By Kind Permission of
His Excellency Manuel Lobo Antunes
The Portuguese Ambassador
For years, he was the solitary Portuguese student at Oxford. Then the only teacher. For over 50 years he has been one of the most dedicated advocates of Portuguese Studies in the UK and a long time friend and supporter of The Anglo-Portuguese Society.
Professor Tom Earle, Formerly King John II Professor of Portuguese, emeritus Fellow of St Peter’s College visits us on the 5th September to talk about the role of Portuguese Jesuits in 16th Century Japan.
Martin Scorcese's recent film, 'Silence' (December 2016), reminds us of the extraordinary adventure which was the Jesuit mission to Japan in the sixteenth century. Indeed at the world premiere of 'Silence', which was held at the Vatican, Pope Francis joked that its star Andrew Garfield, who plays one of the Portuguese Jesuit Missionaries searching for their mentor, deserved to be ordained.
Christians, Buddhists and Shintoists met and achieved a degree of mutual understanding, before everything ended in the disaster which some of the Portuguese seem to have anticipated. Just as today, the mission engaged the attention of writers and artists, because it was one of those rare moments in world history when two advanced civilizations interacted on more or less equal terms.
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