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Historia y grafía

versión impresa ISSN 1405-0927


FECHNER, Fabian. “When When I gave the Order to You, I Didn’t Take the Prudence from You” Applied Obedience in Local Administration and the Treatises’ Writing. The Case of the Jesuits in Paraguay. Hist. graf [online]. 2017, n.49, pp.23-56. ISSN 1405-0927.

This article focuses the analysis of the Jesuit concept of obedience with an praxeological approach rather than a normative point of view. The Society of Jesus is normally known as a monolithic institution, based on the principles of centralism and obedience. The article seeks to change this assumption in two ways, with the example of the Province of Paraguay. Firstly, the administrative structures of a province will be analyzed to reconstruct the numerous possibilities for autonomous decision making. Secondly, in an ascetical tract about good governance in religious orders (“The new superior,” 1750) the Paraguayan ex-provincial Antonio Machoni nearly omits the concept of obedience, strengthening instead superiors’ prudence. The article’s main suggestion is that in practical administration obedience is by far less crucial than in polemics or in Jesuit self-perception.

Palabras llave : obedience; Jesuits; local knowledge; administration; Antonio Machoni; Paraguay.

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