News in Jesuit Studies

The following are notices of significant events related to the field of Jesuit Studies.
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Anthony E. Clarke has published A Chinese Jesuit Catechism: Giulio Aleni’s Four Character Classic 四字經, serving as the first scholarly study of the famous Jesuit Chinese children’s primer.


A professor of Chinese history at Whitworth University, Clarke provides what the publisher Palgrave notes are “masterful translations of both Wang Yinglin’s (1551–1602) hallowed Confucian Three Character Classic and Aleni’s Chinese catechism that was published during the Qing (1644–1911).”


Palgrave continues that “Clark’s careful reading of the Four Character Classic provides new insights into an area of the Jesuit mission in early modern China that has so far been given little attention, the education of children. This book underscores how Aleni’s published work functions as a good example of the Jesuit use of normative Chinese print culture to serve the catechetical exigencies of the Catholic mission in East Asia, particularly his meticulous imitation of Confucian children’s primers to promote decidedly Christian content.”


More information is available at the publisher’s website:

On November 17, from 12-1pm, Boston College hosts an online discussion with Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J., the Under Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The event, which is free and open to the public, is entitled: “Refugees and Migrants: Paradoxes in the Age of COVID-19.”


According to the event’s organizers, Czerny will discuss “his work with Pope Francis on issues surrounding refugees and migration around the world, particularly in the age of COVID-19.” Czerny will be joined by Kristin Heyer of Boston College’s Theology Department and Alejandro Olayo-Mendez, S.J., of the School of Social Work.


The event is cosponsored by the Church in the 21st Century Center, the Roche Center for Catholic Education, the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, the BC Program for Global Public Health and the Common Good, the Office of Global Engagement, the School of Social Work, the International Studies Department, and the PULSE Program for Service Learning.


Advanced registration is required.

The Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomy Society awarded the 2021 Donald E. Osterbrock Book Prize to Ileana Chinnici for her book Decoding the Stars: A Biography of Angelo Secchi, Jesuit and Scientist. Chinnici published her book — the first English-language, full-length biography of Italian astronomer Angelo Secchi (1818-1878) — as part of the Jesuit Studies Book Series at Brill in 2019.


The Osterbook Prize is awarded “biennially to the author(s) of a book judged to advance the field of the history of astronomy or to bring history of astronomy to light.” In her account of Secchi, who was central to the transition from classical positional astronomy to astrophysics, Chinnici examines Secchi’s research as well as the broader environment in which he worked. More information about the Osterbook Prize is available at: