News in Jesuit Studies

The following are notices of significant events related to the field of Jesuit Studies.
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Engaging Sources: The Tradition and Future of Collecting History in the Society of Jesus

Boston College | June 11–13, 2019




Since its founding, the Society of Jesus has emphasized the importance of record keeping—of corresponding, circulating, and preserving its diverse observations, rules, and opinions from around the globe. Ignatius of Loyola fostered this attitude among the earliest Jesuits, establishing a living tradition that has continued for nearly five centuries. As a result, this distinctive archival mentality has yielded immensely important source materials that have contributed to the ongoing collective history of the Society of Jesus and to the continued self-understanding of it as a religious order.  Thriving over time, a multitude of Jesuit sources—journals, monographs, archives, centers and institutes, popular presses, and mass media—stand today as unique perspectives, or Jesuit windows to history.


The 2019 International Symposium on Jesuit Studies, hosted at Boston College by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, seeks to encourage the scholarly, interdisciplinary examination of this engagement with sources—both its continuing tradition and the possible future preservation and dissemination of Jesuit sources. Proposals are welcomed from across thematic, chronological, and disciplinary boundaries that engage the larger contextual framework of the examined sources.


Presentations might address such questions as these:

— What does the Jesuit tradition of preserving history say about the order’s mission, system of governance, and ways of proceedings over the centuries?

— How does the Jesuit approach to preserving its shared history compare to those of other religious orders?

— How does correspondence, private or published, reveal the personal motivations of Jesuit missionaries?

— What is the Jesuits’ legacy of monographs, translations, retreat guides, textbooks and other printed materials, and how has that legacy changed over time or differed between locations?

— What are the histories and greater significance of provincial publications (Woodstock LettersLettres de JerseyLetters and Notices, etc.)?

— What has been distinctive about Jesuits’ academic journals?

— How have Jesuits used the popular press, their own or otherwise, to engage Catholics and non-Catholics, and what has been the role of Jesuit print culture in public debates?


Proposals and a narrative CV (together no more than 500 words) are due before September 15, 2018. Selected papers may be peer-reviewed and published in open access following the event. Limited funds may be available to assist with travel arrangements. More details are available at Contact the Institute with questions (

The International Symposium on Jesuit Studies, organized by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, begins its two-day proceedings at Seville’s Universidad Loyola Andalucía on June 1. The event is entitled: “Francisco Suárez (1548–1617): Jesuits and Complexities of Modernity.”


As noted in the call for papers, Suárez is “recognized as a philosopher, theologian, and jurist who had a significant cultural impact in the development of modernity.” To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Suárez’s death, the International Symposium on Jesuit Studies of 2018  examines “the work of Suárez and other Jesuits of his time in the context of diverse traditions that came together in Europe between the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance and early modernity.”


Some of the questions to be discussed by scholars at the symposium include: “Can the work of the Jesuits be seen not only as a forerunner of philosophical, political, or legal modernity, but also as an expression of an alternative modernity? What is the relationship between the Ignatian and Jesuit tradition and the development of the work of Suárez and his contemporaries? What elements of the work of Suárez and other Jesuits may today be relevant to face the crisis of modernity?”


More information about this annual event organized by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies can be found online:

The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies welcomes applications for its first online course, Jesuit Pedagogy. Students in this three-credit course will study the distinctiveness both of the Jesuits’ approaches to teaching and their philosophy of education. The course is grounded in close reading of primary and secondary sources, from the origins of the Society of Jesus through the beginning of the 21st century. Enrollment is limited, and students are accepted on a rolling basis. The course begins in August 2018.


One key to the unprecedented success of Jesuit education has been the tension between the recognizable mark of uniformity that long distinguished the methods, contents, and practices of Jesuit schools and their ability to adapt to different contexts and times. Both aspects—the uniformity and the adaptability—were explicitly supported by the Ratio studiorum, the Jesuits’ foundational plan of studies issued in 1599, which, despite the schools’ many variations and complexities, has retained some influence over time. With the Ratio discarded, Jesuit schools had to clarify what made them distinctively Jesuit, reconciling their mission with the contemporary world. This three-credit, graduate-level class sketches the developments of Jesuit educational endeavors by focusing on both the permanent and changing traits of its distinctive pedagogy.


The course is taught by Cristiano Casalini, Ph.D., a Research Scholar at the Institute and an Associate Professor at the Lynch School of Education of Boston College, where he teaches History of Jesuit Education and Philosophy of Education. His field of research is mainly early modern education and especially Jesuit education. He worked on critical texts and commentaries of 16th and 17th century classics of education, especially in and around the Jesuit order. He also provided with Claude Pavur the first volume of a series devoted to the history of Jesuit pedagogy, entitled Jesuit Pedagogy. A Reader (1540–1616) (Boston: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2016).


More information about the course and about the recent changes to the Institute’s Certificate in Jesuit Studies program are available online.