Edited by Ines G. Županov
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 Hand- book 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 chapters, 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 eighteenth century, and finally, the resto- ration. 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.