News in Jesuit Studies

The following are notices of significant events related to the field of Jesuit Studies.
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The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies opens its fifth season of virtual Jesuit Studies Cafés on September 17 with a presentation on a new translation of Jouvancy’s The Way to Learn and the Way to Teach. The text was recently published by Jesuit Sources. Later presentations examine the scientific activities of the Jesuits in the Portuguese Assistancy, the production and the uses of the history of the Society, and the history of media from a global perspective.


All of these events are free and open to the public. Register for any or all of the events using this form. More information is available at the Institute’s website:



September 17
“Joseph de Jouvancy and The Way to Learn and the Way to Teach
Cristiano Casalini, Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies
Claude Pavur, S.J., Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies

Zoom | 9:20 a.m. (Eastern, GMT-4)

Joseph de Jouvancy (1643–1719) was a French Jesuit poet, pedagogue, philologist, and historian. He has been called “one of the greatest authorities on education of his age.” A classical humanist and scholar known for his plays, biographies, histories, orations, and translations of various works into Latin, Jouvancy left behind no work more influential than his De discendi et docendi ratione (The Way to Learn and the Way to Teach, 1703). The Jesuit order found his work so important for maintaining quality in the Society’s schools that it made it a companion piece for the great charter of Jesuit education known as the Ratio studiorum (1599). In this book, Jouvancy first describes how young instructors might effectively pursue their own studies during their years of teaching; secondly, he details the essentials of good teaching. The considerable historical interest of this book is matched by its pedagogical insights and perennial relevance.


October 22
“Jesuit Science in the Portuguese Assistancy (1540–1759)”
Henrique Leitão, University of Lisbon

Zoom | 9:20 a.m. (Eastern, GMT-4)

Henrique Leitão will present an overview of his works regarding the scientific activities of the Jesuits in the Portuguese Assistancy, between 1540 and 1759. The topics of this talk will include the teaching of mathematics and natural philosophy in Portugal, the activities of the Italian, German, and Portuguese astronomers at the Astronomical Bureau in Beijing, and the sustained efforts to describe the new species of animals and plants discovered in South America.


November 19
“Filling the Memory Gap. French Jesuit Historians between the Pre-Suppression and the Restored Society of Jesus”
Adina Ruiu, University of Montreal

Zoom | 9:20 a.m. (Eastern, GMT-4)

This café aims to promote reflection on the production and the uses of the history of the Society, such as they may be reconstituted from the publications and correspondences of French Jesuit historians, in particular Jean-Marie Prat (1809-1891), Félix Martin (1804-1886), Auguste Carayon (1813-1874), Élesban de Guilhermy (1818-1884), and Léonard Joseph Marie Cros (1813-1913). The intense collaborative effort of identifying and collecting the sources, of establishing and developing editorial projects, took the form, for the historians involved, of an “apostolate”. For on the one hand it was perceived as a necessary task in the aim of reestablishing vital links with the “old” Society, and on the other hand as an activity that fit well within a “new” Society defined, in Jean-Marie Prat’s words – familiar to the nineteenth century – as “a society that is religious and literary at once.”


December 17
“Exiled and Returned Jesuits between Utopian Societies and the Republic of Peru. A transnational history of media (1767-1855)”
Sarah Barthélemy, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles

Zoom | 9:20 a.m. (Eastern, GMT-4)

This café is intended as a presentation and discussion of an ongoing research project on the history of media from a global perspective, analyzing the multiple expulsions, restorations and suppressions of the Society of Jesus, in the 18th and 19th centuries, and its cultural reach beyond Europe. Despite a world-wide scope, the anti-Jesuit discourse and the construction of the Jesuit as a repulsive figure responds to national dynamics, usually only studied until their expulsion from South American territories. Which media materials are re-used or created at the moments preceding and following national independences in South America? How were narratives, conveyed by texts and images, used by both the Society of Jesus and Peruvian elites to legitimize a specific societal model and the place of religion and religious orders in it?

On September 18, the Royal Historical Society hosts a virtual lecture by Simon Ditchfield, professor of history and director of the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (CREMS) at the University of York. Ditchfield’s remarks are entitled “Baroque around the clock: Daniello Bartoli SJ (1608-1685) and the uses of global history.”


According to the RHS, Ditchfield will consider how “right from the start the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) realised the value and role of ‘local colour’ in the persuasive rhetoric of Jesuit missionary accounts.” His lecture will use the works of Bartoli to show how Jesuit historians “played an important role in giving their Jesuit readers a sense of the distinctiveness of their global mission.”


Advanced registration is required. Further information appears below and is available at the RHS website.


Baroque around the clock: Daniello Bartoli SJ (1608-1685) and the uses of global history

Professor Simon Ditchfield
18 September 2020
Live Online via Zoom
Booking Required

‘Something should be written regarding the cosmography of those regions where ours live’ (Ignatius Loyola).

As this quotation indicates, right from the start the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) realised the value and role of ‘local colour’ in the persuasive rhetoric of Jesuit missionary accounts. Over a century later, when Jesuit missions were to be found on all the inhabited continents of the world then known to Europeans, descriptions of these new found lands were to be read for the entertainment as well as the edification of their Old World audiences. Bartoli’s volumes also played an important role in giving their Jesuit readers a sense of the distinctiveness of their global mission. Referred to by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) as the ‘Dante of baroque prose’, Bartoli developed a particularly variegated and capacious idiom to meet the challenge of discovering how to describe the world.

Lecture Timetable
17.45 – Zoom Waiting Room opens
18.00 – Welcome and Lecture
18.50 – Break
19.00 – Questions
19.30 – Close

Proposals are now welcomed for a virtual conference examining the “religion, politics, and culture” during the pontificate of Gregory XV (1621-1623). The event, marking the 400th anniversary of his election as pope, will take place on February 5, 2021. The application deadline is October 23, 2020. Details are available at


After his election on February 9, 1621, Alessandro Ludovisi, a frail 67-year-old Bolognese cardinal, led a brief reign but one with “an impressively broad series of accomplishments.” The conference organizers, Corey Brennan of Rutgers University and Pierette Kulpa of Kutztown University, hope the event will provide those accomplishments with “renewed attention, analysis, and critique.” In particular, the conference plans to highlight Gregory XV’s status as the first Jesuit-educated pope and as an energetic patron of the Society of Jesus, as evidenced by the canonization of Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier in 1622.


The conference will feature 20-minute, pre-recorded presentations on any aspect—political, diplomatic, theological, cultural—of the pontificate of Gregory XV. To be considered, please submit an abstract (350-500 words) to by October 23, 2020. The default language of the conference is English, though presenters may deliver their papers also in Italian, German, French, or Spanish, if they provide a written English translation. The recorded presentations will be closed captioned for accessibility.