Missions in Strategic Frontiers: Jesuits and Franciscans in Chiloé and Patagonia in the 18th Century

Thursday, January 5, 2017: 3:50 PM
Room 201 (Colorado Convention Center)
Rodrigo Moreno Jeria, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez
The missions in South America, especially the archipelago of Chiloe and Nahuelhuapi in Patagonia, have been the subject of several studies in the last two decades. Scholars who have studied these peripheral areas have primarily analyzed the pastoral work of Jesuits from their arrival into the territory in 1608 until their expulsion from the region in early 1768. There has traditionally been a distinctive approach to the Franciscan evangelical effort after their arrival to substitute for the Jesuits. This study aims at engaging, from a comparative perspective, in the missionary work done by members of these two orders. I will compare their missionary practices, their relationship with indigenous peoples, their political connections and scientific contributions made in those territories. My paper unveils these religious orders’ indistinctive relevance to the global project of Christian expansion supported by the Catholic Church as well as their role as agents of imperial encroachment in the Chilean frontiers.