The common feature of the essays by Morales, Melai and Bianchini, presented at the seminar La Compaˇnia de Jesús y la cultura del siglo XVIII (Instituto Internacional Xavier Maria de Munibe, Azkoitia, 26-27 June 2009) is their focus on the history of the Jesuit Order in the late eighteenth century, before and after its suppression. The analysis is centred on three significant aspects: the missionary strategy in the Reducciones of Paraguay, described in a contemporary text, the teaching experiences of former jesuits in France and the defense of the Society’s evangelizing practice in Spanish America. The debate on the Society of Jesus was one ot the main topics discussed by the Enlightenment culture. This debate, apart from its polemical purposes, touched on a more general subject, the nature of the early moderna State. The three essays printed here show that monarchical absolutism reflected a strong limk between religion and politics.
Keywords: Society of Jesus, missionary practice, enlightenment, Spanish Monarchy, South America, education.