Robert John Clines

Robert John Clines

Jesse Howard Jr./Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize
September 12, 2016–July 31, 2017
Profession
Assistant Professor, Department of History, Western Carolina University
Project title
The Culture of Conversion: A Jewish Jesuit in the Early Modern Mediterranean
Project description

My research project is an exploration of the life of Giovanni Battista Eliano (1530–1589), the only Jewish-born member of the Society of Jesus. I am using Eliano’s experiences in order to question to what extent religious conversion in the early modern Mediterranean was more than a moment of crossing or a process of belonging, but was a complex and pervasive cultural problem that forced converts and nonconverts alike to grapple with their own unsettling religious identities and to articulate where they stood vis-à-vis their respective religious identities as well as one another. During my year at the American Academy in Rome, I will consult Eliano’s official correspondence and personal papers held in the Jesuit archive in Rome, and I will continue writing the book manuscript.