TAPSA: "Catholic Selves and Tamil Poetry in the 18th Century"

Margherita Trento

In the 1720s, the Jesuit missionary Carlo Michele Bertoldi (1662-1740) introduced the practice of Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises in the Madurai mission, and organized many retreats for converts and catechists in the village of Avur (Tiruchirappalli). Around the same years, his colleague and savant Costanzo Giuseppe Beschi (1680-1747) started a school of classical Tamil in the village of Elakkuricci (Tanjavur district), for the education of his catechists. In this presentation, I analyze these two local enterprises, and the texts produced in that context — especially Bertoldi’s Ñāṉamuyaṟci, the first adaptation of the Spiritual Exercises into Tamil, and Beschi’s Tirukkāvalūr kalampakam — in order to reflect upon the relationship between Tamil literature and strategies for shaping Catholic selves in the early eighteenth century.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 5:00pm
Foster 103