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 (

Vera Moynes has edited and published Irish Jesuit Annual Letters, 1604–1674a collection of 25 annual letters from the Jesuit mission in Ireland during the 17th century. A professional archivist, Moynes has translated these letters, originally written in Latin and Portuguese, into English for the first time. According to The Irish Manuscripts Commission, which published this title, these annual letters “give insight into this dynamic and influential mission” while also providing “unique information on the social, political, cultural, religious, sexual and linguistic realities of the time.”


Irish Jesuit Annual Letters, 1604–1674 is a two-volume publication that uses letters held in the Jesuit archives both in Rome (ARSI) and in Dublin. The letters were written at a time when some 20 Jesuits were missioned to Ireland, running “houses in towns and cities across the island as well as embarking on frequent preaching expeditions.” The missionaries’ letters recount in great detail the “conditions in Ireland during one of its most violent and turbulent centuries.” Readers of Moynes’ translations will find “first-hand accounts of plague in Clonmel, famine in Connacht, massacre in Drogheda, exorcisms and and miracles across the whole island.”


In 2017, Moynes published The Jesuit Irish Mission: A Calendar of Correspondence, 1566–1752 with Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu. See more on this title in a previous news posting at the Portal to Jesuit Studies.


More information about these titles by Moynes are available in the Jesuit Online Bibliography

Irish Jesuit Annual Letters, 1604–1674

The Jesuit Irish Mission: A Calendar of Correspondence, 1566–1752

Christopher Rivers, a professor of French at Mount Holyoke College in the United States, has launched a new website containing his translations of selected letters on slavery written by Jesuit missionaries. French Jesuit Letters on Slavery: ‘No Less an Object of Our Zeal’ is open-access resource available at


The collection presents Rivers’ translations of late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth letters by Jesuit missionaries written while the men worked in the French slave colonies of the Caribbean. Rivers provides a general introduction to the project as well as more details on his sources at He also provides a foreword to introduce his approach to the letters and the challenges posed by the translation process.


As of September 2019, the database by Rivers contains the following letters

— Letter from Fr. Bréban, S. J. (19 January 1732)

— Letter from Fr. Jean Mongin, missionary in America, to a person of quality from Languedoc, written on the Island of Saint Christopher (May 1682)

— Letter from Fr. Margat, missionary of the Society of Jesus, to Fr. ***, of the same Society (27 February 1725)

— Letter from Fr. Margat, Missionary of the Society of Jesus, to Fr. de la Neuville, of the same Society, Procurator of the Missions in America (2 February 1729)

— Letter from Fr. Margat, missionary of the Society of Jesus, to the Procurator General of the missions of the same Society in the Islands of America (20 July 1743)

Sapienza Università di Roma hosts a two-day conference (September 2-3) on “Visions of ‘Humanity’ and ‘Letters’: Chinese Culture and the Two — Tides of Western Learning, from the Late Ming to Early Modern Times.”


Benjamin Elman of Princeton University will deliver the keynote address entitled “Traduttore, traditore: The Jesuits and the Translation/Construction of Early Modern Science in China via European Humanism, 1600-1800.” The event also features seven panels and a concluding roundtable and set of remarks.


Presentations relevant to the field of Jesuit Studies appear below. More information about the event and a full conference program can be found online:


September 2nd

On the theme of “Humanity”

Panel 1 — Visions of Humanity: the 17th Century

— Thierry Meynard, “Christian ‘Anthropologyi: Gulius Aleni’s Xingxue cushu”

— Liming Song, “Matteo Ricci: the Man and his Writings. On Some Misunderstandings and Misconceptions in Sino-Western Cultural Exchanges”

— Giulia Falato, “Parents, Children, Mutual Duties and Relations: a European Way of Governing the Family by Alfonso Vagnone S.J (1568-1640)”

— Davor Antonucci, “Envisioning the Other: Foreign Populations in Some Jesuits’ Geographical Accounts”



September 3rd

On the theme of “Letters”

Panel 5 — Western and Chinese Practices of wen: Early Encounters

— Sher-shiueh Li,”European Jesuits and Western Rhetoric in Ming-Qing China”

— Paolo De Troia, “The Vision of Letters in Some Jesuit Texts in 16th Century China: Jesuit Translations and Transcultural Exchanges”

— Hui-Hung Chen,”Three Portuguese Jesuits and the Chinese Madonna: A Cultural Encounter among China, Macao and Japan”