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Disputed Mission: Jesuit Experiments and Brahmanical Knowledge in Seventeenth-Century India

Ines G. Zupanov (Author)
Synopsis Disputed Mission offers a fresh perspective on the social and cultural laboratories that were Jesuit missions in pre-colonial South India. Without Portuguese military support confined to Goa and other trade enclaves along the east and west coast of India, the missionaries in the heart of Tamil country, found themselves trapped under the jurisdiction of the local kings—such as the Nakaka of Madurai-with very little space for political proselytizing manoeuvring, and at the same time free from the increasingly impoverished and ossified Portuguese ecclesiastical hierarchy in Goa. Confronted with social and cultural idioms that appeared to them as both strange and familiar, Jesuit missionaries embarked on a titanic, utopian, and somewhat na?ve project of cultural translation, social engineering and ethnographic description. Before they could effectively convert and establish spiritual and political authority over souls and bodies, they had to ascertain that they possessed the right knowledge of Indian culture. By focusing on a dispute between two missionaries in Madurai in the beginning of the seventeenth century, this book chronicles the first efforts at explaining the origin, structure and nature of local religious practices. This book will be of great interest to historians of colonial India and scholars of religious studies and comparative religion.
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Bibliographic information

Title Disputed Mission: Jesuit Experiments and Brahmanical Knowledge in Seventeenth-Century India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 0195658825
length xvi+277p., Map; 23cm.
Subjects History