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Back Book Title Macao’s College and Church of St. Joseph, Splendour of the Baroque in China

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Macao’s College and Church of St. Joseph, Splendour of the Baroque in China
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- Cesar Guillen-Nunez (Ed) Colin Day
- Macau
- Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government, Macao
- 9789993703396
- 2017
- xx, 200p. Include Index ; Bibliography
- 530 gms.
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The book has been in preparation for many years and is finally published by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macau S.A.R., in collaboration with the MRI, after detailed research of new sources by the author. Its main topic, the Jesuit College and Church of St. Joseph--today better known as the Seminary of St. Joseph--is arguably the most important 18th century building of the early Society of Jesus in China and certainly the most important in Macau. The Church of St. Joseph is one of four major churches built by the Jesuits in Qing Dynasty China during what came to be known as the Age of Enlightenment. These structures were designed and built when the Baroque style in art and architecture was in its last phase. Nevertheless, it continued to flourish with particular strength in Spanish and Portuguese Latin America. As the College and Church of St Joseph show, the same is true of Macao. The book is divided into two main parts. The first offers a historical perspective that looks at the Enlightenment and at the influence on French and other intellectuals, such as Leibniz, by the Jesuits of the China mission. The second and main part deals with the iconography of St. Joseph, as well as the architecture of the building and studies not only its plans but also its interior decoration and religious art. The great relevance of the historical section of the first part is only too evident when the havoc caused by the 1750s Great Lisbon Earthquake is compared to the fierce typhoons, hurricanes and earthquakes that have ripped through Macau, the U.S.A. and Mexico in recent weeks. It was the indirect cause of the expulsion of the Jesuits from Macau and of the bitter philosophical debates among theists, deists and atheists that started soon after the Great Lisbon Earthquake and which have continued with equal intensity up to our own days.

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