The spanish contribution to the debate on the jesuit doctrine of blind obedience during the pontificate of Sixtus V (1585-1590)

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Abstract

This article deals with the Spanish contribution to the debate that took place during the pontificate of Sixtus V (1585-90) about the Jesuit doctrine of blind obedience and their dogmatic and theological implications. From the analysis of Spanish and Italian archival sources, threshed critical arguments against this doctrine and personality of its authors, mostly conversos. It then moves into a broader context by inserting these debates in the difficult situation of those years for the Society of Jesus: the revolt of the Spanish memorialists, Felipe II pressure to make the visit of the Society, the will of Sixtus V to control more the Jesuits, the role of Spanish and Roman Inquisitions in this political game... Finally it analyzes the two-way solution that emerged: known Robert Bellarmine's treaties about blind obedience, and especially the father Ribadeneira's failed attempt to offer to the General Aquaviva the biography of Diego Lainez as a model of blind obedience and unity in this critical context. The conclusions emphasize the uniqueness of the Spanish contribution and note how the doctrine of blind obedience, beyond the internal boundaries of the Company, became one of the foundations of antijesuitism. © 2013. Universidad de Valladolid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-88
JournalInvestigaciones Historicas
Volume33
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Blind obedience
  • Conscience
  • Conversos
  • Diego lainez
  • Society of jesus

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