News in Jesuit Studies

The following are notices of significant events related to the field of Jesuit Studies.
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The newest edition of Cambridge University Press’s Camden Series of annotated primary source documents features “the continental travels of the Irish landowner Henry Piers and his conversion to the Catholic faith in Rome, during the heightened political and confession tensions of the 1590s.” The volume is edited and introduced by Brian Mac Cuarta, SJ, the director of the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu.


Of particular interest in this document are the recollections that Piers has of his encounters with Jesuits in Rome and Spain. For example, as Mac Cuarta notes on the blog of the Royal Historical Society, Piers stayed at Rome’s English College, where, “under Jesuit guidance, he deepened his knowledge of the Catholic faith, and followed the seminary courses in philosophy.”


The volume of “Piers’s account,” Mac Cuarta continues, “adds vivid detail to our understanding of the febrile world of the Elizabethan Catholic exiles in late sixteenth-century Rome, where spies mingled with seminarians, and an appearance before the Inquisition was normal for many northern Europeans.”


Piers’s travels continued into Spain, “where he visited English Jesuit colleges in Valladolid and Seville,” hinting at connections he made through the Jesuit Robert Persons.


More information about Henry Piers’s Continental Travels, 1595–1598–including Mac Cuarta’s helpful introduction and bibliography–is available at the Cambridge University Press website.

Nadine Amsler, of the Goethe University Frankfurt, has published Jesuits and Matriarchs: Domestic Worship in Early Modern China with University of Washington Press.


The title is a rare investigation of “the domestic and devotional practices of women” in early modern China, according to the publishing, presenting “a rich body of evidence that demonstrates how Chinese households functioned as sites of evangelization, religious conflict, and indigenization of Christianity.” Jesuit missionaries, dealing more closely with the male elite, had only limited access to women and their ritual spaces. Amsler’s research vividly demonstrates the “networks of religious sociability and ritual communities among women as well as women’s remarkable acts of private piety” in seventeenth-century China.


The titles of the chapters appear below. More information about this important publication is available at the website of the University of Washington Press:



Clothes make the man: the Jesuits’ adoption of literati masculinity —

A kingdom of virtuous women: Jesuit descriptions of China’s moral topography —

A source of creative tension: literati Jesuits and priestly duties —

Strengthening the marital bond: the Christianization of Chinese marriage —

Praying for progeny: women and Catholic spiritual remedies —

Domestic communities: women’s congregations and communal piety —

Sharing genteel spirituality: the female networks of the Xus of Shanghai —

A widow and her virgins: the domestic convents of Hangzhou and Nanjing —

Fabrics of devotion: Catholic women’s pious patronage —

Women and gender in global Catholicism.

Ines G. Županov and Pierre-Antoine Fabre have edited a new collection of essays that examines the “debates concerning the nature of “rites” raging in intellectual circles of Europe, Asia and America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,” according to Brill Publishers. The Rites Controversies in the Early Modern World consists of fourteen articles, tracing a controversy that began with the practices of accommodation in the Jesuit missions of Asia.


Contributors to this volume, in addition to Županov and Fabre, include: Claudia Brosseder; Michela Catto; Gita Dharampal-Frick; Ana Carolina Hosne; Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia; Giuseppe Marcocci; Ovidiu Olar; Sabina Pavone; István Perczel; Nicholas Standaert; Margherita Trento; and Guillermo Wilde.


More information is available at