Jesuit Mission Economics and Plantations in the Caribbean

Author(s): Steve Lenik

Year: 2016


A central objective of the Society of Jesus, known as the Jesuits, that emerged soon after the order’s founding in 1540 was to send out missionaries to establish and maintain communities of indigenous converts to Christianity. The mission emerged as a common institutionalized form to carry out this proselytizing, and has provided a useful analytical unit for archaeological research. However, the Jesuits operationalized other modes of colonization in the Americas including ranches, parishes, and schools, as well as plantations where mission work focused on enslaved Africans. This paper examines the material record of Jesuit plantations in the Caribbean within the wider context of mission economics. This investigates if and how specific Jesuit patterns might be reflected in material culture from plantations, despite the accommodation permitted for the Jesuits, urging them to "be all things to all men," which might obscure existing models once these were manifested in local contexts.

Cite this Record

Jesuit Mission Economics and Plantations in the Caribbean. Steve Lenik. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434378)


Temporal Keywords
17th-18th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 523