August 2019: New Publications on Early Modern Jesuit Missions in India and Japan

The Jesuit Historical Institute (Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu – IHSI) in Rome has published two new titles on the early modern Jesuit missions in India and Japan. Both titles are available for purchase via:


Testing Ground for Jesuit Accommodation in Early Modern India: Francisco Ros SJ in Malabar (16th–17th Centuries) is authored by Antony Mecherry, SJ. According to IHSI, Mecherry “explores the underlying dynamics of the accommodation experiments led by Francisco Ros SJ (1559–1624)—a Catalonian from the Jesuit province of Aragón—in the cultural and religious terrain of Malabar, in particular, among the region’s Christian communities.”

Later missionary work in India, such as that of Roberto de Nobili, is only understood by first examining these earlier efforts by Ros. “Most importantly,” IHSI continues, Testing Ground “underscores the Jesuit mission in early modern India as the crucial meeting point of some of the most prominent promoters of accommodation in the first century of the Society of Jesus,” such as Alessandro Valignano and Matteo Ricci.


IHSI has also published an edited volume by Giuseppe Marino: Crónicas desde las Indias Orientales: Segunda parte da História Eclesiástica de Japão y otros escritos por João Rodrigues “Tsûzu” SJ (c.1561-1633). João Rodrigues “Tsûzu” was a Portuguese Jesuit missioned to Japan, where he was known among the Japanese as “the Interpreter.” Rodrigues was also “one of the most important witnesses of the so-called ‘Christian century’ in Japan,” according to IHSI. This publication offers part of a text Rodrigues wrote while in exile in Macao.

IHSI explains how Marino’s publication provides “an important account of the early history of Christianity in Asia and the first Jesuit efforts to Christianize Japan in the mid-sixteenth century under the leadership of Francis Xavier.” The book also publishes other letters and works by Rodrigues. Marino offers an introduction in Spanish but also an preface in English. All 28 chapters of the text — and the accompanying papers — are also summarized in English.


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