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Conflicting Jesuit Identities: Between Rome and Spanish Royal Patronage

Thu, March 22, 9:00 to 10:30am, Hilton Riverside Complex, Quarter Deck Room C

Abstract

Jesuits have been studied as agents in the expansion of the early-modern empires and as important actors in the political life of the Spanish monarchy. However, we know very little about how they mediated and represented the different interests of the Monarchy and the central administration in Rome. I will examine how local Jesuit actors in colonial New Spain reconciled their potentially conflicting identities as representatives of both these powers. Taking a vow of obedience to the pope and working in the territories of the Spanish crown made the Jesuits the agents of two great powers, whose interests over the New World often clashed. Thus in relation to the education and evangelization of their new subjects, there were confrontations between the central government of the Jesuits in Rome, and the Spanish crown. I intend to study the tensions between the two powers from an actor-based perspective: Nicolás de Arnaya (1557-1623).

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