News in Jesuit Studies

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A new history of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Jesuit missions in North America is now available in Bronwen McShea’s Apostles of Empire: The Jesuits and New France. The book is part of the “France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization Series” at University of Nebraska Press.


According to the publisher, McShea offers “candid portraits” of some of the 320 French Jesuits who served in the mission while also providing “a comprehensive view of a transatlantic enterprise in which secular concerns were integral.” Her account demonstrates that these Jesuits, though “committed to spreading Catholic doctrines and rituals and adapting them to diverse indigenous cultures,” also had other concerns. Specifically, they “devoted significant energy to more-worldly concerns,” such as “the transatlantic expansion of the absolutist-era Bourbon state and the importation of the culture of elite, urban French society.” In other words, French Jesuit missionaries preached and catechized “in terms that borrowed from indigenous idioms” while also engaging “in a range of secular activities,” including the establishment of “trade and military partnerships between the French and various Indian tribes.”


A table of contents appears below. More information about Apostles of Empire is available at the publisher’s website.



Apostles of Empire: The Jesuits and New France


Part I: Foundations and the Era of the Parisian Relations

Chapter 1: A Mission for France

Chapter 2: Rescuing the “Poor Miserable Savage”

Chapter 3: Surviving the Beaver Wars and the Fronde

Chapter 4: Exporting and Importing Catholic Charity

Part II: A Longue Durée of War and Metropolitan Neglect

Chapter 5: Crusading for Iroquois Country

Chapter 6: Cultivating an Indigenous Colonial Aristocracy

Chapter 7: Losing Paris

Chapter 8: A Mission With No Empire


Edited by Ines G. Županov, The Oxford Handbook of the Jesuits is now available in print. The 40 chapters were previously only available online. Bibliographical citations for the book and the chapters are included within the Jesuit Online Bibliography.


By focusing on the Jesuits, “one of the first institutions with a truly ‘global’ reach, in practice and intention,” The Oxford Handbook of the Jesuits intends to offer “a critical assessment of the Order, helping to chart new directions for research at a time when there is renewed interest in Jesuit studies.” The essays examine the Jesuits “resilient dynamism and innovative spirit, grounded in Catholic theology and Christian spirituality, but also profoundly rooted in society and cultural institutions.” They also explore “contributions to education, the arts, politics, and theology, among others” by the Jesuits.


Županov has organized the 1,152-page volume into seven sections: “on the Order’s foundation and administration, the theological underpinnings of its activities, the Jesuit involvement with secular culture, missiology, the Order’s contributions to the arts and sciences, the suppression the Order endured in the 18th century, and finally, the restoration.” Importantly, the handbook “also looks at the way the Jesuit Order is changing, including becoming more non-European and ethnically diverse, with its members increasingly interested in engaging society in addition to traditional pastoral duties.”


A full table of contents appears below. More information is available on the Oxford University Press website:



Table of Contents
Ines G. Zupanov
Is One World Enough for the Jesuits?

I) Foundation and Administration 
1. Pierre Antoine Fabre
The “First Fathers” of the Society of Jesus

2. Markus Friedrich
Jesuit Organization and Legislation: Development and Implementation of a Normative Framework

3. Paul Nelles
Jesuit Letters

II) Spirituality and Economy 
4. Silvia Mostaccio
Spiritual Exercises: Obedience, Conscience, Conquest,

5. Federico Palomo
Jesuit Interior Indias: Confession and Mapping of the Soul

6. Frederic Vermote
Financing Jesuit Missions

III) Education and Politics 
7. Cristiano Casalini
Rise, Character, and Development of Jesuit Education: Teaching the World

8. Patrick Goujon SJ
Elites and the Constitution of Jesuit Identity

9. Carlos Zeron
Political Theories and Jesuit Politics

10. Stefania Tutino
Jesuit Accommodation, Dissimulation, Mental Reservation

11. Giuseppe Marcocci
Jesuit Missions Between the Papacy and the Iberian Crowns

IV) Global Missions 
12. Stefania Pastore:
Jesuits, Conversos, and Alumbrados in the Iberian World

13. James E. Kelly:
The Jesuit English Mission

14. Paul Shore:
Jesuits in the Orthodox World

15. Emanuele Colombo:
Jesuits and Islam in the Early Modern Period

16. Rafael Gaune Corradi:
Jesuit Missionaries and Missions in the Iberian Colonial World

17. Hélène Vu Thanh:
The Jesuits in Asia under the Portuguese padroado: India, China, and Japan (Sixteenth to Seventeenth Centuries)

18. Festo Mkenda SJ
Jesuit Involvement in Africa, 1548-2017

V) Jesuit Aesthetics and Artistic Production 
19. Mia M. Mochizuki
Jesuit Visual Culture in a Machine Age

20. Gauvin Alexander Bailey
Missionary Art and Architecture of the Society of Jesus between China and Brazil

21. Walter S. Melion & Ralph Dekoninck
Jesuit Illustrated Books

22. Yasmin Haskell
Latinitas Iesu: Neo-Latin Writing and the Literary-Emotional Communities of the Old Society of Jesus

23. Ann-Sophie Gallo
Jesuit Theater

24. David R. M. Irving
Music in the Global Jesuit Mission, 1540-1773

VI) Scientific Projects 
25. Romano Gatto
Jesuit Mathematics

26. Luís Miguel Carolino
Astronomy, Cosmology and Jesuit Discipline, 1540-1758

27. Miguel de Asúa
Natural History in the Jesuit Missions

28. Stuart M. McManus
Jesuit Humanism and Indigenous-Language Philology in the Americas and Asia

29. Paul Shore
The Historiography of the Society of Jesus

30. Fernanda Alfieri
Tracking Jesuit Psychologies: From Ubiquitous Discourse on the Soul to Institutionalized Discipline

31. Charlotte de Castelnau-l’Estoile
Jesuit Anthropology: Studying “Living Books”

VII) Antijesuitism, Enlightenment and the Suppression 
32. Sabina Pavone
Antijesuitism in a Global Perspective

33. Juan-Pau Rubiés
Jesuits in Enlightenment

34. Claudia von Collani
The Jesuit Rites Controversy

35. Niccolò Guasti
The Age of Suppression: From the Expulsions to the Restoration of the Society of Jesus (1759-1820)

VIII) Restoration 
36. Martín M. Morales
The Restoration of the Society of Jesus and the Vagaries of Writing

37. Adina Ruiu
A Bridge between the ‘Old’ and the ‘New’ Society: Writing the History of the Jesuit North- American Missions

38. Guillermo Wilde
Jesuit Missions’ Past and the Idea of Return: Between History and Memory

39. Frédéric Gugelot
A Jesuit Way of Being Global? Second Vatican Council, Inculturation, and Liberation Theology

40. Benoît Vermander SJ
The Jesuits in the Twenty-First Century



Engaging the World: The Jesuits and Their Presence in Global History


Lisbon, Portugal | June 17–19, 2020

Co-organized by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College and Brotéria in Lisbon, in partnership with the Catholic University Portugal





Scattered around the globe for nearly five centuries of evangelization, Jesuit missionaries adopted different strategies to communicate with local communities. They were pivotal cultural mediators, serving as cartographers, astronomers, ethnographers, and anthropologists. They were also artists who adapted to local styles, translators and grammarians of native languages, and correspondents who conveyed images of societies previously unknown to European audiences. They fostered commerce and accompanied scientific voyages. They published journals, treatises, biographies, travel logs, and maps, and they participated in worldwide networks circulating literature and art.

This symposium is hosted in Portugal, from which thousands of Jesuits departed to engage with people and environments on a global scale. This scholarly event will investigate how such a global engagement developed over time, how it varied from place to place, and how it was similar in different settings. Proposals are welcomed from across thematic, chronological, and disciplinary boundaries that address methods or instruments the Jesuits used to engage the world and its natural or societal environs.

Presentations might address such questions as these:

What strategies did Jesuits employ when, as articulated by their Constitutions, “dispersed throughout Christ’s vineyard to labor”?

How did the internal structure of the Society of Jesus (and the personalities of the Jesuits themselves) facilitate or hinder missionary labors?

How were those labors impacted by external forces—either local or global, cultural or political? For example, how did the Jesuits’ relations with different European powers spark, facilitate, limit, or curtail evangelization efforts within competing global empires?

How did Jesuit missionaries and their superiors determine where to labor (“consideration should also be given to where greater fruit is likely to be reaped”) and whom to evangelize (“the spiritual aid which is given to important and public persons ought to be regarded as more important, since it is a more universal good”)? What are revealing examples of successful determinations and unsuccessful ones?

What were the benefits, hindrances, and consequences of Jesuit accommodation to local customs and virtues? How can Jesuit accommodation be seen in art, theological treatises, scientific work, and pedagogical approaches?

How can we recapture the motives of these Jesuit missionaries—and how those motivations changed from one location to another or over time? And what might these motivations reveal about the Society of Jesus and its many places in the world?

How can indigenous people be seen in the books, maps, correspondence, and other materiality produced by Jesuits? And in what ways do those sources obscure those communities? What new sources should be consulted to better understand the indigenous people’s experiences with Jesuit evangelization?

Is there—or has there been at any point—evidence of a distinctively Portuguese trait to the roots of the Jesuits’ worldwide mission?



The 2020 Symposium will be the sixth annual scholarly conference organized by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies. The Institute is pleased to collaborate with Brotéria, the new cultural center of the Jesuits in Lisbon, in organizing this event on the Jesuits’ global engagements. Previous symposia have taken place in Boston (in collaboration with Boston College), Nairobi (with the Jesuit Historical Institute of Africa), and Seville (with Universidad Loyola Andalucía).

Proposals and a narrative CV (together no more than 500 words) are due before the end of Monday, October 28, 2019. Selected papers may be peer-reviewed and published in open access following the event. More details are available at Contact the Institute with questions (