Based on a critical empirical application of Foucault’s concept of pastoralism and a genealogical research approach, this article suggests that the Catholic regime that operated in Costa Rica during the Spanish colonial period (16th to 19th centuries), developed an ensemble of distinctive ‘technologies of government’—charity, ceremonial strictness, bio-political control, geo-political rule, and administrative efficiency. Drawing on documentary and archival material, the analysis highlights both the governmental ‘logics’ and the governmental ‘techniques’ of the above technologies, as well as their complex centuries-long operation. The conclusions remark how such a complex ensemble of religious governmental technologies problematizes the synchronicistic and reductionist analyses of religion and politics; historical–institutionalist studies of colonial Catholicism in Latin America; and the compartmentalization of sovereignty, discipline, and apparatuses of security that Foucault originally proposed to account for the historical development of governmentality.
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