Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the role of letters and written communication in the first decades of the Society of Jesus. Particular attention is given to the work of Juan Alfonso de Polanco, the first permanent Jesuit secretary in Rome and the architect of the Jesuit communications system. The chapter first explores the structural role of the Roman hub, Jesuit record-keeping practices and the creation of the Roman archive, and the place of the college network in Jesuit communications. It then turns to explore the evolution of Jesuit administrative correspondence, edifying letters, and mission letters. Emphasis is placed on the materiality of Jesuit letters and the scale of scribal production in the early Society. Letters were important tools of identity formation and both regulated and mediated Jesuit social activity. In conclusion, the chapter considers how the Jesuit communications network intersected with broader Jesuit knowledge practices.

Keywords: Jesuit, letters, correspondence, record-keeping, Polanco, mission, colleges, Rome, archive, scribal production

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.