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The Cultural Worlds of the Jesuits in Colonial Latin America

Edited by Linda Newson

2017 marked the 250-year anniversary of the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spanish territories. The Jesuits made major contributions to the cultural and intellectual life of Latin America. When they were expelled in 1767 the Jesuits were administering over 250,000 Indians in over 200 missions. The Jesuits pioneered interest in indigenous languages and cultures, compiling dictionaries and writing some of the earliest ethnographies of the region. They also explored the region’s natural history and made significant contributions to the development of science and medicine. On their estates and in the missions they introduced new plants, livestock, and agricultural techniques, such as irrigation. In addition, they left a lasting legacy on the region’s architecture, art, and music. The volume demonstrates the diversity of Jesuit contributions to Latin American culture. Published works often focus on one theme or region that is approached from a particular disciplinary perspective. This volume is therefore unusual in considering not only the range of Jesuit activities but also the diversity of perspectives from which they may be approached. It includes papers from scholars of history, linguistics, religion, art, architecture, cartography, music, medicine and science.

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