Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jesuit inculturation in the Reductions

Ruins of La Santisima Trinidad de Parana, built by Jesuits in what is now Paraguay

In the 16th century, amidst the jungles of South America, Jesuit missionaries laid out elaborate, intelligently planned cities, built Baroque cathedrals, established musical conservatories and composed baroque sacred music incorporating native motifs.  All this was done to evangelize the Guarani and Chiquito peoples, who, the Jesuits discovered, had a special appreciation for musical and architectural beauty.  Eventually, the Jesuits were expelled, and the cities fell into ruins, but the music has recently been re-discovered.  Sandro Magister has more here.

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