In the past decades historians have interpreted early modern Christian missions not simply as an adjunct to Western imperialism, but a privileged field for cross-cultural encounters. Placing the Jesuit missions into a global phenomenon that emphasizes economic and cultural relations between Europe and the East, this book analyzes the possibilities and limitations of the religious conversion in the Micronesian islands of Guåhan (or Guam) and the Northern Marianas. Frontiers are not rigid spatial lines separating culturally different groups of people, but rather active agents in the transformation of cultures. By bringing this local dimension to the fore, the book adheres to a process of missionary “glocalization” which allowed Chamorros to enter the international community as members of Spain’s regional empire and the global communion of the Roman Catholic Church.
Preface. Francis X. Hezel, SJ. Acknowledgments. Introduction Part I: Colonization and Sanctity in the Marianas 1. The Blood of Martyrs (1668-1676) 2. The Soldiers of Gideon (1677-1699) Part II: From the Marianas’ Crisis to Salvationist Utopia 3. Corruption, Greed and the Public Good (1700-1730) 4. From Christian Universalism to Jesuit Cosmopolitanism: The Caroline Islands (1700-1735) 5. Transoceanic Bigamists (1700-1747) Part III: The Baroque Representation of Power 6. Phoenix in the Marianas (1747) Part IV: The Jesuits Under Suspicion 7. Lights and Shadows: The Inquisitorial Process Against the Jesuit Congregation of Nuestra Señora de la Luz (1758-1776). Afterword.