Excerpt: This is a fascinating book on a Spanish Jesuit who worked single-mindedly in the Indian province of the Society of Jesus in order to bring the Thomas Christians, as they were known, into communion with the Latin rite of the Catholic Church. The time is the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in South India. These Christians had had a centuries-long relationship with the Nestorian church in Babylon and had adopted their East Syrian rite and language for their own worship.
Antony Mecherry writes that his book ‘is an attempt to comprehend, at a micro level, the complex dynamics that worked behind the process of accommodation and adaptation that Archbishop Ros and Roberto de Nobili wanted to launch in South India’ (437). One can state at the outset that the author’s project has been a great success.
In the process of his delving into this subject, we are fortunate to see the workings of a number of Jesuits and of other religious [sic] towards the project of accommodation that Francisco Ros (1559–1624) initiated and carried through. He did not come with any preplanned methodology yet in the process of working it out, had a great influence on the Italian, Roberto de Nobili (1557–1656) and his work in the Madurai mission.
More info and full text (OA): https://doi.org/10.1163/22141332-0802P011-03
KSM Editor’s note: Of related interest would be a section titled ‘Conflicts between the Jesuits and the Inquisition in the Seventeenth Century’, which recounts the ‘Malabar rites affair’, in the following article in the same issue of the journal—
Franco, José Eduardo, and Célia Tavares. New Christians, Converted Hindus, Jesuits, and the Inquisition. Journal of Jesuit Studies 8, no. 2 (February 2021): 195–213.