Surrogate Fathers: the Lazarists as Jesuit Successors

I am about to commence a new two year project at University College Dublin, which will examine the European fallout of the Jesuit suppressions commencing in 1759 in Portugal. This project, which is funded by the Irish research Council's Government of Ireland Fellowship, is an extension of the project begun under the auspices of the Vincentian Studies Institute in 2014.

The VSI grant allowed me to collect valuable archival resources in Portugal and Italy. These materials will eventually be integrated into the final product of this research project - a new book provisionally entitled Succeeding the Jesuits: politics, piety and the Congregation of the Mission in the eighteenth century. The 2 year project in UCD includes a significant stay in Germany, where I will gather materials on the former Jesuit establishments in old Palatinate.

In the end, I anticipate to shape a wide-ranging European narrative on the handover of Jesuit buildings and partrimony, not just to the Congregation of the Mission, but to other religious institutes. It is my hope to strengthen this narrative with a solid theoretical pitch, arguing that the dissolution of the Jesuits was not a symbol of the nadir or European Christianity, but rather an intriguing indication of it's adaptability as other clerics sought to preserve and replace the Jesuits' service and ethos.

In January 2016 I head off to Heidelberg, followed by Mannheim and other locations. I shall keep our community of Vincentian scholars abreast of my findings as the project matures.

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Comment by Edward R. Udovic, C.M. on September 11, 2015 at 5:12pm

Congratulations Sean!  My undergraduate honors thesis was on the role of the Marquis of Pombal in the suppression of the Jesuits in Portugal, and his encouragement of a wider suppression.   

Comment by Sean Alexander Smith on October 2, 2015 at 5:44am

Thanks Ed. You'll have to root out your thesis for me to read! I began at UCD yesterday, heading off for research next month. 


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