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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reconstructs the political constraints on the Jesuits who were circulating across Africa, America, and Asia from the mid-sixteenth through the twentieth century. The first missionaries acted under the royal patronages that the papacy had granted the crowns of Portugal and Spain over their oceanic empires. This legal and institutional framework, which had a deep influence on the Jesuit missions, was increasingly challenged by the papal claim to take back full control of the overseas church. The creation of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in 1622 led to an open competition with the Iberian royal patronages, bringing about serious conflict between the Jesuits and the newly appointed apostolic vicars. The chapter analyzes the backgrounds and effects of these global tensions, including their slow epilogue in the aftermath of the reconstitution of the Society of Jesus in 1814.

Keywords: Jesuits, royal patronage, Portuguese empire, Spanish empire, Propagation of the Faith, apostolic vicars, rites controversy, Tridentine decrees, native clergy

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