Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (PhD)

Degree Level



Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies


Luis F. Restrepo

Committee Member

Dorothy Stephens

Second Committee Member

Elizabeth Markham


Literature, Philosophy, Religion and theology, Social sciences, Early modern, England, Japan, Jesuits, Paraguay, Postcolonialism


From its founding, the Society of Jesus was globally minded, and Iberian imperial and mercantile expansion during the early modern period granted Jesuit missionaries unprecedented access to the globe through navigation. With its unique emphasis on both global missions and pedagogy, the Society of Jesus was in an ideal position to both generate and disseminate knowledge about the world. As missionaries scattered across the globe constructed the identity of the ethnic and cultural Other encountered on mission in the East and in Latin America, Jesuit missionaries and scholars, both at home and abroad, likewise attempted to construct a global Catholic identity, merging the realities of Catholicism in a post-Reformation Europe with the possibilities of the global mission. In this way, although the Catholic communities established throughout the Jesuit global mission geographically spanned oceans, they were conceptually ever present. This study will analyze texts produced on early modern Jesuit missions in England, Japan and Paraguay as well as works retrospectively considering these missions, such as the Latin musical drama Mulier fortis, in order to better understand the ideological, political and rhetorical strategies of early modern Jesuit missionaries and scholars as they conceptualized the cultural complexities of the world around them and attempted to cull out a universal global Catholic identity from such vast diversity.