Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

The Mission of the Portuguese Augustinians to Persia and beyond (1602-1747)

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

The Mission of the Portuguese Augustinians to Persia and beyond (1602-1747)

Article excerpt

The Mission of the Portuguese Augustinians to Persia and Beyond (1602-1747).

By John M. Flannery. Leiden: Brill, 2013. Pp. xi, 286. 112 [euro]/$156.

Studies abound of various Catholic orders involved in mission, but this volume addresses an important and under-researched area. The Mission of the Portuguese Augustinians to Persia and Beyond opens space for reflection on a little-known group and its mission ventures in Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The book's ten chapters are packed with information on the Augustinian order and its mission to Persia. The only criticism may be that the studies sometimes suffer from too much detail individually and too little cohesion with one another. The first five chapters explore the Augustinian presence in the Persian capital of Isfahan, a topic worthy of a book in itself. John Flannery locates this mission within the larger history of the Portuguese Padroado, which placed "ecclesiastical patronage in the hands of the Portuguese monarchs" (9), lasting in one form or another until 1999, when Macao shifted from Portuguese to Chinese rule.

Chapters 6-10 include a focus on Augustinian contacts with Armenian Christianity, Catholic missions to the Mandeans of Iraq, Augustinian jurisdiction issues in Basra, the Augustinian mission to Georgia, and a valuable final chapter of reflections on the mission's relationship with political power and methods. …

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