Isis 96:71-79 (2005)

Within the context of national traditions in colonial science, the scientific activities of Jesuit missionaries present us with a unique combination of challenges. The multinational membership of the Society of Jesus gave its missionaries access to virtually every Portuguese, Spanish, and French colony. The Society was thus compelled to engage an astonishingly diverse array of cultural and natural environments, and that diversity of contexts is reflected in the range and the complexity of Jesuit scientific practices. Underlying that complexity, however, was what I see as a unique combination of institutional structures; namely, European colleges, overseas mission stations, and the regular circulation of personnel and information. With this institutional framework as a backdrop, I briefly trace what I see as the most salient themes emerging from recent studies of Jesuit overseas science: 1) the Societys ability to use scientific expertise to its advantage amid the complex web of dependencies upon which it missionary activities rested; 2) the ability of its missionaries to become intimate with a wide range of cultures and to appropriate natural knowledge held by indigenous peoples, especially in the fields of material medica and geography; and 3) the different ways Jesuits used published accounts of “remote nature” to advance their corporate and religious causes
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/430680
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,719
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Early Jesuit Society's Science of Soul: Reflections on History and Epistemology of Psychology.Paulo José Carvalho da Silva - 2007 - Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science 3:1-10.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
8 ( #918,665 of 2,349,701 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #510,898 of 2,349,701 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes