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Introduction: Iberian And French Jesuits From An International Perspective

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Chapter Summary

The Jesuit mission in seventeenth-century New France will be analysed as a series of incidents that developed, not simply as a domestic occurrence of North America, but out of the earlier mission of Father Francisco de Xavier in Japan. In this analysis, the Christian mission in Japan will be used as a tool to revise the currently accepted historical interpretations of the French Jesuit mission. Iberian Jesuits from Portugal, Spain and Italy, under the patronage of the king of Portugal, followed. Accepted interpretations, which have been based solely on a seventeenth-century North American perspective, will be seen to be inappropriate, once these interpretations are placed in an international perspective beginning with Father Xaviers mission to Japan in the sixteenth century.

Keywords: France; French Jesuit mission; Iberian; international perspective; North America



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