Accounting Practices and Religious Orders in Missionary Territories

Conférence, Science, Roma

Università Roma Tre H09:30-18:30
Istituto Svizzero H09:30-13:15

Conférence, Science

Università Roma Tre H09:30-18:30
Istituto Svizzero H09:30-13:15

Accounting Practices and Religious Orders in Missionary Territories

Catholic overseas missions developed in a context of European territorial and commercial expansion. Recent studies have highlighted the significance of missionary involvement in commercial activities both at the global and local levels. The contributions to this conference build on this novel historiography by focusing on a specific type of sources, namely missionary account books. How specific were the missionary accounting practices which were mostly in the hands of regular clerics who were supposed to be devoted to a life in poverty? How did they differ from the practices of other economic agents such as merchants? More broadly, by asking these questions, the purpose is to contribute to the discussion about how to conceive the relation between religious confession and economy and, in particular, the growth and development of capitalism.

Scientific and organizing committee:
Felicita Tramontana, Hélène Vu Thanh, Christian Windler, Rebecca Carnevali, Manuel Capomaccio.

The conference is organized within the ERC Horizon 2020 project ‘HOLYLAB – A global economic organization in the early modern period: The Custody of the Holy Land through its account books (1600–1800)’. In collaboration with Istituto Svizzero and the Department of Early Modern History of the Historical Institute, University of Bern.

The project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Grant Agreement ID 101001857)

Download the program here


WEDNESDAY, 24.01.2024
Political Sciences Department of Università degli Studi di Roma Tre – IV floor
Via Gabriello Chiabrera 199, Roma
Free entrance, register here

H09:30-10.00 ― Felicita Tramontana (Rome), Hélène Vu Thanh (Lorient/Paris), Christian Windler (Bern), Welcome and Introduction

H10:00-10:45 ― Alexander Schunka (Berlin), Money Matters: Fundraising Journeys among European Protestants in the Early Modern Era 

H10:45-11:15 ― Coffee break

H11:15-12:00 ― Christian Windler (Bern), Missionary Economy, Accounting Practices and ‘Glocal’ Entanglements in a Cosmopolitan Port City: The Discalced Carmelites in Basra (Eighteenth Century)

H12:00-12:30 ― Bernard Heyberger (Paris), Comment

H12:30-14:30 ― Break

H14:30-15:15 ― Frederik Vermote (Monterey Bay), The Accounting of Jesuit Missions in China: Fighting over French Financial Assets in Beijing, 1773–1782

15:15-16:00 ― Juan José Rivas Moreno (London), Profit in Piety: The Co-optation of Manila’s Transpacific Trade into Missionary Efforts in Asia, 1733–1797

H16:00-16:30 ― Coffee break

H16:30-17:15 ― Eugenio Menegon (Boston), Center and Periphery: Propaganda Fide’s Accounting Practices in the Eighteenth-Century China Mission (online)

H17:15-18:00 ― Hélène Vu Thanh (Lorient/Paris), Managing Finances at a Global Scale: Examining the Jesuit Japan Mission through its Accounting Documents

H18:00-18:30 ― Gaetano Sabatini (Rome), Comment

THURSDAY, 25.01.2024
Istituto Svizzero
Via Liguria 20, Roma
Free entrance

Registration in presence here
Registration online here

H09:30-10:15 ― Andrew Dial (Jefferson City), Accounting for Failure: Investigating the Lavalette Affair

H10:15-10:45 ― Coffee break

H10:45-11:30 ― Felicita Tramontana (Rome), No Global? The Global Expansion of Catholicism and the Custody of the Holy Land through Franciscan Account Books (Seventeenth Century)

H11:30-12:15 ―Nicolas Rogger (Bern), ‘Spiritual Fathers’ as Secular Bookkeepers: Capuchin Accounting Practices in Europe and the Missions (1600–1800)

H12:15-12:45 ― Simon Ditchfield (York), Comment

H12:45-13:15 ― Final discussion