The Rites Controversies in the Early Modern World is a collection of fourteen articles focusing on debates concerning the nature of “rites” raging in intellectual circles of Europe, Asia and America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The controversy started in Jesuit Asian missions where the method of accommodation, based on translation of Christianity into Asian cultural idioms, created a distinction between civic and religious customs. Civic customs were defined as those that could be included into Christianity and permitted to the new converts. However, there was no universal consensus among the various actors in these controversies as to how to establish criteria for distinguishing civility from religion. The controversy had not been resolved, but opened the way to radical religious scepticism.
Contributors are: Claudia Brosseder, Michela Catto, Gita Dharampal-Frick, Pierre Antoine Fabre, Ana Carolina Hosne, Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, Giuseppe Marcocci, Ovidiu Olar, Sabina Pavone, István Perczel, Nicholas Standaert, Margherita Trento, Guillermo Wilde and Ines G. Županov.
Ines G. Županov, is director of the Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud in Paris. She has published monographs and articles on social and cultural history of the missions in South Asia and the Portuguese empire. Her latest book co-written with Ângela Barreto Xavier is
Catholic Orientalism; Portuguese Empire, Indian Knowledge (16th-18th centuries) (Oxford University Press, 2015).
Pierre Antoine Fabre, born in 1957, is directeur d’études at the École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales in Paris. He has published five books and more than 150 articles, and edited 30 books, including the most recent,
The Acquaviva project : Claudio Acquaviva's generalate (1581-1615) and the emergence of modern Catholicism. (coedited with Flavio Rurale, Institute of Jesuit Studies, Boston College, 2017).
"This collection of essays is a welcome contribution to the study of missionary and indigenous debates regarding non-Christian rites, precisely because this volume widens its purview to include the missionary enterprise beyond China. (...) Županov and Fabre have managed to solicit and inspire contributors who have produced a remarkably interrelated collection of chapters. (...) This volume is an important contribution to the dialogue between cultures, and between scholars of the past and present." - Anthony E. Clark,
Whitworth University, Spokane, WA,
Journal of Jesuit Studies Volume 6 (2019), pp. 327-330.
Acknowledgments List of Maps and Illustrations List of Frequently Used Abbreviations List of Contributors
The Rites Controversies in the Early Modern World: An Introduction Ines G. Županov and Pierre Antoine Fabre
Part 1: Chinese Rites and Jesuit Missions
Chinese Voices in the Rites Controversy: From China to Rome Ronnie Po-chia Hsia
Chinese Voices in the Rites Controversy: The Role of Christian Communities Nicolas Standaert
Atheism: A Word Travelling To and Fro Between Europe and China Michela Catto
Part 2: Malabar Rites between Mission and History
Śivadharma or Bonifacio? Behind the Scenes of the Madurai Mission Controversy (1608–1619) Margherita Trento
Revisiting the Malabar Rites Controversy: A Paradigm of Ritual Dynamics in the Early Modern Catholic Missions of South India Gita Dharampal-Frick
Part 3: Mission and Inquisition
Rites and Inquisition: Ethnographies of Error in Portuguese India (1560–1625) Giuseppe Marcocci
Jesuits and Oriental Rites in the Documents of the Roman Inquisition Sabina Pavone
Part 4: Rites Controversies: Far and Near
Accommodationist Strategies on the Malabar Coast: Competition or Complementarity? Istvan Perczel
Orthodoxy and Politics: The Patriarch Nikon of Moscow, the Prince Mihnea III Radu of Walachia and the Great Church of Constantinople Ovidiu Olar
Part 5: Idols, Idolatry and Catholic Mission
Writing Rites in the Borderlands: Appropriation, Mimesis and Interaction between Jesuits and Indians in Colonial South America Guillermo Wilde
“Secularizing” the Andes: The Effects of Transcultural Processes on Colonial Andean Rituals Claudia Brosseder
Dios, Dio, Viracocha, Tianzhu: “Finding” and “Translating” the Christian God in the Overseas Jesuit Missions (16th–18th Centuries) Ana Carolina Hosne
Epilogues: Rites Controversies as Cultural Resources
A Cross Concealed Among Flowers: Interpreting a Secret Ritual in Seventeenth Century Chinese Christian Communities Pierre Antoine Fabre
Against Rites: Jesuit Accommodatio as Pietist Preparatio Evangelica in Eighteenth Century South India Ines G. Županov
All interested in the history of early modern religious encounters in the context of global missionary expansion and Catholic Reformation. At the heart of the rites’ controversy is the question of religious plurality.