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Jesuit Tradition in Education: 450 Year Perspective
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This collection of essays commemorates the 450th anniversary of the founding of the Society of Jesus and acknowledges the many challenges faced by its members currently engaged in the educational process. In the year 1540 the Society of Jesus, established by Ignatius of Loyola, gained official recognition from Pope Paul III. This religious order has left an indelible mark on the history of education and scholarship as members of the Society, who are also referred to as Jesuits, established schools, colleges, and universities throughout the world. Moreover, the Jesuits became some of the first Europeans to venture forth to Asia, the Americas, and Africa. In addition to bringing European technology and the Roman Catholic faith to such faraway places as China, the American Southwest, Africa, and Peru, they themselves were transformed in the process, learning the languages and cultural ways of the lands they entered and laying the foundation for later cross-cultural study. The first section of this volume deals with the formation of the Jesuit philosophy of education and with Jesuit education in Europe and America from its inception to the present. Included are discussions of how the Jesuit traditions of spirituality, education, and formation interface with the status of women, the challenge of modernity, and the renewed quest for authentic spirituality. The second section explores the Jesuit missions, history, and cultural insights, focusing primarily on interactions with native peoples of the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Rather than emphasizing Jesuits as teachers, this section highlights notable cases not previously studied where Jesuits have functioned primarily as learners and pioneers in South America, the American Southwest and Northwest, Africa, and India. This work provides a representative sampling of the richness and depth of the Jesuit education tradition, from its aristocratic origins, its ministry through education to post-Reformation Catholics, its work at conversion in newly explored lands, its education of the European immigrants who came to America in search of a better life, and its current emphasis on the promotion of social justice worldwide.
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