Historia Domus, literally translated as “house history” or “family history,” has been a customary diary within Jesuit communities that records some of the notable daily events related to the community. A designated Jesuit was appointed a scribe for this responsibility, and is generally found mentioned within Jesuit catalogues.
These house diaries have evolved as narrativised microhistories of the Jesuit community and apostolates that provide rich insight into Jesuit life and practices. Over the years, the Historia Domus has been effective at establishing and maintaining a set of traditions within the community.
Although the Historia Domus have been diaries related to specific Jesuit communities or houses, the Jesuit’s understanding of domus is much larger. For him, it encompasses the world. This understanding goes back to Jerónimo Nadal1 who in exhorting his fellow Jesuits on their missionary apostolic vow to be able to “travel through the world and to live in any part of it where there is hope of greater service to God and of help of souls”2 formulated the now-popular expression, “the world is our home.”
The expression “the world is our home” fits with the global dimension of Jesuit histories that are as diverse and interconnected as their worldwide apostolic enterprise. It is in these contexts that the Historia Domus is reinvented on the web — “the world its home.”
Illam reputant esse quietissimam atque amoenissimam habitationem, si perpetuo peregrinari, orbem terrarum circumire, nullibi in suo habitare.
Historia Domus draws on the transnational and global character of the Society of Jesus to reveal its intertwining and influence within specific regional spaces — across time. How have these interconnections shaped religion and society in South Asia?
In response to these and related interrogations, Historia Domus brings together a collaborative database that collates resources for research on the Jesuits, as well as on Christianity in South Asia. Historia Domus also collaborates and networks with researchers connected to these themes. It also functions as a communicative portal that disseminates new research to a wider public readership.
Historia Domus brings together a collaborative database that collates resources for research on the Jesuits, as well as on Christianity in South Asia.
- Jerónimo Nadal (1507-1580) was among the first generation of Jesuits and a close aide to Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius entrusted Nadal the task of interpreting the Society’s documents to its members and of whom he remarked: “he altogether knows my mind and enjoys the same authority as myself”.
- Ignatius of Loyola, The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, trans. George E. Ganss (Saint Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996), 129.