A New Interpretation in the Light of the Earlier Jesuit Experience in Japan
A new interpretation of the Jesuit mission to New France is here proposed by using, for comparison and contrast, the earlier Jesuit experience in Japan. In order to present revisionist perspectives of the Jesuit missions based on a broader international framework beyond North America, the existing historical paradigms of the Jesuit missionary activity to Amerindians based on the limited regional history of New France are re-examined. The time period of analysis covers one entire century, from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-seventeenth century. The Jesuit evangelists used in this analysis include European, mainly Iberian and French, missionaries. The non-European converts dealt with in this discussion are Japanese and Amerindian peoples. The aspects considered for revisions encompass the interpretations of foreign cultures, the basic evangelistic approach of preaching, winning converts and educating them, organising Christian communities and the non-European practice of the religion. The Christian mission in Japan has proved to be a useful tool for these purposes.