April 2015: New Book on Early Jesuit Missionaries in Ethiopia

The second volume of Brill’s Jesuit Studies book series is released. According to the publisher, Envoys of a Human God: The Jesuit Mission to Christian Ethiopia, 1557-1632, by Andreu Martínez d’Alòs-Moner, “offers a comprehensive study of the religious mission led by the Society of Jesus in Christian Ethiopia. The mission to Ethiopia was one of the most challenging undertakings carried out by the Catholic Church in early modern times. The book examines the period of early Portuguese contacts with the Ethiopian monarchy, the mission’s main developments and its aftermath, with the expulsion of the Jesuit missionaries. The study profits from both an intense reading of the historical record and the fruits of recent archaeological research. Long-held historiographical assumptions are challenged and the importance of cultural and socio-political factors in the attraction and ultimate estrangement between European Catholics and Ethiopian Christians is highlighted.”

Envoy of a Human God is divided into three parts, which trace the geographical movement of the missionaries, and offers five appendices: Leading Political Figures in the Red Sea, India, and Europe, ca. 1600–1635; National and Provincial Rulers in Christian Ethiopia, 1603–1636; Jesuit Missionaries in Ethiopia, 1555–1632; Intellectual Production during the Mission, 1611–1632; and a Genealogical Chart of the Extended Ethiopian Royal Family (ca. 1550–1640).