The author studies the information capacity of regulatory documents on the history of the Society of Jesus in East Slavic Region in the late XVI - early XVII cent.
Keywords:Society of Jesus, East Slavic region, regulatory sources on the history of the Society of Jesus, information capacity of documents
These documents belong to the Catholic Church and the Society of Jesus and are numerous and informative. This is caused by the particular characteristics of church and the Society that thoroughly recorded their practices. Documents of the Rome Curia were a way to help the Society in the form of instructions or orders from highest governing body to the subordinate body. They describe plans and joint projects between curia and the Society, allow tracing the establishment of structures of the Society and changes in regulations of the Jesuit activities.
These documents are extremely informative. They share high information capacity for studying the structure and the practices of the Society of Jesus, its territorial structure, internal structure, hierarchy, practices, house retreats establishment and operation, regulation of activities etc. They allow analyzing the nature and the features of Society's efforts, impact on the population and ways to achieve the aims of the Society.
Most of the documents are dated XVI - XVII сent., which was the period of drafting and implementing the Union of Brest. Within the above mentioned period the activities of the Society became more dynamic with the appearance of new possibilities for achieving its objectives. Main languages of the documents are Latin and Polish. There are documents in Russian and Italian as well.
These documents are really important for studying the reasons of success of the Society in religious influence and dissemination of Catholicism as they allow analyzing the methods of the Jesuit activities, regulation of the Jesuit's actions, methods of teaching obedience and ways to create a positive image of the Society among citizens.
Most of the documents contain assessment naturally provided from the point of view of the Society itself. However, a self-assessment of the efforts and the achievements in the above mentioned sources does not reflect a real influence on different spheres of life, impact and results of the activities of the Society for the region. The most plausible information in these sources is the one which describes peculiarities of houses and actions of the Jesuits. Qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the Jesuit activities assessment require revision and comparison with the sources of non-Jesuit nature.Some documents belonging to the types described were not much used or lacked analyzing by scholars. That is why their use for characterizing the activities of the Society in the region will ensure better understanding of the fields of interest for the Society, methods of religious influence on the society and the role of the Society in the region.
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