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Jesuits: A Multibiography

Overview

In this magisterial account, Jean Lacouture portrays the sweep of five hundred years of world history, from the dungeons of the Vatican to the jungles of South America to the royal courts of Europe and Asia. Jesuits: A Multibiography is history with a human face, the fascinating tales of men of the spirit who participated in the actions and passions of the modern world, a "world bursting its seams." "Be all things to all men," said the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola, to his followers. "Go and set the ...
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Overview

In this magisterial account, Jean Lacouture portrays the sweep of five hundred years of world history, from the dungeons of the Vatican to the jungles of South America to the royal courts of Europe and Asia. Jesuits: A Multibiography is history with a human face, the fascinating tales of men of the spirit who participated in the actions and passions of the modern world, a "world bursting its seams." "Be all things to all men," said the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola, to his followers. "Go and set the world ablaze!" The often picaresque story takes us to the Paris of Rabelais, where Ignatius, with a handful of his fellow students, formed what would become the Society of Jesus. We follow Francis Xavier to Japan and Matteo Ricci to China. We watch as the Society grows into Christendom's most powerful order, and as the "Black Legend" of a calculating, Machiavellian Jesuitry leads to its abolition in 1773 (it was restored forty years later). We see the great characters of history and culture-Pascal, Voltaire, Frederick the Great, Catherine the Great-play their parts. One of Jean Lacouture's most poignant portraits is of the twentieth century's most famous and beloved Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a scientist-priest whose humanistic conclusions put him at odds with the Church. Lacouture's wide-ranging narrative illuminates Pope John XXIII's reforms and the Jesuit-inspired liberation theology movements in Central and South America. With the papacy of John Paul II, a riveting drama unfolds as the Jesuits are brought under new constraints.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Follows 500 years of the order, from its founding by Saint Ignatius to the present, by depicting its most influential members. Oct.
Library Journal
Lacouture, a French journalist and biographer De Gaulle. Vol. 1: The Rebel, 1890-1944, LJ 11/15/90, here presents a series of biographies of prominent Jesuits from the founder, Ignatius of Loyola, down to such modern disciples as Karl Rahner, Daniel Berrigan, and Robert Drinan. Condensed from the two-volume French original, the translation is marred by some inaccuracies and poor word choices. Showing a definite liberal bias and offering anachronistic criticisms, Lacouture writes in an abrasive, journalistic style, speaking of "Church busybodies" and "the noises coming out of Rome," and making no bones about the fact that he disagrees with the exclusion of women from the Roman Catholic priesthood. At the end, Lacouture raises the question of why men would choose to be Jesuits and cannot answer it. He offers a lot of interesting facts but little understanding. Suitable only for the most comprehensive collections.-Augustine J. Curley, Newark Abbey, N.J.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781887178600
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Pages: 564
  • Sales rank: 787,251
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
I The Vagabond and the Inquisitor 3
II The Scholars from Montmartre 35
III "Perinde ac Cadaver" 75
IV Francis Xavier, Orientalist 98
V No Women Need Apply 136
VI The Jews and the Jesuits 161
VII Li Mateou, the Clock, and the Master of Heaven 177
VIII Utopia and the Guarani Republic 227
IX "Expelled Like Dogs" 261
X Wandering in the Desert 298
XI The Second Company 328
XII The Black Legend 348
XIII Incidents at Vichy 378
XIV Obedience and Teilhard 404
XV The Exorcist and the Vatican 438
XVI Justice and Pedro Arrupe 459
XVII The Third Company? 580
Chronology 499
Notes 510
Elements of a Bibliography 523
Index 531
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