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Translating Christianity in an Age of Reformations

  • Simon Ditchfield (a1)


This article argues that the age of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and the global spread of the latter brought with it the challenge that not only was it necessary to learn new languages in order to communicate the Christian message to non-European peoples encountered during the so-called ‘Age of Discovery’, but some kind of control had to be exercised over the new, global circulation of sacred images and relics. The latter facilitated the visual (and virtual) translation of such holy sites as Jerusalem and Rome and its specific holy treasures in the mental prayers of the faithful. It concludes that it was less Lamin Sanneh's ‘triumph of [linguistic] translatability’ and more the physical translatability of the sacred that made possible the emergence of Roman Catholicism as this planet's first world religion.


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*Department of History, University of York, York, YO10 5DD. E-mail:


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1 This well-known image may easily be found online, for example at: <>, last accessed 27 May 2016.

2 Levy, Evonne, Propaganda and the Jesuit Baroque (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 2004), 151. Pozzo's explanation may be found in the pamphlet Breve descrittione della pittura fatta nella volta del tempio di Sant'Ignazio scoperta l'anno MDCXCIV per la festa del medesimo santo (Rome, 1694), which can be viewed at: <>, last accessed 27 May 2016; my thanks to Professor Levy for directing me to the location of this very rare pamphlet. Save for the biblical passage, which is taken from Angela M. Kinney, ed., The Vulgate Bible, 6: The New Testament, Douay-Rheims Translation (Cambridge MA, and London, 2013), 389, the translation is Levy's.

3 However, the work of Benedetta Albani is showing us that the Council of the Indies in Seville did not necessarily prevent appellants from the New World gaining access to Roman or papal justice, in the form of the Congregation of the Council: see her chapter, ‘Nuova luce sulle relazioni tra la Sede Apostolica e le Americhe. La pratica della concessione del “pase regio” ai documenti pontefici destinati alle Indie’, in Claudio Ferlan, ed., Eusebio Francesco Chini e il suo tempo. Una riflessione storica (Trent, 2012), 83–102.

4 Ditchfield, Simon, ‘Catholic Reformation and Renewal’, in Marshall, Peter, ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of the Reformation (Oxford, 2015), 152–85, at 162–3.

5 Davis, Robert C., Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediteranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy (Basingstoke, 2003). It should be noted, however, that Davis's claim that as many as one million Europeans were enslaved during this period has been vigorously contested: see, for example, Kaiser, Wolfgang, Le Commerce des captifs. Les Intermédiares dans l’échange et le rachat des prisonniers en Méditerranėe, XVe–XVIIIe siècle, Collection de l’École française de Rome 406 (Rome, 2008); Matar, Nabil, British Captives from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1563–1760 (Leiden and Boston, MA, 2014).

6 ‘Indeed, so associated was Islam with Malay culture that the phrase masuk melayu (‘to become a Malay’) came to mean the adoption of Islam’: see Andaya, Barbara, ‘Developments in Southeast Asia, c.1500–1800’, in Tarling, Nicholas, ed., The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, 4 vols (Cambridge, 1999), 2: 164–227, at 173.

7 ‘On the basis of cultural developments in the preceding five centuries, an impartial observer in the year 1500 might well have predicted that Islam would soon become the world's dominant faith, its principal source of beliefs, values, culture and human consciousness’: Bentley, Jerry H., Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times (New York and Oxford, 1993), 176.

8 Darwin, John, After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire since 1405 (London, 2007).

9 Gibbon, Edward, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. Womersley, D., 6 vols in 3 (London, 1994), 3: 336 (1st edn, 1788, vol. 5, ch. 52).

10 Walls, Andrew F., ‘Christianity in the Non-Western World: A Study in the Serial Nature of Christian expansion’, Studies in World Christianity 6 (1995), 125, at 7.

11 Europe is the only region where the absolute number of Christians is set to decline: from 553 to 454 million. Simultaneously, the proportion of the world's Christians in Europe will plummet from 25.5 to 15.6 per cent. By comparison, Latin America's percentage remains more or less steady, with a decline only from 25.5 to 22.8 per cent. See ‘Pew Research Center: Christians’, online at: <>, last accessed 13 July 2015.

12 There was an overall increase from 200 to 500 million Christians between 1800 and 1900, including a rise in the number of Roman Catholics from 106 million to 266 million. The period from 1500 to 1750 saw a rise from 76 million to 155 million, which included an increase in the number of Catholics from 45 to 82 million. Such astonishingly precise figures are necessarily only indicative; however, they can, I think, be used to sketch, in rough terms, the overall picture. For the full dataset, see David Barrett and Todd Johnson, ‘World Christian Trends across 22 Centuries AD30–AD2000’, online at: <>, last accessed 26 October 2016; my thanks to Luke Clossey for drawing my attention to this source. See also Johnson, Todd M. and Grim, Brian J, The World's Religions in Figures: An Introduction to International Religious Demography (Oxford and Malden, MA, 2013), which provides more contextual detail.

13 Baxandall, Michael, Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Interpretation of Pictures (New Haven, CT, and London, 1985), 59.

14 León-Portilla, Miguel, Visión de los vencidos. Relaciones indígenas de la conquista (Mexico City, 1959); Wachtel, Nathan, La Vision des vaincus. Les Indiens de Pérou devant la conquête espagnole, 1530–1570 (Paris, 1971).

15 Fanon, Frantz, Les Damnės de la terre (Paris, 1961). The English translation, by Constance Farrington, was published by Penguin in 1967 with a preface by Jean-Paul Sartre (originally composed for the French edition), following a first hardback edition of 1965. Damnés might more appropriately be translated ‘damned’.

16 This theme of elite conversion to monotheism across the world from 1450–1850 is currently being explored for a forthcoming monograph by Alan Strathern at the University of Oxford. I am grateful to Dr Strathern for his comments on a draft chapter of my own forthcoming book, Papacy and Peoples, which deals with the mission to the Kongo, and for letting me read his account of missions in Africa for the Brill Companion to Catholic Missions in advance of publication.

17 Kongo extended across what is now northern Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, the western area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the south of Gabon.

18 Adrian Hastings, The Church in Africa, 1450–1950 (Oxford, 1994), 81.

19 Thornton, John, ‘The Development of an African Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1491–1750’, JAH 25 (1984), 147–67.

20 Disney, Anthony, A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire from Beginnings to 1807, 2 vols (Cambridge, 2009), 2: 67.

21 Hastings, Church in Africa, 73.

22 See Paul Ricoeur, Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation, transl. D. Savage (New Haven, CT, and London, 1970).

23 See now Cameron, Euan, ed., The New Cambridge History of the Bible, 3: From 1450–1750 (Cambridge, 2016), part 1, chs 1–5; and, in this volume, Charlotte Methuen, ‘“These four letters s o l a are not there”: Language and Theology in Luther's translation of the New Testament’, 146–63.

24 de Bujanda, Jesús M. et al., eds, Index des livres interdits, vols 1–9 (Québec and Geneva, 1984–94). Vols 8 and 9 are devoted to the Roman indexes of 1557, 1559, 1564, 1590, 1593 and 1596. The six indexes published by the Sorbonne in 1544, 1545, 1547, 1549, 1551 and 1556 are reproduced in vol. 1.

25 Fragnito, Gigliola, ed., Church, Censorship and Culture in Early Modern Italy (Cambridge, 2001); idem, Proibito capire. La chiesa e il volgare nella prima età moderna (Bologna, 2005); Vittorio Frajese, Nascita dell'Indice. La censura ecclesiastica dal Rinascimento alla Controriforma (Brescia, 2006). Cf. the recent review article by Andreea Badea, ‘Zwischen Dissimulation und Disziplinierung. Neue Literatur zur Geschichte der Buchzensur auf der italienischen Halbinsel’, Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken 95 (2015), 385–96; my thanks to Stefan Bauer for drawing my attention to this article.

26 O'Malley, John W., ‘Was Ignatius Loyola a Church Reformer? How to look at Early Modern Catholicism’, CathHR 77 (1991), 177–93, at 191.

27 O'Malley, John W., ‘Giles of Viterbo: A Reformer's Thought on Renaissance Rome’, RQ 20 (1967), 111; cf. Stinger, Charles, The Renaissance in Rome (Bloomington, IN, 1985), ch. 4; Jacks, Philip, The Antiquarian and the Myth of Antiquity (Cambridge, 1993), 6773.

28 Evennett, H. Outram, The Spirit of the Counter Reformation, ed. Bossy, John (Cambridge, 1968), 45.

29 Morgan, David, The Forge of Vision: A Visual History of Modern Christianity (Oakland, CA, 2015), 3541.

30 Rudy, Kathryn M., Virtual Pilgrimages in the Convent: Imagining Jerusalem in the Late Middle Ages (Turnhout, 2011); Beebe, Kathryne, Pilgrim & Preacher: The Audiences and Observant Spirituality of Friar Felix Fabri (1437/8–1502) (Oxford, 2014).

31 This work survives in some 900 manuscript copies from the fifteenth century alone, and there were over 740 printed editions down to 1650: see Van Engen, John H., Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages (Philadelphia, PA, 2008); Maximilian von Habsburg, Catholic and Protestant Translations of the Christi, Imitatio, 1425–1650: From Late Medieval Classic to Early Modern Bestseller (Farnham, 2011).

32 Morris, Colin, ‘Bringing the Holy Sepulchre to the West: S. Stefano, Bologna from the Fifth to the Twentieth Century’, in Swanson, R. N., ed., The Church Retrospective, SCH 33 (Oxford, 1997), 3160

33 Mercier, Jacques and Lepage, Claude, Lalibela: Wonder of Ethiopia. The Monolithic Churches and their Treasures (London, 2012).

34 Kubler, George, ‘Sacred Mountains in Europe and America’, in Verdon, T. and Henderson, J., eds, Christianity and the Renaissance: Image and Religious Imagination in the Quattrocentro (Syracuse, NY, 1990), 413–41; cf. Vaccaro, L. and Riccardi, F., eds, Sacri Monti. Devozioni, arte e cultura della Controriforma (Milan, 1992); Rudy, Virtual Pilgrimages, 250–1; Wharton, Annabel, Selling Jerusalem: Relics, Replicas, Theme Parks (Chicago, IL, 1996); Cardini, F., Andare per le Gerusalemme d'Italia (Bologna, 2015). The Russian Orthodox Church should not be excluded from this fashion, as can be seen from the recently restored Novoiyerusalimsky Monastery, founded in 1656, forty kilometres north-west of Moscow in the town of Istra; I am indebted to Luke Clossey for this information.

35 Longo, Lorenzo, Gerusalemme piacentina, cioè chiese e luoghi di Piacenza corrispondenti a luoghi santi di Gerusalemme da visitare da fedeli e devoti servi di Dio in modo che possono meditare sulla vita santissima, passione, morte e resurrezione del nostro salvatore Jesu Cristo con gran profito spirituale . . . (Piacenza, 1659).

36 Such emphasis on the difficulties of contemporary, physical pilgrimage to the Holy Land has undoubtedly led to an underestimation of the significance of such travel during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which is only now being corrected: see, for instance, Williams, Wes, Pilgrimage and Narrative in the French Renaissance: The Undiscovered Country (Oxford, 1998); Gomez-Géraud, Marie-Christine, La Crépuscule du Grand Voyage. Les Récits des pèlerins à Jérusalem (1458–1612), 2 vols (Paris, 1990); Noonan, F. Thomas, The Road to Jerusalem: Pilgrimage and Travel in the Age of Discovery (Philadelphia, PA, 2007).

37 Tingle, Elizabeth, Indulgences after Luther: Pardons in Counter-Reformation France, 1520–1720 (London, 2015).

38 Wolf, Gerhard, Salus populi Romani. Die Geschichte römischer Kultbilder im Mittelalter (Weinheim, 1990); Beltung, Hans, Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art (Chicago, IL, 1994), 311–29.

39 Wisch, Barbara, ‘The Matrix: Le Sette Chiese di Roma of 1575 and the Image of Pilgrimage’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 56–7 (2011–12), 271303, at 280.

40 Ibid. 295.

41 ‘Mirabile dictum. . . eius amplitudine, multisque atque diversis eiusdem vijs, quam subterraneam civitatem’: Cesare Baronio, Annales ecclesiastici, 12 vols (Rome, 1588–1607), 2: 59.

42 Anne Lester discusses some of the consequences of this in her article, in this volume: ‘Translation and Appropriation: Greek Relics in the Latin West in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade’, 88–117.

43 Bosio, Antonio, Roma sotterranea . . . nella quale si tratta de'sacri cimiterii di Roma, del sito, forma, et uso antico di essi, de cubicoli, oratorii, imagini, ieroglifici, iscrittioni et epitaffi, che vi sono . . . del significato delle dette imagini e ieroglifici. De riti funerali in sepellirvi i defonti de martiri in essi risposti o martirizati nelle vie circonvicine. Delle cose memorabili, sacre e profane ch'erano nelle medesime vie e d'altre notabili, che rappresentano l'imagine della primitiva chiesa. L'angustia che patì nel tempo delle persecutioni, il fervore de'primi Christiani e li veri et inestimabili tesori, che Roma tiene rinchiusi sotto le sue campagne (Rome, 1632 [actually 1635]).

44 Baciocchi, Stéphane and Duhamelle, Christophe, eds, Reliques romaines. Invention et circulation des corps saints des catacombes à l’époque moderne (Rome, 2016).

45 Johnson, Trevor, ‘Holy Fabrications: The Catacomb Saints and the Counter-Reformation in Bavaria’, JEH 47 (1996), 274–97; see also the lavishly illustrated photo-essay by Koudounaris, Paul, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs (London, 2013).

46 Tragedia del triunfo de los santos: see Favre, Pierre-Antoine, ‘Reliquias romanas en México. Historia d'una migración’, in Wilde, Guillermo, ed., Saberes de la Conversión. Jesuitas, Indígenas e Imperios coloniales en las fronteras de la Cristianidad (Buenos Aires, 2012), 207–24; cf. Karnal, Leandro, ‘Les Reliques dans la conquête de l'Amérique luso-espagnole’, in Boutry, Philippe, Fabre, Pierre-Antoine and Julia, Dominique, eds, Reliques modernes. Cultes et usages chrétiens des corps saints des Réformes aux revolutions, 2 vols (Paris, 2009), 2: 731–50, at 745–50.

47 See Augustine, Concerning the City of God against the Pagans, transl. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth, 1972), 1041 (bk 22, ch. 8).

48 ‘[Q]uand j'y suis venue je n'avois rien vue que d'inculte et de barbare’: Oury, G., ed., Marie de l'Incarnation Ursuline (1599–1672). Correspondence (Solesmes, 1971), 767–9, at 767 (letter 223).

49 Gamrath, Helge, Roma sancta renovata. Studi sull'urbanistica di Roma nella seconda metà del sec. XVI con particolare riferimento al pontificato di Sisto V (1585–90) (Rome, 1987), 157–8. For a comprehensive description of the Scala Sancta and the Sancta Sanctorum, see Barroero, Liliana, ed., Guide rionali di Roma. Rione I – Monti, parte 1 (Rome, 1982), 6877. For Sixtus V's decorative programme, see Madonna, Maria Luisa, ed., Roma di Sisto V. Le arti e la cultura (Rome, 1993), 126–35.

50 Martin, Gregory, Roma sancta (1581). Now first printed from the Manuscript by G. B. Parks (Rome, 1969).

51 A treatyse of Chris[ti]an peregrination, w[rit]ten by M. Gregory Martin Licentiate and late reader of divinitie in the Englishe coleadge of Remes. Whereunto is adioined certen epistles written by him to sundrye his frendes (Paris, 1583; actually c.1597).

52 Ibid., unfoliated (emphasis added).

53 Martin, Roma sancta, 27.

54 It has not been possible to secure permission to reproduce these images, and I refer the reader to Okada, H., ‘Mural Painting in the Viceroyalty of Peru’, in Alcalá, Luisa and Brown, Jonathan, eds, Painting in Latin America, 1550–1820 (New Haven, CT, and London, 2014), 403–35, at 428–9 (figs 21, 22). There are also black and white reproductions as plates 2 and 3 in Okada, Hiroshige, ‘“Golden compasses” on the Shores of Lake Titicaca: The Appropriation of European Visual Culture and the Patronage of Art by an indigenous Cacique in the colonial Andes’, Memories [sic] of the Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University 51 (2011), 87111, at 90, online at: <>, last accessed 29 May 2016.

55 Now in the Museum of Art, Philadelphia, accession number 1958–78-4.

56 The columns were actually from Greece and arrived in two stages, in the fourth and the eighth centuries. Dale Kinney suggests that ‘[t]he origin of the legend probably had something to do with a widespread interest in supposedly Solomonic structures awakened by the Crusades, and with the related vogue for knotted columns’: ‘Spolia’, in Tronzo, William, ed., St Peter's in the Vatican (Cambridge, 2005), 1647, at 36.

57 Lara, Jaime, ‘Church Interior’, in Levy, Evonne and Mills, Kenneth, eds, Lexicon of the Hispanic Baroque: Transatlantic Exchange and Transformation (Austin, TX, 2013), 4750, at 48.

58 Okada, ‘“Golden compasses”’, 101.

59 On Garcilaso, see Brading, D., The First America: The Spanish Monarchy, Creole Patriots and the Liberal State, 1492–1867 (Cambridge, 1991), 255–72. There is a complete English translation by Livermore, H. V.: Royal Commentaries of the Incas, and General History of Peru, 2 vols (Austin, TX, 1965).

60 Okada, ‘“Golden compasses”’, 100–1; cf. idem, ‘Mural Painting’, 428–30.

61 ‘Instructiones fabricae et supellectilis ecclesiasticae’, in Acta ecclesiae mediolanensis (Milan, 1583), fols 177r–211v. For a complete English translation with scholarly commentary, see <>, accessed 26 October 2016.

62 Muñoz, L., Vida di S. Carlos Borromeo . . . puesta en nuesta lengua de la historias que del santo escrivieron el doctor Iuan Pedro Guissano [sic], don Carlos Bascapé, Iuan Baptista Possevino, Marco Aurelio Gratarola (Madrid, 1626). For the comparison of the Third Provincial Council of Lima with Trent in importance, see Enrique Dussel, A History of the Church in Latin America (Grand Rapids, MI, 1981), 147; cf. de Leon Pinelo, A., Vida del Illustrissimo i Reverendissimo D. Toribio Alfonso Mogrovejo ([Madrid?], 1653), 7791.

63 De Boer, W., The Conquest of the Soul: Confession, Discipline and Public Order in Counter-Reformation Milan (Leiden and Boston, MA, 2001), 4383.

64 Catecismo en la lengua española y quechua ordenado por autoridad del concilio de Lima en el año 1583; Confessionario para los curas de indios con la instrucion contra sus ritos y exhortacion para ayudar a bien morir, y summa de sus [p]rivilegios y forma de impedimentos del matrimonio. Compuesta y traduzido en las lenguas Quechua y Aymara. Para autoridad del Concilio provincial de Lima del año 1583 (Lima, 1585); Tercero catechismo y esposicion de la doctrina christiana por sermones, para que los curas y otros ministros prediquen y enseñen a los Indios y a las demas personas, conforme a lo que e nel sancto Concilio Provincial de Lima se profeyo (Lima, 1585). These are now all available to download at: <>, last accessed 29 May 2016.

65 ‘Firstly, we must also acquire some use of the language, or, if not, preach through a faithful interpreter, if there is such a thing’. All subsequent references are to José de Acosta, De procuranda indorum salute, ed. and transl. G. Stewart McIntosh, 2 vols (Tayport, 1996), 1: 92 (bk 2, ch. 17); cf. ibid. 29–30 (bk 1, ch. 9): ‘Fear of the difficulty of the language ought not to hinder the propagation of the gospel’.

66 Ibid. 2: 18 (bk 4, ch. 7); cf. ibid. 2: 137–8 (bk 6, ch. 13): ‘Skill in the Indian language is needed to hear confession’.

67 Cf. Rubén Vargas Ugarte, Concilios Limensis 1551–1772, 3 vols (Lima, 1951–4), 1: 310 (actio 5, cap. 3).

68 Acosta, De procuranda, ed. and transl. McIntosh, 2: 21 (bk 4, ch. 8). Acosta actually wrote: ‘The Incas, with the wisest of laws (consultissima lege perfici) were able to achieve that [a general language] in all the scattered provinces of their kingdom’. For the original text, see Acosta, De natura novi orbis libri duo et de promulgatione evangelii apud Barbaros (Cologne, 1596), 378. For the wider picture, see now the special issue: ‘Langues indiennes et empire dans l'Amérique du Sud colonial / Lenguas indígenas e imperio en la América del Sur colonial’, Mėlanges de la Casa de Velázquez n.s. 45/1 (2015), 9–151.

69 Acosta, De procuranda, ed. and transl. McIntosh, 2: 21–2 (bk 4, ch. 8); cf. idem, De natura novi orbis libri duo et de promulgatione Evangelii apud barbaros, sive de procuranda indorum salute, (Salamanca, 1588), 379. Notwithstanding such an endorsement, the Jesuits stopped admitting mestizos as early as 1576, the very year when Acosta finished De procuranda, and the 1582 provincial congregation voted for a definitive ban: cf. A. Durston, Pastoral Quechua: The History of Christian Translation in Colonial Peru, 1550–1650 (Notre Dame, IN, 2007), 83.

70 Cobo Betancourt, Juan F., ‘Colonialism in the Periphery: Spanish Linguistic Policy in New Granada c.1574–1625’, Colonial Latin American Review 23 (2014), 118–42, at 129.

71 Ibid. 132.

72 Ibid. 136–7. Recent work on the Christianization of Central America emphasizes the role of indigenous scribes, authors and consumers in the creative adaptation of catechisms and confession manuals: see in particular Christensen, Mark Z., Nahua and Maya Catholicisms: texts and Religion in Colonial Central Mexico and Yucatan (Stanford, CA, 2013); idem, Translated Christianities: Nahua and Maya Religious Texts (University Park, PA, 2014).

73 ‘Iam vero in illa sua veluti inculta barbarie adeo pulchros, adeo elegantes idiomatismos habet formulasque dicendi mirabili brevitate multa complexas ut delectet vehementer quorum unius vocis vim si Latinus, Hispanus exprimere velit, pluribus ipse vix possit’: Acosta, De natura novi orbis libri duo. . . et de procuranda indorum salute, 382–3.

74 Acosta, De procuranda, ed. and transl. McIntosh, 2: 25 (bk 4, ch. 9); cf. the challenge facing Jesuit missionaries working among the Iroquois who were trying to communicate ideas of the Christian soul and spirit, as discussed in the introduction to Steckley, J. M., ed. and transl., De Religione: Telling the Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Story in Huron to the Iroquois (Norman OH, 2004), in particular 24–45.

75 Rubiés, Joan-Pau, ‘Real and Imaginary Dialogues in the Jesuit Mission of Sixteenth-Century Japan’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 55 (2012), 447–94; cf., in this volume, idem, ‘Ethnography and Cultural Translation in the Early Modern Missions’, 272–310, at 304. See also Cooper, M., Rodriguez the Interpreter: An Early Jesuit in Japan and China (New York and Tokyo, 1974), 284–5.

76 Acosta, De procuranda, ed. and transl. McIntosh, 2: 24–5 (bk 4, ch. 9). The word Acosta used was stridentes, which might literally be translated as ‘rattling’: Acosta, De natura novi orbis, 383.

77 ‘Saepe et audacter errandum, ut aliquando non erretur’: ibid. 2: 25 (bk 4, ch. 9); cf. Acosta, De natura novi orbis libri duo. . . et de procuranda indorum salute, 384.

78 Acosta, De procuranda, ed. and transl. McIntosh, 2: 26 (bk 4, ch. 9); cf. a letter dated Vembar, 31 October 1548, from the Jesuit missionary and author of the first Tamil grammar, Arte da Lingua Malabar (1549), Henrique Henriques, to Ignatius Loyola and his companions, which explains how since he was without an interpreter he relied on a member of his Tamil congregation to repeat his sermon, which he had just attempted to deliver in the local language, so that its content was better understood: ‘digo las palabras en la misma lengua Malavar, y hago que las torne a dezir otro, que es como topaz [sic], para que todos las entendien mejor’: Wicki, J., ed., Documenta Indica (1540–97), 18 vols (Rome, 1948–88), 1: 276–300, at 286–7 (letter 45).

79 Carochi, H., Grammar of the Mexican Language with an Explanation of its Adverbs (1645), ed. and transl. James Lockhart (Stanford, CA, 2001), 25 (ch. 1, section 3).

80 Sanneh, Lamin, Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture, 2nd edn (Maryknoll, NY, 2009).

81 Cabrita, Joel, Text and Authority in the South African Nazaretha Church (Cambridge, 2015); cf., in this volume, eadem, ‘Revisiting “Translatability” and African Christianity: The Case of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion’, 448–75.

82 Karin Veléz, Sebastian Prange and Luke Clossey, ‘Religious Ideas in Motion’, in Douglas Northrop, ed., A Companion to World History (Oxford and Malden, MA, 2012), 352–64, at 357; cf. Trivellato, Francesca, The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno, and Cross-Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period (New Haven, CT, and London, 2009); Ernst, Carl and Lawrence, Bruce, Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order in South Asia and beyond (New York and Basingstoke, 2002); Clossey, Luke, Salvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge, 2008).

83 Clossey, Salvation and Globalization.

84 Gauvin Bailey, ‘Translation and Metamorphosis in the Catholic Ivories of China, Japan and the Philippines, 1561–1800’, in idem, Massing, J.-M. and Vassallo e Silva, N., Marfins no Império Português / Ivories in the Portuguese Empire (Lisbon, 2013), 243–82; the illustration of St Jerome is on page 298.

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Translating Christianity in an Age of Reformations

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