In this ambitious and pioneering work, Catherine Foisy puts the experiences of Quebec missionaries into perspective, describing the ways in which they interweave with the socio-ecclesiastical transformations peculiar to Quebec and with those of Catholicism in mission countries. This tapestry, extending to the four corners of the world, gives the reader a view of missionary work as a site of intercultural encounter and conversion, as revealed through the voices of its actors. These accounts offer an opportunity to gauge the extent to which twentieth-century missionary work provided fertile ground for the emergence, deployment, and transfer of socio-ecclesiastical innovations that would prove decisive for the future of global Christianity. On the strength of its multidisciplinary approach and transnational analysis, this book documents various aspects of the Quebec missionary experience as it successively prospered, reached a zenith, and went into decline. By revisiting Lionel Groulx's 1962 work on the Quebec missionary experience from the standpoint of those who actually took part in it, this book gives readers a new vantage on a whole area of Quebec history even as it sheds light on a rich religious heritage, both tangible and intangible. Finally, this book is an opportunity for readers to reacquaint themselves with certain characteristics of societies within larger societies that enable them to foster the emergence of intercultural encounters and dialogue in a globalized context.
Catherine Foisy is professor of Christianity and religious studies at l'Université du Québec à Montréal.