The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits / Edition 1

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Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) obtained papal approval in 1540 for a new international religious order called the Society of Jesus. Until the mid-1700s the 'Jesuits' were active in many parts of Europe and far beyond. Gaining both friends and enemies in response to their work as teachers, scholars, writers, preachers, missionaries and spiritual directors, the Jesuits were formally suppressed by Pope Clement XIV in 1773 and restored by Pope Pius VII in 1814. The Society of Jesus then grew until the 1960s; it has more recently experienced declining membership in Europe and North America, but expansion in other parts of the world. This 2008 Companion examines the religious and cultural significance of the Jesuits. The first four sections treat the period prior to the Suppression, while section five examines the Suppression and some of the challenges and opportunities of the restored Society of Jesus up to the present.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Worcester has assembled an impressively eclectic and well-versed group of 17 essayists—Jesuits and non-Jesuits with diverse cultural perspectives and academic specialties. Recommended." —Choice

"The history of the Jesuits is as complex as it is fascinating. Worcester's volume helps us sort it out through a judicious sampling of themes from the founding of the order in 1540 until the present. It will be valuable for both the novice and the specialist." —John O'Malley, University Professor, Georgetown University

"The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits is an unusual and impressive achievement. It combines both breadth and depth of scholarship in a series of studies that consistently hold a reader's interest. The chapters range from Jesuit spirituality to geography to architecture, from history and biography to the arts to politics, from theology to education to science and beyond." —John W. Padberg, S.J., Director, The Institute of Jesuit Sources

"Worcester's is an ambitious and largely successful project and the book deserves to be widely read." —Thinking Faith - the online journal of the British Jesuits,

"... this Cambridge Companion can serve as a useful resource for university courses on the early modern Jesuits ... Students of early modern history will discover several gems among the comprehensive essays, which not only inform but also reveal deeper points of significance. ... The volume's sampling of Jesuit priorities and activities is impressive ... It sends readers beyond textbook generalisations about the Society to acquire a sense of its rich complexity. The essays not only inform but also have the potential of engendering new research into Jesuit history." —Church History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521673969
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2008
  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Religion Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 374
  • Sales rank: 546,444
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Worcester is Associate Professor of History, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, USA.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Thomas Worcester; Part I. Ignatius of Loyola: 1. The religious milieu of the young Ignatius Lu Ann Homza; 2. Five personae of Ignatius of Loyola J. Carlos Coupeau; 3. The spiritual exercises Philip Endean; Part II. European Foundations of the Jesuits: 4. Jesuit Rome and Italy Paul Murphy; 5. The society of Jesus in the three kingdoms Thomas McCoog; 6. Jesuit dependence on the French monarchy Thomas Worcester; 7. Women Jesuits? Gemma Simmonds; 8. Jesuits in Poland and Eastern Europe Stanislaw Obirek; Part III. Geographic and Ethnic Frontiers: 9. The Jesuit enterprise in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Japan M. Antoni J. Üçerler; 10. Jesuits in China Nicolas Standaert; 11. The Jesuits in New France Jacques Monet; 12. Racial and ethnic minorities in the Society of Jesus Thomas Cohen; Part IV. Arts and Sciences: 13. Jesuit architecture in colonial Latin America Gauvin Alexander Bailey; 14. The Jesuits and the quiet side of scientific revolution Louis Caruana; Part V. Jesuits in the Modern World: 15. The suppression and restoration Jonathan Wright; 16. Jesuit schools in the USA, 1814-ca.1970 Gerald McKevitt; 17. Jesuit theological discourse since Vatican II Mary Ann Hinsdale; 18. Jesuits today Thomas Worcester.

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