Robert A. Maryks

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online September 2013 | | DOI:

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
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The Jesuits, or the Society of Jesus, is a Roman Catholic order of men religious founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola (b. c.1491–d. 1556), a Spanish courtier of Basque origins. Although the initial purpose of the founding group of companions from the University of Paris, who offered their services to the Roman Pontiff, was to engage in the traditional apostolic Ministries for the progress of souls in life and in Christian doctrine—such as preaching, teaching catechism, and hearing confessions—the Jesuits soon became known for their work as missionaries in Asia and the Americas, educators, and agents of so-called Counter-Reformation. The Order expanded rapidly, and by the time it was suppressed in 1773 by Pope Clement XIV, the Jesuits were present in almost every aspect of early modern culture, Sciences, and the Arts in all parts of the world. Their radical innovations to the traditional religious life; special vow of obedience to the pope; role as confessors and counselors to sovereigns; and support of controversial theological, missionary, and political doctrines produced both animosity and admiration not only among Protestants but also Catholics, as the following bibliography makes clear. Restored by Pope Pius VII in 1814, the Jesuits, for better or worse, continued to play a prominent role in the history of the modern world. The following division into thematic sections is somewhat artificial, for many fields of Jesuit activities overlapped: the scientific activity of the Jesuits was, for example, often connected to their missionary endeavors, while their Ministries were affected by their Spirituality. Only all titles considered in their unity give a more balanced overview of the scholarship on the presuppression Society of Jesus that is being here proposed. Because Oxford Bibliographies in Renaissance and Reformation already contains an article on Schooling by Paul Grendler and another one on Mission by Luke Clossey, and these articles offer an abundant bibliography on the contributions of the Jesuits to these fields, the present overview does not include such sections.

Article.  10189 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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