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Black Robes & BuckskinA Selection from the Jesuit Relations$
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Catharine Randall

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823232628

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823232628.001.0001

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In spiritu sanctu: Inculturation and the Aboriginal Relations

In spiritu sanctu: Inculturation and the Aboriginal Relations

(p.1) In spiritu sanctu: Inculturation and the Aboriginal Relations
Black Robes & Buckskin

Catharine Randall

Fordham University Press

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

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