Lost in translation? Orthodoxy and ontology in the transatlantic world of the Jesuits
Michna, Gregory A.
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This thesis is an examination of the attempts of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, to maintain orthodoxy in practices during their early missionary activity in New France. Close study is given to the founding documents of the order and the influence of the principal founder, Ignatius of Loyola, as well as the framework of Jesuit education found in the Ratio Studiorum. Jesuit education was fundamental in the development of ontological perceptions of sin and human nature, which the Jesuits imported to New France as missionaries. Once they arrived in the New World, Jesuits faced the daunting challenge of communicating inherently abstract concepts in Catholic practices such as the nature of the Trinity, Baptism, and the Eucharist across linguistic and ontological barriers, and recorded these struggles in the form of Relations that were published in Europe. Through these records Jesuit cultural sensitivity can be identified.