Book: The Jesuits and Globalization

The Jesuits and globalization. Historical Legacy and Contemporary Challenges by Thomas Banchoff and Jose Casanova (editors) Georgetown University Press.

Since its founding in the 16th century, the Society of Jesus has embarked on a mission of global significance in a pioneering and influential manner.

His ‘way of proceeding’ embraced the flexibility of times, places and circumstances, to the point of appreciating the most positive aspects of the cultures encountered by the Jesuits and of using them to transmit the Gospel in a way that could be understood by the people.

In this scholarly collection, the authors claim that Jesuits more than anyone else contributed to global connectivity and became cultural and political actors across the world.

However, this influence was not without cost as the Society was eventually expelled from every Catholic kingdom and formally suppressed by the Pope in 1773.

Once reestablished in 1814, Jesuit influence through educational missions and enterprises reaffirmed their global missionary interests. This was especially true in the United States, but also around the world, in a network of colleges, schools, and bodily works of mercy.

Allied to these missions was a strong line defending the papacy as well as opposing emerging secular and liberal thought in Europe and Latin America, but this led to more expulsions.

Today, the commitment of the Jesuits in world-class missions is articulated in the promotion of justice and the service of faith as a universal common good. The current Pope seeks new avenues of evangelization involving the poor and marginalized, education, missions and fraternal bonds.

In a series of scientific articles written primarily by Jesuits, the editors have compiled a wide range of most interesting essays on various Jesuit themes.

The book is in two parts: historical perspective and contemporary challenges. The first part considers the East Asian Jesuits their influence on modernity, relations with Muslims, anti-Jesuitism, education and globalization. The second part on contemporary challenges looks at the Second Vatican Council and the Jesuits, social justice in Latin America, refugees, higher education and ends with globalization through a Jesuit prism.

Since the book contains collections of essays written largely by Jesuits, the themes of refugees, mission, and education feature largely in their writings and provide a very useful history of the development of these fields. and related fields.

Part of the appeal of this collection of essays is the forged and argued link between the foundations of the Society of Jesus and its early missionary enterprises with their international perspective and reach that were present from its inception, and the emergence of the “Globalization” as a phenomenon that has grown in recent years.

This positioned the Jesuits first as ancestors in a global perspective in a central and powerful way when they began their missions, and laterally as becoming somewhat peripheral and offering accompaniment to the poor.

The latter had an effect on many Jesuit institutions which now contain mandates in their constitutions and policies that require attention to the poor in the context of, for example, university education in this country.

The interdependence of the world and the Jesuits’ concern for souls (i.e. the whole person) have their roots, as one essayist argues, in an appeal to universal human reason coming from medieval Catholic scholasticism and Renaissance humanism rather than theological arguments.

The Jesuits encountered other cultures which they considered to be heretics, but they quickly learned to adapt and extract from them elements that could relate to Catholicism.

Nowadays, it doesn’t seem as important anymore, given the rise of religious freedom as an individual right and therefore conversion to the faith no longer seems to have the imperative as it once did.

Additionally, the emergence of new technologies and perpetual news cycles have connected the world in ways that were only dreamed of before, mostly in science fiction.

The editors seek to learn from all of this to include the Jesuit contribution to globalization and the debt of globalization to the Jesuits.

The availability of Jesuits for mission everywhere in the world and the open, contingent and historical processes that are currently taking place, give Jesuits a capacity for adaptation to times, places and circumstances that the Company has always had as a fundamental characteristic.

The authors argue that although the Society no longer has the institutional influence it once had, at least in some countries, its venerable way of proceeding ensures that it will influence the lives of many peoples in the pursuit of its now mission. re-articulated.

Key words: Jesuits, The Jesuits and Globalization, James Campbell SJ

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Estelle D. Eden

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