In a world of their own: isolation and the Jesuit mission to the Huron, 1632-1650



Bennie, Donald R.

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University of Guelph


This thesis is an investigation of isolation, geographic, social and cultural, as well as mental and spiritual isolation, in the Jesuit mission to the Huron and how the missionaries used it used as a tool of evangelization. It argues that isolation was an integral tool of the programme of conversion, both in the Jesuits' collective evangelization, as well as in their individual endeavours that focused on spiritual development. Isolation, as an idea, is evident in the Judeo-Christian tradition from both Biblical testaments, the ascetic examples of the Desert Fathers, and the missionaries' spiritual influences. Isolation was a practical necessity in order to separate the Huron from their traditional practices, made more crucial by the Huron inclination to discourage isolating its members. Furthermore, the individual spiritual programmes of these missionaries encouraged various manifestations of isolation that they believed would assist their evangelization.



Jesuit Mission, Hurons, Isolation, Evangelization, Spiritual development