The Frontiers of Mission

Perspectives on Early Modern Missionary Catholicism


In exploring the shifting realities of missionary experience during the course of imperialist ventures and the Catholic Reformation, The Frontiers of Mission: Perspectives on Early Modern Missionary Catholicism provides a fresh assessment of the challenges that the Catholic church encountered at the frontiers of mission in the early modern era. Bringing together leading international scholars, the volume tests the assumption that uniformity and co-ordination governed early modern missionary enterprise, and examines the effects of distance and de-centering on a variety of missionaries and religious orders. Its essays focus squarely on the experiences of the missionaries themselves to offer a nuanced consideration of the meaning of ‘missionary Catholicism’, and its evolving relationship with newly discovered cultures and political and ecclesiastical authorities.

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Alison Forrestal, Ph.D (2000), University of Manchester, is lecturer in History at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). She is the author of Catholic Synods in Ireland, 1600-1690 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1998), and Fathers, Pastors and Kings: Visions of Episcopacy in Seventeenth-Century France (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004).

Seán Alexander Smith, Ph.D. (2012), National University of Ireland, Galway, is a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Dublin. His monograph Fealty and Fidelity: the Lazarists of Bourbon France, 1660-1736 was recently published (London: Routledge, 2015).
" The Frontiers of Mission … will compel scholars to continue to break down barriers between subfields and further nuance the conversation concerning early modern missionary Catholicism that this collection has stimulated."
Robert John Clines, Western Carolina University. In: Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu, Vol. 86, Fasc. 170 (2016/II), pp. 556-558.
List of Maps
Notes on Contributors

Alison Forrestal and Seán Alexander Smith
Re-thinking Missionary Catholicism for the Early Modern Era

Karin Vélez
“Do not suppose that those tears proceed from weakness’’: Jesuit Weeping on Mission Frontiers, 1560-1760

Dominique Deslandres
Female Voices and Agencies on the Canadian Missionary Frontier, according to Marie Guyart de l’Incarnation (1599-1672)

Seán Alexander Smith
“Virtue in the extreme is worth nothing”: Mortification and Mission in Madagascar, 1648-1674

Andrew Redden
Not-So-Good Shepherds: Reluctant Jesuit Martyrs on the Seventeenth-Century Chilean Frontier

Andrew P. McCormick
Serving God and Caesar: Pierre-François Viguier’s Reconnaissance Mission to the Archipelago (1778-1779)

Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin
Catholic Missionary Activity in the Northern Balkans in the Seventeenth Century

Megan C. Armstrong
Spiritual Legitimisation? Franciscan Competition over the Holy Land (1517-1700)

Ronnie Po-chia Hsia
Mission Frontiers: A Reflection on Catholic Missions in the Early Modern World
All scholars interested in the expansion of Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, including those of history, theology, religious studies, and cultural theory.