Accounting and pastoral power. The contribution of accounting techniques to reinstating the power of the Church in the XV century The work aims at analysing the role of accounting in the religious context, assessing its role as a tool for the exercise of power. The authors apply Foucault’s concept of "pastoral power" (2001, 2007) to the XV century Diocese of Ferrara. Analysing original Latin-written documents, they show how accounting was a fundamental tool to reinforce the cornerstones of the Christian pastorate: salvation, law and truth. Accounting provided information on the whole diocese and on every parish, eased the subjugation of each priest to the authority of the bishop and fuelled the analysis of the priest’s soul, allowing the bishop to fulfil his truth. As a result, accounting was a valuable technology of power to mould human behaviour, consistent with the exercise of power by the bishop. Thus, it was a fundamental tool to reinstate the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
Keywords: Accounting, Roman Catholic Church, Foucault, Pastoral Power, Reform, Control.