Jesuit Contributions to Global Connectivity and Global Consciousness in the Early Modern Era

Author: José Casanova

January 23, 2024

The world maps of Matteo Ricci and Ferdinand Verbiest serve as telling indicators of the paradigmatic role of the Jesuits as brokers between cultures around the world in the first phase of globalization. In the early modern era the Jesuits functioned, indeed, as pioneer globalizers making substantial contributions to the growth of connectivity and global consciousness around the world. This book chapter by Senior Fellow José Casanova examines the external and internal opportunity structures which made it possible for members of a Catholic missionary order such as the Society of Jesus to play not only the role of cartographers, but also that of global ethnographers, natural scientists, translators, and general educators—indeed, as prominent cultural brokers between East and West and North and South in the first globalization. It was published in Reimagining the Globe and Cultural Exchange: The East Asian Legacies of Matteo Ricci's World Map.

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