Orientis Aura: Macau Perspectives in Religious Studies
ISSN 2519-5417 (Printed)
ISSN 2519-5425 (Online)
This article analyzes and publishes the Trattato written by the Neapolitan Jesuit Francesco Buzomi in 1622 on the translation of God’s name in Cochinchina. The article examines this terminological controversy in other East Asian countries, such as Japan and China and also portrays a short biography of Buzomi. This latter contains the partial transcription of the litterae indipetae (also unpublished), which he addressed to the Superior General in order to express his desire to be sent to the overseas missions of the Society of Jesus.
Keywords: Cochinchina; Francesco Buzomi; Litteræ indipetæ; Society of Jesus; Translation of God’s name
In the 19th century, the suppression of the Religious Orders in the wake of the definite implementation of a Liberal Government in Portugal led the authorities in Goa to seize the rich and extensive archives of the colleges and convents throughout the Estado da Índia. However, unlike the archives of the Dominicans, Augustinians or Oratorians, which are kept at the Directorate of Archives and Archaeology in Panaji, Goa, the records from both Franciscan Provinces (Madre de Deus and São Tomé) are nowhere to be found. This article aims to highlight the potential of the Directorate of Archives and Archaeology’s holdings in order to further the knowledge of Franciscan presence in Asia by exploring documentary series not directly produced by Franciscans.
Keywords: Archives; Directorate of Archives and Archaeology; Goa; Province of Madre de Deus; Province of São Tomé
This article presents some sources in Mexican archives that can be of interest for the study of the missionary activity of the Franciscans in Asia. We will focus on documents related to the Province of San Gregorio, whose relationship with New Spain was close and intense; also, on the correspondence that the Bishop of Puebla had with individuals in the Philippines and missionaries in China.
Keywords: Manuel Fernández de Santa Cruz; New Spain; Order of Saint Clare; Philippines; Province of San Gregorio
The office of the Father of Christians was created in the 1530s, with the purpose of instituting a person responsible for caring for catechumens and converts who lived in the State of India. The position of the Father of Christians was instituted in a context marked by systematic efforts to Christianize native populations through granting privileges to converts while restricting or harassing local non-Christian populations. The purpose of this article is to analyze a facet of the work of the Father of Christians: his efforts to support catechumens and converts, “putting them in some public posts or with people who could help them,” as the 1595 Instruction emphasized. The following documentary sources will be analyzed to achieve this objective: the laws of the State of India, the correspondence exchanged between the Fathers of Christians, the kings of Portugal and the viceroys, and dozens of records (produced between the last quarter of the 17th century and the first decade of the 18th century) that demonstrate to whom such catechumens and neophytes were given to serve and what kinds of trades they would be taught.
In the 7th century, missionaries of the Assyrian Church of the East increased their evangelical activities across Central Asia, particularly in Nisibis, Turkey, Arabia, India and China. Known in China as Bodijiao, literally Persian Religion, these early Christian missionaries were well received by the Tang emperors and obtained the consent to translate Christian texts and erect places of worship in several locations within the Chinese empire. A few centuries later, when Franciscan missionaries and European travelers and traders commenced diplomatic relations and trade with the new-established Yuan rulers in China they found evidence of earlier Christian missionary activity and initiated a new episode the Christianity in China under the support of the Catholic Church. In both cases, the use of Christian imagery was an important instrument for the transmission of doctrine and religious teachings as the missionaries recognized the eloquent power of images in religious syncretism. This paper discusses how images were used as a form of convenience exploring the proximity and similarity of forms and meanings between Christian and Buddhist art in China, from the Tang to the Yuan dynasties.