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Abstract

This thesis examines the construction of a specific idea about the term of "Accommodatio". The first Jesuit missionaries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries used it to describe a "program" of missionization intended to propagate the Christian religion to other great civilizations, preserving the Christian identity while allowing variations to enhance the local culture. The investigation concludes that the construction of the "unitary" term has been heavily influenced by contemporary debates about the foreign relations of the English and American empires, and their political preoccupations, and by trying to uncover specific textual evidence for the construction of the term, it manages to appear like a historical reality in the English language. However, determining a step-by-step program guide is not easy because the process of the accommodation process remains very flexible and depends on the culture in which each Jesuit worked. In the end, it is possible to say that "Accommodatio" was a unitary process and these examples were unified by the fact that it allowed Jesuit actors to integrate into these societies and to act in "insider" roles recognized as if they were members of these societies. These have often had unintended political and cultural consequences that have led to the rejection of Jesuit synthesis in European and indigenous cultures. Thus, it is better for scholars and Jesuits in the modern period to avoid attempts to create programmatic lists for the process, and instead to recognize its inherently fluid nature as an idea.

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