization of the Americas presented a different stage for the drama of evangelization in contrast to that of Africa and Asia: the inhospitable landscape of Africa, the implacable Islamic societies of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires, and the self-assured regimes of Ming-Qing China, Nguyen dynasty Vietnam, and Tokugawa Japan.

Contributors are Tara Alberts, Mark Z. Christensen, Dominique Deslandres, R. Po-chia Hsia, Aliocha Maldavsky, Anne McGinness, Christoph Nebgen, Adina Ruiu, Alan Strathern, M. Antoni J. Üçerler, Fred Vermote, Guillermo Wilde, Christian Windler, and Ines Zupanov.

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R. Po-chia Hsia, Ph.D (Yale, 1982) is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Asian Studies at Penn State University and Academician at the Academia Sinica, Taipei. Among his numerous publications is A Jesuit in the Forbidden City: Matteo Ricci 1552-1610 (Oxford, 2010), which has been translated into Italian and Chinese.
“Indispensable for early modern historians, global historians and scholars of religious history alike.”
David Onnekink, Utrecht University. In: The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2019), pp. 363–365.

“Aiming and succeeding at being an all-encompassing companion to the early modern Catholic global missions, this collection of essays is a relevant and valuable book to help us better understand this theme in a holistic way.”
Alexandra Curvelo, Universidade nova de Lisboa. In: Journal of Jesuit Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1 (March 2019), pp. 166–169.

“The Companion […] will be welcomed as a useful tool for scholars seeking to expand their understanding of mission history and for undergraduate students enrolled in world history courses. The global spread of Christianity was an integral part of the early modern period, and one that is better understood when historiographic silos are broken down. This is exactly what the Companion offers, and it does not disappoint.”
Jason Dyck, Trent University Durham. In: Renaissance and Reformation, Vol. 42, No. 3 (Summer 2019), pp. 231–233.

Notes on Contributors
Catholic Global Missions and the Expansion of Europe

Part I. The Americas
1 Missionizing Mexico: Ecclesiastics, Natives, and the Spread of Christianity
Mark Christensen
2 The Andes
Aliocha Maldavsky
3 The Missions of Paraguay: Rise, Expansion and Fall
Guillermo Wilde
4 Early Modern Catholic Missions in Brazil: The Challenge of the Outsiders
Anne McGuiness
5 New France
Dominique Deslandres

Part II. Africa
6 Catholic Missions and Local Rulers in Sub-Saharan Africa
Alan Strathern

Part III. Islamic World
7 Missionaries and French Subjects: The Jesuits in the Ottoman Empire
Adina Ruiu
8 Ambiguous Belongings: How Catholic Missionaries in Persia and the Roman Curia Dealt with Communicatio in Sacris
Christian Windler

Part IV. Asia
9 India
Ines Zupanov
10 Missions in Vietnam
Tara Alberts
11 The Christian Missions in Japan in the Early Modern Period
M. Antoni and J. Ucerler
12 Imperial China and the Christian Mission
R. Po-chia Hsia

Part V. The Structures
13 Finances of the Missions
Fred Vermote
14 Missionaries: Who were They
Christoph Nebgen

All interested in global history, the history of Christianity, and the cultural encounter between civilizations. This book will appeal to specialists, general readers, and the advanced student.
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