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Working in the Vineyard of the Lord

Working in the Vineyard of the Lord: Jesuit Confraternities in Early Modern Italy

Lance Gabriel Lazar
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 330
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  • Book Info
    Working in the Vineyard of the Lord
    Book Description:

    By highlighting the intersection of clergy, elites, and outcast groups,Working in the Vineyard of the Lordilluminates the understanding of religious reform, popular devotion, and changing attitudes toward charity in sixteenth and early seventeenth-century Italy. Lance Lazar's work represents a new look at popular devotion throughout Early Modern Italy and its distillation in confraternal piety.

    Lazar's research sheds new light on the sixteenth-century revolution in charity and poor relief, particularly the aggressive new charity focusing on marginalized groups such as prostitutes and Jews, who were among the earliest foci of Jesuit-inspired intervention. The author also recovers women's roles in reform, as recipients, administrators, and benefactors.

    Working in the Vineyard of the Lordrepresents the first assessment of an entire confraternal network affiliated with a single religious order in the Early Modern period. It also reshapes views of the Jesuits and their ministries by reaffirming the prominence of Jesuit-sponsored lay initiatives, and places the earliest Jesuit confraternities in the context of religious reform, voluntary devotion, and changing attitudes toward charity across Early Modern Europe.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8367-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-1)
  5. [Map]
    (pp. 2-2)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Preparing the Soil: The First Jesuit Confraternities and Poor Relief in Rome
    (pp. 3-36)

    Europeans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were learning new ways of expressing their devotion. Whether looking out to the Baltic, the Atlantic, or the Mediterranean, Early Modern Europeans found new models for the roles and responsibilities of the individual, the church, and the state. Many factors - the advent of printing, the discovery of new worlds and new peoples, the invention of new cosmologies, the permanent establishment of a plurality of Christian theologies and practices, and so on - set Europeans’ most fundamental ideas about their relationship to their neighbours, their world, and their God in flux. Wherever they...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Training the Vine: Reformed Prostitutes and the First Jesuits: The Casa di S. Marta and the Compagnia della Grazia
    (pp. 37-70)

    Following the model of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery in John .8:3-11, Christians have often seen prostitutes as ideal subjects for the exercise of forgiveness, repentance, and conversion. In times of rising anxiety or crisis, reform-minded individuals have tended to tolerate less the presence of prostitutes in the urban environment, and have taken the occasion to advocate for programs designed to remove the perceived causes of prostitution, to provide alternatives for prostitutes, and, thereby, to alleviate the problem. Ignatius of Loyola represents just such a zealous Christian, in that he was shocked by the presence of prostitutes, as...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Protecting the Roots: Daughters of Prostitutes and the First Jesuits: The Compagnia delle Vergini Miserabili di S. Caterina della Rosa
    (pp. 71-98)

    ‘St Philip Neri and St Ignatius established [the conservatory of S. Caterina], which consists of Augustinian nuns, and the orphans and daughters of noble parents, who pay a pension. The orphans are called the children of the institute and the only recommendation for admission is to be poor and an orphan. These are treated like the daughters of the nobles, and are better off than those in the other conservatories.’¹ Thus did the Irish-American priest William Neligan describe the conservatory of S. Caterina in the 1850s, when he was living in Rome. By that time, the conservatory had become little...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Grafting New Shoots: Jewish and Muslim Converts and the First Jesuits: The Casa dei Catecumeni and the Arciconfraternita di S. Giuseppe
    (pp. 99-124)

    Trecento and Quattrocento Italians frequently regarded prostitutes and Jews in a similar light, as performing certain valuable functions within the dominant Christian society. Prostitutes upheld the family by protecting ‘virtuous’ women, by providing a sexual outlet that mediated a later marriage pattern for men, and by warding off homosexuality; Jews supported the poor by providing loans and pawnshops. Despite the services rendered by the two groups, it was axiomatic that they were outside God’s grace. They were accordingly frequently subject to similar forms of legislation, from sumptuary controls and limitations on their place of residence or business to outright expulsion.¹...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Working in the Vineyard: The First Jesuit Confraternities in Italy: Toward a Geographic and Chronological Survey
    (pp. 125-152)

    S. Marta, S. Caterina, and S. Giuseppe were especially renowned among the Jesuits because they reflected Ignatius’s personal ministerial strategy in Rome, but their importance as primary models for subsequent Jesuit ministerial strategy can be appreciated only in the context of their emulation. So an important feature of this chapter is not only to tie together the many threads of Jesuit charitable activity in Italy in the mid-sixteenth century, but also to provide a broad sense of the dimensions and character of that activity. In that way, the deployment of the Roman model will become explicit.

    As noted in chapter...

  11. Abbreviations
    (pp. 153-156)
  12. Appendix 1: Papal Bulls, Briefs, Concessions, and Decrees, and Various Other Documents, Relating to Jesuit Confraternities
    (pp. 157-174)
  13. Appendix 2: Chronology of the Metamorphoses of S. Marta, 1543-78
    (pp. 175-176)
  14. [illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 177-256)
  16. Sources
    (pp. 257-366)
  17. Index
    (pp. 367-377)