Conference on the Company of Jesus
Few themes are so closely in keeping with the institutional statutes of the Fundação Oriente as Portuguese missionary activities in the Far East. The Company of Jesus played an unrivalled role in establishing ties of cooperation between different peoples, raising awareness about far distant lands, in the literacy of thousands of people and in the broad recognition of the existence of a linguistically plural world. The Company of Jesus, perhaps more so than any other religious order or indeed kingdom, revealed the West to the East while bringing back to Europe new ways of looking at the world. At the “Company of Jesus and its Missionaries in the East” seminar, American, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and French specialists got the opportunity to contrast their perspectives on the role of Portuguese missionaries. The overall objective reached was that rather than exporting western culture to the Far East, the Company of Jesus played an overwhelming role as a means for communication between peoples previously unaware of the other.