The Dress of Evangelization: Jesuit Garments, Liturgical Textiles, and the Senses
This article is scheduled to be published in June 2020
This paper considers the use of textiles for evangelization in the Catholic sixteenth-century mission carried out in Japan by the Society of Jesus, focusing in particular on clothes, by applying the theoretical underpinnings of the concept of dress. It analyses the Jesuits garments and textiles by framing them as nonverbal communication, establishing what type of meaning they were meant to carry. It also attempts to establish if this message was received, how it was interpreted, and how it was then fine-tuned in accordance with the specific context in communication took place. The modifications that dress operated on the religious bodies of the missionaries too are examined, to delineate their limits and effectiveness, together with the influence that they had on the soul through the senses.