This is the first truly global study of the Society of Jesus's
early missions. Up to now historians have treated the early-modern
Catholic missionary project as a disjointed collection of regional
missions rather than as a single world-encompassing example of
religious globalization. Luke Clossey shows how the vast distances
separating missions led to logistical problems of transportation
and communication incompatible with traditional views of the
Society as a tightly centralized military machine. In fact,
connections unmediated by Rome sprung up between the missions
throughout the seventeenth century. He follows trails of personnel,
money, relics and information between missions in
seventeenth-century China, Germany and Mexico, and explores how
Jesuits understood space and time and visualized universal mission
and salvation. This pioneering study demonstrates that a global
perspective is essential to understanding the Jesuits and will be
required reading for historians of Catholicism and the early-modern
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