Book Cover
Author Selwyn, Jennifer D., 1962- author

Title A paradise inhabited by devils : the Jesuits' civilizing mission in early modern Naples / Jennifer D. Selwyn
Published Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2016
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Series Bibliotheca Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu
Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700
Bibliotheca Instituti Historici S.I.
Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700.
Contents 1. A paradise inhabited by devils -- 2. 'Planting many virtues there' : early Jesuit missions in Naples, 1550-1620 -- 3. Reverberations from the New World -- 4. 'Use every means that you will judge opportune' : instructions to Jesuit missionaries -- 5. Taming the beast : confronting discord in early modern Naples -- 6. Perfecting one's craft : Jesuit missionary theater in Naples
Summary In recent years much scholarly attention has been focused on the encounter of cultures during the early modern period, and the global implications that such encounters held. As a result of this work, scholars have now begun to re-evaluate many aspects of early culture contact, not least with respect to Christian missionary activities. Prominent amongst the missionaries were members of the Society of Jesus. Emerging as a dynamic new religious order in the wake of the Reformation, the Jesuits were deeply committed to promoting religious and cultural reforms both within Europe and in non-Christian lands. Yet whilst scholars have revealed much about the Jesuits' innovative educational endeavours, and their numerous missions to the Americas, Asia and the Sub-Continent, less attention has been paid to the nature of the Jesuits' global civilizing mission as a key feature of their institutional character. Nor has sufficient work been done to fully explain the relationship between the Jesuits' efforts to evangelize and civilize those areas within the Catholic fold and those without. Taking as its focus the city of Naples, this study illuminates how the Jesuits' work in a Catholic European setting reflected their broader global civilizing mission. Despite its Catholic heritage, Naples was popularly perceived as a place of spiritual and social disorder, thus providing an irresistible challenge to religious reformers, such as the Jesuits, who sought to 'civilize' the city. Drawing in considerable numbers of the order, Naples proved to be a training ground for the Jesuits that shaped the order's missionary praxis and influenced the thinking of many who would later travel further afield. By gaining a fuller understanding of this process, it is possible to better understand what drove the Jesuits to craft and perpetuate a cultural map that continues to resonate down to our own times. This book is published in conjunction with the Jesuit Historical Institute series 'Bibliotheca Instituti Historici Societatis Iesu'
Notes Co-published with Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu (Rome)
Originally published 2004 by Ashgate Publishing
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Online resource; title from PDF title page (EBSCO, viewed March 31, 2017)
Subject Jesuits -- Missions -- Italy -- Naples -- History -- 16th century.
Jesuits -- Missions -- Italy -- Naples -- History -- 17th century.
Missionaries -- Italy -- Naples -- History -- 16th century.
Missionaries -- Italy -- Naples -- History -- 17th century.
Missions -- Italy -- Naples -- History -- 16th century.
Missions -- Italy -- Naples -- History -- 17th century.
Naples (Italy) -- Church history.
Naples (Italy) -- History -- 1503-1734.
Naples (Italy) -- Social conditions.
Naples (Italy) -- Social life and customs.
Genre/Form Church history.
Form Electronic book
Author Jesuit Historical Institute.
ISBN 1315263793
1351962124 (electronic bk.)
9781351962124 (electronic bk.)