Cover: The Visitor: André Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia, from Harvard University PressCover: The Visitor in HARDCOVER

The Visitor

André Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia

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Product Details


$41.00 • £32.95 • €37.00

ISBN 9780674416680

Publication Date: 09/15/2014


528 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

20 halftones, 7 maps

Belknap Press


André Palmeiro (1569–1635) is one of the forgotten men of Jesuit history… Liam Brockey’s major interpretative biography deserves to achieve a reversal of this neglect… Brockey’s colorful and meticulously researched travel narrative takes us with him to South India and Sri Lanka, Macau and Beijing, as well as to other fields for which Palmeiro had responsibility but never visited in person… In his extended discussion of the principle of accommodation in the Chinese context, Brockey is at his most original and controversial… This is a book with the potential to redraw the historical map of Christian missions in Asia. It is the product of exhaustive archival and library research in Rome and Lisbon. It is also beautifully illustrated and engagingly written. Liam Brockey has reminded us that the most significant Christian missionary enterprise of early modern times depended for its stability and survival on ecclesiastical bureaucrats. André Palmeiro, God’s mandarin, deserves his place in historical memory alongside the more charismatic figures of Xavier, de Nobili and Ricci.—Brian Stanley, The Times Literary Supplement

An account of the fascinating life of [André] Palmeiro, a Portuguese appointed by his superiors in Rome in 1617 to inspect Jesuit missions around the world.—Mark O’Neill, The South China Morning Post

A substantial, scholarly biography of a figure who has hitherto only been a footnote in Jesuit history.—Thomas Tallon, The Tablet

This story transcends Palmeiro’s life… Indeed, it is Palmeiro’s own letters and his lively accounts of his journeys, along with other sources, that Brockey puts to excellent use in his account of Jesuit enterprise in the Portuguese Empire in maritime Asia… In crafting Palmeiro’s life story Brockey brilliantly accomplishes his goal of shedding light on different historical contexts as well as the problems and questions of the early modern world… This well-written and enjoyable book illustrates how Palmeiro’s final days until his death marked the end of a generation of Jesuits whose dreams materialized in the expansion of Christianity in Asia.—Ana Carolina Hosne, Times Higher Education

This excellent book describes the Jesuit Asian missions at a crucial time through the eyes and reports of André Palmeiro (1569–1635), a Portuguese Jesuit… Brockey offers many insights in good evocative prose. Telling the story of the missions and disputed matters through Palmeiro is very effective, not least because it enables readers to see how the Asian missions functioned on a personal and practical level.—P. Grendler, Choice

A richly colored baroque portrait of a philosophy professor turned world traveler, the Portuguese priest André Palmeiro. Its subject spent two decades as a plenipotentiary ‘visitor’ representing the highest authorities of the Jesuit order in mission areas extending from Mozambique and Ethiopia through Goa and Malabar to China and Japan. The political and cultural challenges that Palmeiro faced in that vast and varied space are treated extensively. The Visitor is a display of rigorous and inventive historical scholarship, founded in a mastery of the archives. Brockey writes with imagination, scope, and style.—J. S. A. Elisonas, Indiana University

Liam Brockey does what an excellent scholar should in a pioneering work. He helps us understand Palmeiro’s work and its importance for the history of the world. He also achieves what seemed impossible from the evidence available: vividly and convincingly, he evokes much of Palmeiro’s spiritual and intellectual life.—Felipe Fernández-Armesto, author of Our America

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