During the early modern age religious orders had to interpret papal strategies and directives in international politics in the light of a substantial ambiguity. They were loyal subjects of the pope, but also trusted agents and advisers of princes. They were operatives of the Holy See and, at the same time, of strategies not necessarily in line with Roman guidelines. This ambiguity resulted in conflicts, both overt and latent, between obedience to the pope and obedience to the sovereign, between membership in a universal religious order and individual «national» origins and personal ties, between observance of Roman directives and the need to maintain good relations with the authorities of the territory in which the religious orders lived and worked.
This book aims to examine, through a series of case studies not only in Europe but also America and the Middle East, the roles played by religious orders in the international politics of the Holy See. It seeks to determine the extent to which the orders were mere objects or instruments; whether they were able to give life, more or less openly, to autonomous strategies, and for what reasons; and what awareness of their own identity groups or individuals developed in relation to the influences of international politics in an age of conflict.
- Massimo Carlo Giannini, Introduction (p. 9-15)
- Boris Jeanne, The Franciscans of Mexico. Tracing Tensions between Rome and Madrid in the provincia del Santo Evangelio (1454-1622) (p. 17-28)
- Benoist Pierre, Religious, the Pope, and the Kings of France during the Wars of Religion (p. 29-45)
- Esther Jiménez Pablo, The Evolution of the Society of Jesus during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: an Order that Favoured the Papacy or the Hispanic Monarchy? (p. 47-65)
- Aurélien Girard, Impossible Independence or Necessary Dependency? Missionaries in the Near East, the “Protection” of the Catholic States, and the Roman Arbitrator (p. 67-94)
- Massimo Carlo Giannini, Three General Masters for the Dominican Order: The Ridolfi Affaire between International Politics and Faction Struggle at the Papal Court (1642-1644) (p. 95-144)
- Ignasi Fernández Terricabras, Surviving between Spain and France: Religious Orders and the Papacy in Catalonia (1640-1659) (p. 145-164)
- Tomáš Parma, “Bishops Are not Necessary for Reform”. Religious Orders in the Catholic Reconquista of Bohemia and Moravia: Two Case Studies (p. 165-181)
- Gaetano Platania, Two Religious Orders in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Poland: The Jesuits and the Arrival of the Capuchin Friars (p. 183-209)
- Antal Molnár, Bosnian Franciscans between Roman Centralisation and Balkan Confessionalisation (p. 211-229)
- Index (p. 231-250)
- Contributors (p. 251)