News in Jesuit Studies

The following are notices of significant events related to the field of Jesuit Studies.
The notices appear chronologically, and all entries are indexed into the Portal’s search capabilities.
To contribute news of significant publications and events, both recent and forthcoming, please contact the Portal’s editors (

On Thursday 29 October 2020, 12:30 pm GMT, the China Centre at Oxford hosts an online presentation “The Invisible City: A Global Microhistory of Europeans and their Social Networks in Eighteenth Century Beijing.” The guest speaker is Eugenio Menegon, an associate professor at Boston University and an affiliated scholar at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies.


Menegon will examine the lives of the missionaries who worked as scientists and artisans at the Qing imperial court, an ideal setting to explore the deep structures of Chinese-Western socio-cultural and economic relations in early modern times. In pursuing their interests and stubbornly resisting bureaucratic control and autocratic hegemony, the Catholic missionaries operated within a vast planetary network and a series informal social networks. Menegon argues that these individuals’ experiences behind the public façade of power help to humanize and nuance “the claims of grand political and economic narratives, from the ‘Great Divergence’ between China and the West, to Qing state building. Through this group, we can expand the analysis to a larger network of individuals and institutions (also using digital scholarship approaches), extending from the Qing court to the entire world.”


Registration is available online, and questions may be sent to:


The University of Oxford China Centre is a new hub for various academic activities related to China at the University of Oxford, located on the premises of St Hugh’s College in the magnificent Dickson Poon Building. By bringing together superb academics and researchers from a broad range of disciplines, the China Centre will foster innovative collaborative initiatives and ensure that Oxford’s research on China produces even more substantial impact, both domestically and abroad.


Additional details are available at the China Centre’s website:



On October 15 and 16, the Université de Bretagne-Sud hosts a virtual conference examining missionaries of 16th to the 19th centuries. Hélène Vu Thanh, of the Université de Bretagne-Sud, is the conference organizer.


“Empires connectés. Les missionnaires comme agents impériaux (XVIe-XIXe siècles)” [Connecting Empires. Missionaries as Agents of Empire, 16th-19th c.] features fourteen presentations over the two-day event. A full program appears below. To request more information, please contact Hélène Vu Thanh (



Jeudi 15 octobre

9h15-9h25 : Mot d’accueil de Mathias Tranchant (université de Bretagne-Sud), vice-président en charge de la recherche, de la formation doctorale et du numérique

9h25-9h35 : Mot d’accueil de Sylviane Llinares (université de Bretagne-Sud), directrice adjointe du laboratoire TEMOS

9h35-10h00 : Hélène Vu Thanh (université de Bretagne-Sud/IUF) : Introduction

Session 1 : Établir des connexions impériales, entre insertion globale et poids du local

10h00-10h40 : Delphine Tempère (université de Lyon) : De la Péninsule aux Philippines. Les jésuites connecteurs de mondes au XVIIe siècle

10h40-11h20 : Felicita Tramontana (university of Warwick) : Global interactions, imperial expansion and Catholic missions (1500-1700)

11h20-12h00 : Emmanuel Jourda (EHESS/CECMC) : Les missionnaires face à l’écosystème chinois dans l’empire informel britannique : cas de la péninsule malaise au XIXe siècle.

12h00-13h30 : Pause déjeuner

Session 2 : Construire un État-impérial ou un empire spirituel ?

13h30-14h10 : Loann Berens (Normandie université) : Les Dominicains et la « conquête spirituelle » du Pérou : évangélisation, médiation politique et expansion impériale (années 1530-1550)

14h10-14h50 : Birgit Tremml (Linnaeus university) : Dominican ethnography of Taiwan: missionary zeal or empirical missions?

14h50-15h00 : Pause

15h00-15h40 : Margherita Trento (CNRS/CEIAS) : Imperial connections and dissimulation in South India (17th-18th c.)

15h40-16h20 : Bertrand Van Ruymbeke (université Paris 8/IUF) : Les pasteurs anglicans de la Society for the Propagation of the Gospel : le cas de la Caroline du Sud (1701-1750)


Vendredi 16 octobre

Session 3 : Interroger et défendre le paradigme impérial

9h-9h40 : Jean-Noël Sanchez (université de Strasbourg/CHER) : Ocaso en el Ponente. Francisco Combes, SJ, ou la défense crépusculaire d’un empire déclinant

9h40-10h20 : Adina Ruiu (Université de Montréal/EHESS) : Le Dépôt de la Marine, “âme” de l’histoire. Saint-Domingue et la Nouvelle-France sous la plume du jésuite Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix

10h20-10h40 : Pause

10h40-11h20 : Elisabeth Heijmans (université de Leyde) : « C’est là que nous tirons les bras pour la culture de nos colonies » : La perspective d’un missionnaire sur le fort français de Ouidah (1776-1778)

11h20-12h00 : Marie de Rugy (IEP Strasbourg) : A quel empire se vouer ? Paul Bigandet, missionnaire français en Birmanie au XIXe siècle

12h00-13h30 : Déjeuner

Session 4 : Faire circuler les modèles impériaux

13h30-14h10 : Águeda García-Garrido (Normandie université/IEHM) : Entre mission et légation. Des augustins espagnols loin des Philippines au XVIIe siècle : une histoire à rebours ?

14h10-14h40 : Susanne Lachenicht (université de Bayreuth) : Réseaux et activités de missionnaires jésuites à travers les histoires naturelles des Caraïbes (XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles)

14h40-15h20 : Jean-François Klein (université du Havre) : Le mythe de l’Eldorado missionnaire du Yunnan au XIXe siècle

15h20-16h00 : Discussion générale et conclusions



The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies opens its fifth season of virtual Jesuit Studies Cafés on September 17 with a presentation on a new translation of Jouvancy’s The Way to Learn and the Way to Teach. The text was recently published by Jesuit Sources. Later presentations examine the scientific activities of the Jesuits in the Portuguese Assistancy, the production and the uses of the history of the Society, and the history of media from a global perspective.


All of these events are free and open to the public. Register for any or all of the events using this form. More information is available at the Institute’s website:



September 17
“Joseph de Jouvancy and The Way to Learn and the Way to Teach
Cristiano Casalini, Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies
Claude Pavur, S.J., Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies

Zoom | 9:20 a.m. (Eastern, GMT-4)

Joseph de Jouvancy (1643–1719) was a French Jesuit poet, pedagogue, philologist, and historian. He has been called “one of the greatest authorities on education of his age.” A classical humanist and scholar known for his plays, biographies, histories, orations, and translations of various works into Latin, Jouvancy left behind no work more influential than his De discendi et docendi ratione (The Way to Learn and the Way to Teach, 1703). The Jesuit order found his work so important for maintaining quality in the Society’s schools that it made it a companion piece for the great charter of Jesuit education known as the Ratio studiorum (1599). In this book, Jouvancy first describes how young instructors might effectively pursue their own studies during their years of teaching; secondly, he details the essentials of good teaching. The considerable historical interest of this book is matched by its pedagogical insights and perennial relevance.


October 22
“Jesuit Science in the Portuguese Assistancy (1540–1759)”
Henrique Leitão, University of Lisbon

Zoom | 9:20 a.m. (Eastern, GMT-4)

Henrique Leitão will present an overview of his works regarding the scientific activities of the Jesuits in the Portuguese Assistancy, between 1540 and 1759. The topics of this talk will include the teaching of mathematics and natural philosophy in Portugal, the activities of the Italian, German, and Portuguese astronomers at the Astronomical Bureau in Beijing, and the sustained efforts to describe the new species of animals and plants discovered in South America.


November 19
“Filling the Memory Gap. French Jesuit Historians between the Pre-Suppression and the Restored Society of Jesus”
Adina Ruiu, University of Montreal

Zoom | 9:20 a.m. (Eastern, GMT-4)

This café aims to promote reflection on the production and the uses of the history of the Society, such as they may be reconstituted from the publications and correspondences of French Jesuit historians, in particular Jean-Marie Prat (1809-1891), Félix Martin (1804-1886), Auguste Carayon (1813-1874), Élesban de Guilhermy (1818-1884), and Léonard Joseph Marie Cros (1813-1913). The intense collaborative effort of identifying and collecting the sources, of establishing and developing editorial projects, took the form, for the historians involved, of an “apostolate”. For on the one hand it was perceived as a necessary task in the aim of reestablishing vital links with the “old” Society, and on the other hand as an activity that fit well within a “new” Society defined, in Jean-Marie Prat’s words – familiar to the nineteenth century – as “a society that is religious and literary at once.”


December 17
“Exiled and Returned Jesuits between Utopian Societies and the Republic of Peru. A transnational history of media (1767-1855)”
Sarah Barthélemy, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles

Zoom | 9:20 a.m. (Eastern, GMT-4)

This café is intended as a presentation and discussion of an ongoing research project on the history of media from a global perspective, analyzing the multiple expulsions, restorations and suppressions of the Society of Jesus, in the 18th and 19th centuries, and its cultural reach beyond Europe. Despite a world-wide scope, the anti-Jesuit discourse and the construction of the Jesuit as a repulsive figure responds to national dynamics, usually only studied until their expulsion from South American territories. Which media materials are re-used or created at the moments preceding and following national independences in South America? How were narratives, conveyed by texts and images, used by both the Society of Jesus and Peruvian elites to legitimize a specific societal model and the place of religion and religious orders in it?