The theme of Christian missions in America, Asia, or Africa belongs to those relatively amply studied within the frame of early modern history, especially with regard to the history of European overseas expansion. However, the questions that historians have posed to the plentiful and diverse sources have for a long time been simple and monotonous. Research has focused on biographic details, on the exotic settings of mission regions and their descriptions by missionaries, or on the fact that missions opened the path for the explorations and colonization of the newly discovered continents.
Only in the second half of the 20th century, as a result of new approaches in historical studies, have historians begun to pose new questions to these notoriously known sources. Within the frame of such methodological innovations as transnational history or Atlantic history, the Catholic and Protestant missionary societies have been presented as examples of transnational communities, that is, communities composed of members of various origins, spread over the globe, creating and reinforcing their identities through specific discourse and rituals.
The present text deals with a specific group of missionaries: members of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, from a specific region – Central Europe, more specifically from lands of the Bohemian Crown – and in a specific location – the possessions of Spain in America, in particular the northern frontier of the Viceroyalty of New Spain (contemporary Mexico) where many of those missionaries from Central Europe were engaged in the period 1680–1767.
The theme of Christian missions in America, Asia, or Africa belongs to those relatively amply studied within the frame of early modern history, especially with regard to the history of European