News in Jesuit Studies

The following are notices of significant events related to the field of Jesuit Studies.
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The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies now welcomes applications to A History of the Jesuits, a new online course. An application is available online. With questions, please contact the Institute (


A History of the Jesuits offers an introductory survey to some of the men who made the Society of Jesus one of the most successful and, at times, most controversial religious orders in the Catholic Church. It explores this rich and varied past with particular attention, following the Jesuits’ suppression in 1773, to various enterprises and enterprisers in the Americas. The course seeks to answer these questions: What have been the characteristics of the Society of Jesus and its associated works? And how and why have those characteristics remained the same or changed? Complementing the other courses in the Certificate program, the course traces the development, expansion, suppression, restoration, and recent developments of the Society of Jesus by closely examining the historical contributions of significant Jesuits.


The course begins on January 14, 2019. It consists of 13 weekly modules, ending the week of April 22 (there are no modules the weeks of March 4 and April 15). The course features regular engagement between the professor and students with brief video lectures and small group discussions, via online discussion and video. A History of the Jesuits is a three-credit course.


The course is taught by Seth Meehan, Ph.D., the associate director at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies. Meehan received his bachelor’s degree in theology from Georgetown University and his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Boston College. His work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Catholic Historical Review, Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu, Theological Studies, and Boston College Magazine, where he is a contributing editor. His scholarship has been recognized with awards from the American Catholic Historical Association, the Catholic Library Association, and other organizations. Currently, he is writing a biography of a nineteenth-century Jesuit, John McElroy, and editing a volume on a second, Salvatore Brandi.


Additional details are available at:

Francisco Malta Romeiras has just published Jesuítas em Portugal depois de Pombal, an illustrated history of the Jesuits in Portugal after their official return in 1858. With more than 250 original photographs of teachers, students, and alumni, this books offers a sketch of Jesuit education in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Portugal.


The book is available through Principa:


Romeiras is a former Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies. He works at the Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia at the Universidade de Lisboa. A specialist in the history of science, Romeiras is also the author of a forthcoming book on Jesuit science and education in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book will look into the successful intertwining between theory and practice at the colleges of Campolide and São Fiel, where the Jesuits made significant efforts in promoting a hands-on experimental teaching of the natural sciences. The book will also analyze the role played by the Jesuit journal Brotéria in the circulation of scientific knowledge and in the emergence of new scientific fields in twentieth century Portugal.


Much of Brotéria is freely available through the Jesuit Online Library.

Ananya Chakravarti has just published The Empire of Apostles: Religion, Accommodatio and The Imagination of Empire in Modern Brazil and India with Oxford University Press.


The book, according to the publisher, considers “how European accommodation to local peoples and their cultures, the experience of give-and-take in the non-European world and their numerous failures, could lead to a consolidation of an enduring vision of cultural and political dominion.”


It is through the experiences of Jesuit missionaries in Brazil and India that Chakravati traces “the evolution of a religious vision of empire.” Specifically, the book examines how the Jesuit missionaries “struggled to unite three commitments: to their local missionary space; to the universal Church; and to the global Portuguese empire.” As the missionaries navigated within the local, global, and universal “scales of meaning,” she argues, “a religious imaginaire of empire emerged.”


Among the Jesuit subjects in The Empire of Apostles are José de Anchieta, Thomas Stephens, António Vieira, and Baltasar da Costa.


The book’s table of contents appears below.More information is available at Oxford University Press.


The Empire of Apostles: Religion, Accommodatio and The Imagination of Empire in Modern Brazil and India


1. From Contact to ‘Conquest’


2. Other Indies

3. The Living Books


4. José de Anchieta and the Poetics of Warfare

5. Christ in the Brahmapuri: Thomas Stephens in Salcete


6. Theatres of Empire: António Vieira and Baltasar da Costa in Brazil and India

7. The Empire of Apostles