Jesuit Studies South Asia: A Report on the GOA Conference

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Xavier Centre for Historical Research (XCHR) inaugurated its Jesuit Studies South Asia programme with a Conference entitled Towards a History of the Jesuits in South Asia: Post-Restoration Period. The Conference was formally inaugurated by the Provincial of Goa, Fr. Rosario Rocha SJ, on June 29th in the presence of around 30 Jesuit and lay participants from the four South Asia administrative zones (North, South, West and Central). The Conference presentations and discussions highlighted the rich and complex Jesuit narrative in South Asia.

 

 

 

The 16 formal paper presentations, ranging geographically from Nepal to Kerala, showcased the vast Jesuit involvement in South Asia. The papers covered topics such as, Jesuit archival sources in India and Rome; Adivasi outreach in Central, Southern and Western India; research in botanical and physical sciences;  education, art and architecture; missionary activities and interfaith and intra-faith relations, etc. Open house discussions, break-out group sharing, and one-on-one campus encounters made for exciting intellectual exchanges and possible collaborative ventures.  The participants were pleased to discover (some for the first time) the multi-cultural Jesuit heritage across South Asia. The papers will now be edited for publication in 2018.

 

 XCHR, proved to be a fitting venue for the Conference. The well laid out infrastructure within a green, clean and quiet campus provided the right atmosphere for intellectual and social exchanges. Our sister institution next door, the Konknni Language Centre, served as an excellent venue for hospitality and social exchanges. A cultural performance of song and dance by the neighbouring villagers of Socorro regaled the entire conference audience.

 

Finally, following in the footsteps of Francis Xavier, the Conference climaxed with a Eucharistic celebration at the mausoleum of the Saint at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, in historic Old Goa.   

 

The newly inaugurated Jesuit Studies South Asia programme, has plans to expand its activities through seminars, study, research, conferences, publications, etc. The primary aim of Jesuit Studies is to promote research and the publication of scholarly articles for wider circulation world-wide. Should you or others you know be interested in the Jesuit Studies project kindly get in touch with us at:

 Jesuit.studies@xchr.in  or   xchr.studies@gmail.com
 
 
 
 
Savio Abreu SJ, Rinald D’Souza SJ, Anthony da Silva SJ                                                                    
Organizers,  Jesuit Studies South Asia.