News in Jesuit Studies

The following are notices of significant events related to the field of Jesuit Studies.
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The University of Montpellier 3 has issued a call for papers on its first international symposium on “Cross-cultural encounter as a mediatic enterprise.” The November 2018 in Paris event focuses on Japan’s first embassy to Europe (1582-1590) and subsequent publication of De missione legatorum iaponensium ad Romanam curiam.


After his arrival in Japan in 1579, Alessandro Valignano, visitor of the Society of Jesus to the region, sent four young Japanese men to Europe in order to, in the words for the symposium’s call, demonstrate the “importance of Japan’s mission to the Pope.” Their travels lasted eight years, covering “Portugal, Spain and Italy, with a final stop at the Roman Curia.” The men’s notes of their European visit become the basis of a book Valignano published for Japanese seminarians in 1590.


The symposium takes place November 8-9, 2018 at Université Paul-Valéry – Montpellier 3 (France) – Site Saint-Charles – Salle Kouros. It is part of a larger project to produce a French translation of Valignano’s text. According to the call for papers, the symposium seeks to encourage the study of the text in areas such as

1. Philology: the examination of the original Latin text, including the various xenisms due to the national identity and culture of the writer;

2. History: contextualization of the mission in relation to strategies and tactics of Jesuit predication around the world, as well as in comparison with other written treaties by the Jesuits (Matteo Ricci, Giulio Aleni, etc.) or other religious orders;

3. Imagology: the ideological and / or utopian representations of each of the countries visited, to be related to the image of this same mission as related by Fróis; the self-image of the Japanese envoys as Japanese and Christians;

4. Dialogism: the rhetoric at work, especially the polyphonic game, in the apologetic frame of mind;

5. Criticism: the reception of the work in Europe and Japan, in the history of failed or successful encounters between Japan and the non-Japanese world, as well as in the arts (painting, theatre, literature, sacred writings).


Organizers of the event are CRISES EA 4424 (Montpellier 3), IRIEC EA 740 (Montpellier 3), and UMR 8155 (Paris 7). Organizers may be reached at


The call requests for those interested to “send at by the 1st September, 2018 (1500 words in English and in their native tongue), and then, if their project is retained, the article or the draft of it by October 15, 2018, so that all participants can read the papers and discuss them on D-day.”


A full call for papers is available here.

Jesuit Sources announces a discounted bundle of 6 books on the early Jesuits. The collection includes the writings of Ignatius, Xavier, Farve and others.


Supplies are limited. The 6 books are offered for only $50, plus shipping–a savings for nearly 70%.


Titles, all in paperback, include:


  • A Brief and Exact Account: The Recollections of Simão Rodrigues on the Origins and Progress of the Society of Jesus
  • Spiritual Writings of Pierre Favre
  • Walking in the Spirit: A Reflection on Jerónimo Nadal’s Phrase “Contemplative Likewise in Action”
  • Year by Year with the Early Jesuits (1537–1556): Selections from the “Chronicon” of Juan de Polanco, S.J.
  • The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier
  • The Life of Ignatius of Loyola


More information and ordering details are available at

The Leuven Chinese Studies, published by the Ferdinand Verbiest Institute, has just released its 40th volume, Ferdinand Verbiest, Postulata Vice-Provinciae Sinensis in Urbe proponenda: A blueprint for a renewed SJ mission in China. The book is edited by Noël Golvers. 


According to the publisher, the book highlights a series of requests that Verbiest, as the China Mission’s vice provincial, issued to Superior General Giovanni Paolo Oliva in 1680.  Verbiest’s requests, “which partly repeat longstanding complaints from the mission, posed again on the occasion of its centennial jubilee and at a moment when opportunities appeared limitless, yet constrained by the juridical and structural framework of the Vice-Province.”


“More than in any other document,” as the publisher notes, “these postulata show that Verbiest deserved the title of ‘pillar of the mission’, for his talent at forceful argumentation, using all possible means to strengthen the China mission’s position, especially by freeing it from the Japan Province and promoting it to the level of a full Province within within the Society of Jesus.”


The table of contents appear below. Orders are available through . More details about the Leuven China Studies are available online at


Table of contents:

Acknowledgements (7)

1. Introduction

1.0. General presentation (9)

1.1. Codicological presentation (11)

1.2. Archival presentation (14)

1.3. Typological presentation (14)

1.4. Context and direct background (16)

1.5. Contents of the Postulata (30)

1.6. Couplet in Rome (36)

1.7. Bibliography (39)

2. Text: edition and translation (53-101, Latin/English)

3. Commentaries (103-173) [endnotes to the translation]

4. Indices (177-184) [of text and commentaries]

5. Appendices:

5.1 Translation of Latin fragments quoted in the notes (187-201).

5.2 Documents (203-227) [ The 1666 Postulata; Gabiani’s letters on the 1681 ‘Iubilaeum’ ]

5.3 Facsimile edition (229-248) [ARSI, Congr. Prov. 81, ff. 219a-l]​