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date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes the institutional structure of the Society of Jesus and the norms available to guide its members. It discusses its founding normative text, the Constitutions, and all the subsequent additions and debates about it, as well as the way the Jesuits reflected on social organization and legislation in a wide and long historical perspective. In the last section, the chapter turns from lawmaking and prescriptive thought to daily life to evaluate the importance of the legal and institutional framework for each individual Jesuit. The chronological span of the chapter ranges from 1540 up to the twenty-first century, highlighting continuities in Jesuit legal and administrative thought, but also taking into account some key changes that occurred recently.

Keywords: Jesuits, Constitutions, administration, congregations, decrees, law, rules, organization, deviance, disobedience

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