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A Historical-Theological Study of the Jesuit Mission to China, 1552–1773
This book integrates history, theology, and art and analyzes the Jesuits’ cross-cultural mission in late imperial China. Readers will find a rich collection of resources from historical sites, museums, manuscripts, and archival materials, including previous unpublished works of art. The production and circulation of art from different historical periods and categories show the artistic, theological, and missional values of Christian art. It highlights European Jesuits, Asian Christians, transnationalism, and gives voice to Chinese Christian women and their patronage of art in the seventeenth century. It offers a rare systematic study of the relation between art and mission history.
One of the earliest and most ambitious projects carried out by the Society of Jesus was the mission to the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia, which ran from 1557 to 1632. In about 1621, crucial figures in the Ethiopian Solomonid monarchy, including King Susenyos, were converted to Catholicism and up to 1632 imposing missionary churches, residences, and royal structures were built. This book studies for the first time in a comprehensive manner the missionary architecture built by the joint work of Jesuit padres, Ethiopian and Indian masons, and royal Ethiopian patrons. The work gives ample archaeological, architectonic, and historical descriptions of the ten extant sites known to date and includes hypotheses on hitherto unexplored or lesser known structures.