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A Jewish Jesuit in the Eastern Mediterranean

A Jewish Jesuit in the Eastern Mediterranean
Early Modern Conversion, Mission, and the Construction of Identity

$99.99 (C)

  • Publication planned for: January 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108485340

$ 99.99 (C)
Hardback

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About the Authors
  • In A Jewish Jesuit in the Eastern Mediterranean, Robert Clines retraces the conversion and missionary career of Giovanni Battista Eliano, the only Jewish-born member of the Society of Jesus. He highlights the lived experience of conversion, and how converts dealt with others' skepticism of their motives. Clines uses primary sources, including Eliano's personal letters, missionary reports, and autobiography, together with scholarship on conversion in the early modern Mediterranean world to illustrate how false and sincere conversion often mirrored each other in outward performance. Devout converts were not readily taken at face value and needed to prove themselves in the moment and over the course of their lifetimes. Consequently, Eliano's story underscores that the mystical, introspective nature of religious belief and the formulation of new spiritual selves came into direct confrontation with the ways in which converts needed to present themselves to others in an age of political and religious turmoil.

    • Engages with the experiences of converts in the early modern Mediterranean and beyond, and the larger implications of conversion for the identities of individuals and societies
    • Analyses primary sources, including Eliano's personal letters, missionary reports, and autobiography, together with scholarship on conversion in the early modern Mediterranean world
    • Uses the story of individual interpersonal interactions to introduce the reader to the larger scholarship of the early modern Mediterranean
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Robert Clines’s informed and sensitive reconstruction of Gian Battista Eliano’s life asks critical questions about early modern conversion: how it was felt, constructed, and revisited. This case study comprehends the full complexity of early modern conversion and the many anxieties, enthusiasms, and suspicions it engendered. It shows how conversion remained a lifelong event, requiring converts to negotiate and renegotiate their past lives and also their new selves, constantly proving loyalty amid unstable circumstances and shifting affiliations. In examining how Eliano crossed many borders of faith, region, and community, Clines also shows us more broadly how to see early modern selfhood.' Emily Michelson, University of St Andrews

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: January 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108485340
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2020
  • Table of Contents

    1. Becoming a Jewish Jesuit: Eliano's early years
    2. Jesuit missionary or Jewish renegade? Eliano's confrontation with his Jewish past
    3. Jesuit anti-Judaism and the fear of Eliano's Jewishness on the first mission to the Maronites of Lebanon
    4. Textual transmission, pastoral ministry, and the re-fashioning of Eliano's intellectual training
    5. Revisiting Eliano's Jewishness on his return to Egypt
    6. The Coptic mission, Mediterranean geopolitics, and the mediation of Eliano's Jewish and Catholic identities
    7. Eliano's reconciliation with his Jewishness in his later years.

  • Author

    Robert Clines, Western Carolina University
    Robert John Clines is a scholar of the history and culture of the early modern Mediterranean world. A recipient of a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, he has also held fellowships from the US-Italy Fulbright Commission, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the University of Cambridge.

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