<i>In spiritu sanctu:</i> Inculturation and the Aboriginal <i>Relations</i>

Catharine Randall

in Black Robes & Buckskin

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780823232628
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240449 | DOI:
In spiritu sanctu: Inculturation and the Aboriginal Relations

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This chapter sets out the basic history of the Jesuit missions in New France and provides insight into the Ignatian tradition and how it informs the composition of the Relations. When the first Jesuits arrived in New France, they came with the usual European mind-set: to bring Christ to the natives, shape them up, and provide them with the benefits of civilization. Only a few years later, in the letters they wrote home (called relations), these Jesuits were admitting that the Native Americans possessed virtues of which they had been unaware, and that the two cultures shared some similarities in their worldviews that might allow for the translation of concepts necessary to the success of the Jesuits' spiritual enterprise in New France. The Jesuits learned to respect the natives, rather than condescend to them, and they wanted to convince other Europeans of the merits of their encounters. The Jesuits had begun to discern that these “barbarians” might just wear their own sort of breeches.

Keywords: Relations; Jesuit missionaries; New France; Native Americans

Chapter.  6733 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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