September 2019: New Season of Online Discussions — Jesuit Studies Cafés

The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies is pleased to announce the Fall 2019 schedule of Jesuit Studies Cafés. The season began with a presentation led by Liam Brockey, who also received the 2019 George E. Ganss, S.J., Award in Jesuit Studies.


The Jesuit Studies Cafés are informal discussions hosted by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies. The events are free and open to the public, either to attend at the Institute’s library at Boston College or to join via videoconference. These cafés are unique opportunities to engage with some of the world’s preeminent scholars working on the history, spirituality, and educational heritage of the Society of Jesus. Summaries of the 2018-2019 events are available online here and here.


If you would like to attend a café via videoconference, please contact the Institute to register ( You will receive information on how to access the online meeting space 24 hours before the discussion.


The Fall 2019 schedule follows below. Please contact the Institute with any questions or if you wish to join or lead a café in the future (


Jesuit Studies Cafés

Tuesday, October 1, 10:15am-11:00am Eastern time
“On the Frontiers of Mission History”
— Liam M. Brockey, Michigan State University

Over the past half century there has been a boom in mission studies, most of which have examined Jesuit endeavors around the early modern world. Unlike the mission history of times past, these studies have not primarily been produced by missionaries themselves. How has this change shifted mission history? Where is the field, newly and broadly conceived, heading? What new areas of research await discovery? Liam Brockey, the recipient of the 2019 George E. Ganss, SJ, Award in Jesuit Studies, will offer his answers to these questions and others at this café.


Thursday, October 31, 10:15am-11:00am Eastern time
“Tracking the Global Impact of Jesuit Education:, A Free, Digital Platform for the History of Jesuit Philosophy and Theology in Coimbra”
— Mário Santiago de Carvalho, Universidade de Coimbra and Simone Guidi, Universidade de Coimbra facilitates the exploration of the unique educational influence of the Coimbra Jesuit Aristotelian instruction that stretched from Portugal to Asia and South America. As the first digital project on the Coimbra Jesuit Aristotelian tradition, it publishes peer-reviewed encyclopedia entries and provides free, worldwide access to digitized versions of the most important documents related to the topic. This café explores the history of this important tradition as well as the different technical tools the platform uses to promote its future scholarly inquiry.


Wednesday, November 20, 10:15am-11:00am Eastern time
“The Book of Nature and The Prestige of Science: The Restored Society of Jesus in Portugal”
Francisco Malta Romeiras, Universidade de Lisboa

Because of the civic government’s opposition, the Society of Jesus was not restored in Portugal until 1858. In his new book — Jesuits and the Book of Nature: Science and Education in Modern Portugal (Brill, 2019) — Francisco Malta Romeiras argues that the country’s restored Jesuits promoted an “alliance between religion and science,” both to continue their order’s tradition and to fight anti-clericalism and anti-Jesuitism. At this café, he will explain the successes and missteps of those efforts as well as their legacies for the histories of Portugal, the Catholic Church, and scientific inquiry.


Thursday, December 5, 10:15am-11:00am Eastern time
“Apostles of Empire: The Jesuits and New France”
— Bronwen McShea, Princeton University

Across the 17th and 18th centuries, more than 300 Jesuits served as missionaries in colonial New France, which stretched from eastern Canada and Maine to the Great Lakes region. Even as they spread Catholic doctrines and rituals in ways innovatively adapted to Native American linguistic and cultural forms, these missionaries were also proactive agents of an aspiring French-imperial state. At this café, Bronwen McShea provides a candid and revisionist assessment of the mission famously associated with Isaac Jogues and the other North American Martyrs, drawing from her new book Apostles of Empire (2019), the latest in the University of Nebraska Press series “France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization.”

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