Jesuit relations

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Jesuit relations

  1. 1. Jesuit Relations<br />Crystal Hawkins<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Jesuits were members of the order of the Society of Jesus.<br />They vowed to live lives of poverty and obedience, dedicating themselves to their religion.<br />Nearly all Jesuit missionaries were college teachers at one point.<br />The Society of Jesus was founded in 1534 by a former soldier.<br />
  3. 3. Introduction<br />Jesuit Relations, as a book, is a compilation of the writings of various Jesuits regarding their experiences among the Huron, Iroquois, and Algonquian.<br />Their writings were detailed and thorough, though biased.<br />The reports discuss everything from evangelical matters to disease and outbreaks of war.<br />
  4. 4. Chapter One<br />Father Paul le Jeune (1592 – 1664) was the author of the first published relation.<br />His writing was spurred by his fascination with the native cultures and the way in which they interacted with nature.<br />His goal among the native peoples was to improve his knowledge of their customs and language, as well as to further the reach of Christianity.<br />
  5. 5. Chapter One<br />Among the beliefs of the Algonquian peoples was that there were two gods, one who made the world, and a second who restored it.<br />They also believed that everything, from trees to rivers to birds had a soul or spirit.<br />Tradition forbade the punishment or chastisement of children.<br />The laws of the Algonquian people often followed the laws of nature.<br />
  6. 6. Chapter Two<br />Jean de Brebeuf spent the majority of his time among the Huron.<br />He noted that the Huron seemed to have no religion.<br />Although some of their stories that he had translated seemed to bear a very strong resemblance to scripture.<br />Because de Brebeuf spent so much time among the Huron, they became one of the best documented tribes, despite having barriers in the language.<br />
  7. 7. Chapter Two<br />One of the Huron stories that relates closely to a biblical story is that of a goddess, Aataentsic, who had two sons which, having quarreled, killed each other.<br />This story resembles that of Cain and Abel.<br />The Huron frequently visited and assisted each other in times of illness.<br />The Huron had a council specifically for the purpose of keeping order and peace among various tribes.<br />
  8. 8. Chapter Three<br />Because of the detailed nature of the relations, there is a precise record of the nature and spread of various diseases, specifically Old World diseases brought by the missionaries and traders to the New World, on the native tribes.<br />The Jesuits knew little of medicine but believed that native ways of curing disease were diabolical or satanic, despite the fact that native methods often did work.<br />Natives believed that disease was not only physical, but also partly spiritual.<br />
  9. 9. Chapter Three<br />When native methods failed to cure the ailing, Jesuits used the opportunity to preach Christianity.<br />Although many came to be baptized, it was often only when they came very near to death.<br />Very rarely would Jesuits fall prey to native diseases, but even when they did, they almost never died at their cause.<br />When a smallpox epidemic broke out in 1639, many Huron believed that the presence of the Jesuits caused their illness.<br />
  10. 10. Chapter Four<br />The Jesuit missions were often conducted under an atmosphere of tension, shifting alliances, and war between the native tribes.<br />Frequently the French were involved in the tension and shifting of alliances.<br />European weapons, got from trading with the French, did not aid the situation.<br />Because of the frequency and voraciousness of the wars, the Jesuits called the natives “barbarians.”<br />
  11. 11. Chapter Four<br />Many wars were accompanied by many peace treaties.<br />These treaties were often celebrated with feasts and ceremonies.<br />Regrettably, peace was not long lasting.<br />As the 17th century passed, aggressions were so intense as to cause the destruction of most of the Huron and Jesuits by the Iroquois.<br />Eventually, French Canada would become the strongest power in the region.<br />

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