"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Jesuits and the Christian East

I recently and modestly paid some attention to Jesuit historians who have been and are important for the Christian East, including the best known of them, Robert Taft.

And I have a piece forthcoming in America, the Jesuit periodical, on Jesuit psychoanalysts. So I note with great interest a new book that looks at the diverse roles and contexts of Jesuit ministry around the world over the last 500 years, including in the Orthodox world as well as in modern psychology: The Oxford Handbook of the Jesuits (Oxford UP, 2019), 1152pp.  

About this very hefty collection the publisher tells us this:
Through its missionary, pedagogical, and scientific accomplishments, the Society of Jesus-known as the Jesuits-became one of the first institutions with a truly "global" reach, in practice and intention. The Oxford Handbook of the Jesuits offers a critical assessment of the Order, helping to chart new directions for research at a time when there is renewed interest in Jesuit studies. In particular, the Handbook examines their resilient dynamism and innovative spirit, grounded in Catholic theology and Christian spirituality, but also profoundly rooted in society and cultural institutions. It also explores Jesuit contributions to education, the arts, politics, and theology, among others.
The volume is organized in seven major sections, totaling forty articles, 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. The volume 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.

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