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date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the links between the “old” and the “new” Society, as forged through the writing of history. More specifically, it focuses on the historiographical methods that were theorized and put into practice by French and Canadian Jesuit historians, active between the 1830s and the 1920s, in studying the history of their seventeenth- and eighteenth-century predecessors, with special attention to the writing of the history of the Canadian missions. The bibliographical and historiographical laboratory from which inventories (and categories) of sources, as well as general or specialized studies, were produced emerges by looking at both the correspondence of Jesuit historians and missionaries and their published works. Thus are revealed the constraints weighing on historical projects, the overlap between different objects and scales of analysis (the general history of the Order; histories of assistancies, missions, residences, etc.; the relationship with national history and history of empires), the blurred boundaries between hagiography and history (especially within the genre of life writing), and the necessary adjustments to different readerships.

Keywords: Jesuits, Canada, history, biography, hagiography, bibliography, missions, archives, national history, colonial history

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