Jesuit on the Roof of the World: Ippolito Desideris Mission to Tibet

Hardcover | November 25, 2009

byTrent Pomplun

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Jesuit on the Roof of the World is the first full-length study in any language of Ippolito Desideri (1684-1733), a Jesuit explorer and missionary who traveled in Tibet from 1715 to 1721. Based on close readings of a wide range of primary sources in Tibetan, Italian, and Latin, Jesuit on the Roof of the World follows Desideri's journey across the great Western deserts of Tibet, his entry into the court of the Mongol chieftain Lhazang Khan, and his flight across Eastern Tibet duringthe wars that shook Tibet during the early-eighteenth century. While telling of these harrowing events, Desideri relates the dramatic encounter between his Jesuit philosophy and the scholasticism of the Geluk monks; the personal conflict between his own Roman Catholic beliefs and his appreciation ofTibet religion and culture; and the travails of a variety of colorful characters whose political intrigues led to the invasion of Zunghar Mongols of 1717 and the establishment of the Chinese protectorate in 1720. As the Tibetans fought among themselves, the missionary waged his own war against demons, sorcerers, and rival scholastic philosophers. Towering over all in the mind of the missionary was the "fabulous idol" Avalokitesvara and its embodiment in the Sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso. In describinghis spiritual warfare against the Tibetan "pope," the missionary offers a unique glimpse into theological problem of the salvation of non-Christians in early modern theology; the curious-and highly controversial-appeal of Hermetic philosophy in the Asian missions; the political underbelly of theChinese Rites Controversy; and the persistent European fascination with the land of snows.

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From the Publisher

Jesuit on the Roof of the World is the first full-length study in any language of Ippolito Desideri (1684-1733), a Jesuit explorer and missionary who traveled in Tibet from 1715 to 1721. Based on close readings of a wide range of primary sources in Tibetan, Italian, and Latin, Jesuit on the Roof of the World follows Desideri's journey ...

Trent Pomplun is Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland. His research interests include late medieval and early modern Catholicism, missions history, and Indo-Tibetan religion and culture. Jesuit on the Roof of the World is his first book.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 6.1 × 9.29 × 1.1 inPublished:November 25, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195377869

ISBN - 13:9780195377866

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Table of Contents

PrefaceTechnical Notes on Translation and TransliterationChronologyIntroduction: Snow and Mirrors1. Jesuit Phantasia2. From Rome to Lhasa3. Tibetan Religion in Theological Perspective4. The Zunghar Invasion5. The Fight with the Friars6. Compositio Loci: TibetAbbreviations Used in NotesNotesSelect BibliographyIndex