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Jesuit Writings of the Early Modern Period

Jesuit Writings of the Early Modern Period


Edited and Translated by John Patrick Donnelly, S. J.

2006 - 288 pp.

Format ISBN Price Qty
Cloth 978-0-87220-840-7
Paper 978-0-87220-839-1
Examination 978-0-87220-839-1

Quick Overview

"A first-rate piece of work, very useful both for undergraduate and graduate students.  Also of real interest for non-scholars, non-students, and people interested in Jesuits in general.  The introductions are especially valuable in situating the readings in context.  The Illustrations are well-chosen."
     —John W. Padberg, S. J., Director, The Institute of Jesuit Studies


eBook available for $13.50. Click HERE for more information about Hackett eBooks.

"A first-rate piece of work, very useful both for undergraduate and graduate students.  Also of real interest for non-scholars, non-students, and people interested in Jesuits in general.  The introductions are especially valuable in situating the readings in context.  The Illustrations are well-chosen."
     —John W. Padberg, S. J., Director, The Institute of Jesuit Studies


"This is an excellent selection of texts dealing with major aspects of Jesuit history.  The selections are well translated and expertly introduced.  The book can be read with profit by anybody interested in the Jesuits and will be an important resource for teachers of courses on Christianity in the modern period."
     —John O'Malley, Weston Jesuit School of Theology


"This well-balanced compendium of texts reflects the diversity and dynamism of the Jesuits' first century. . . . Donnelly's selections are astute and informative.  Useful bibliographical suggestions are made for further study, and footnotes are provided to explain major events and introduce any significant figures who are mentioned. . . . "Donnelly has done his wide subject justice. . . . [T]his is a thoughtfully edited and well-arranged book that that would be eminently suitable for a course dealing with Jesuit history or a broader survey of early modern Catholicism."
     —Jonathan Wright, Catholic Historical Review


"This very useful and balanced collection of sources in translation is ideal for a course on the Counter-Reformation, on the history of the Jesuit order, or as part of a more general course on the history of Christianity in the early modern period. The notes are always useful, not too extensive or overly complex, and quite sober . . . the general Introduction to the volume is helpful and neutral in tone. The individual chapter introductions are learned but written with a light touch . . . I will certainly assign this book."
     —Andrew Colin Gow, University of Alberta


"Donnelly's collection makes some key primary source material easily available to undergraduates and others with little background in Jesuit history. . . . There is a healthy balance between theological treatises, administrative decrees, narrative histories, polemical attacks, and even scenes from a Jesuit-authored play. . . . In sum, this is a useful collection of sources for undergraduate courses in the history of Christianity or the history of early modern Europe."
     —Christopher Carlsmith, Theological Studies


"Donnelly's book shows the remarkable wide range of activities and ideas that engaged Jesuits in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Theology, education, missions, politics, social ministries, charities: everything is here.  A very useful book for college courses on the Reformation."
     —Virginia Reinburg, Boston College


"This book is a valuable contribution to the study of both the Society of Jesus and Early Modern Europe.  To scholars of the period, it offers a collection of useful texts that fully account for all the dimensions of the characteristic Jesuit 'way of proceding.'  In particular, I appreciate that Donnelly has resisted the tendency to plough over old ground (those Jesuit sources that have been repeatedly edited and translated by contemporary historians) and has chosen instead to offer selections from the wealth of material collected, edited, and published in their original languages by the Jesuits themselves.  By dipping under the surface of such Jesuit texts as Ignatius's Autobiography, the Spiritual Exercises, and the Relations, collating good existing translations (including those drawn from his own works) and offering new translations where necessary, he has done an invaluable service, especially students daunted by the Latin of most of the original sources.  I will certainly use this book in my classes—and I hope that more is coming!"
     —Benjamin Westervelt, Lewis and Clark College


"A wonderful and balanced collection.  Very useful for both early modern European history and global history.  The missions sections (both to Europe and outside Europe) are especially wide-ranging."
     —Moshe Sluhovsky, Department of History, Brown University


"This book of documents reflects their impact on world affairs and the headnotes and footnotes add considerably to this study of Jesuit influence on the history of early modern Europe.  An excellent reference book for students and scholars alike."
     —Fr. Michael Engh, Loyola Marymount University


"Donnelly's selections are especially appropriate as a supplement to Renaissance and Reformation classes.  The selections are sufficiently broad to give a good sense, in 250 pages, of the achievements of the Society of Jesus during an especially critical period in European history."
     —Dan O'Bryan, Sierra Nevada College


"Drawing on varied sources—diaries, chronicles, letters, canons, reports, plays, constitutions, treatises and essays—Fr. John Patrick Donnelly presents the mosaic of the first century of the Jesuits, detailing their vision, formation, struggles, aspirations, and impact on early modern society.  The book has several notable features that make it profitable on a number of levels to students of the history of the Church, the Reformation, the Catholic Reformation, and of course the Jesuits themselves.  As a whole this is an excellent collection whose range serves a number of demands....the selections are uniformly informative and lively, and as such easily comprehended."
     —Gary W. Jenkins, Eastern University



Acknowledgments; Introduction; Map.

Selections from the Autobiography and Spiritual Exercises.
Letter to Charles V on Naval Warfare against the Turks.
Letter of Advice for the Patriarch Designate of Ethiopia.

Letter from Juan Polanco to Araoz on Jesuit schools.
Jesuit Constitutions, Part IV, chapter 13 [on education].
Selections from Juan Polanco's Chronicon [Regarding the Jesuit College at Messina].
Joseph Simon, selection from Vitus, a Drama.

Francis Xavier, Four Letters Regarding Missionary Work in Asia.
Matteo Ricci, Writings on China.
Matteo Ricci, True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven [Against Re-Incarnation].
Roberto De Nobili, Preaching Wisdom to the Wise [on Indian Customs].
Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, on Guarani Indians.
Jean de Brebeuf, Letter on the Hardships of Working among the Hurons.

Letter from Loyola to Canisius on how to end Protestantism in Vienna.
Campion's "Brag."
Bellarmine, Selections on Scripture and Tradition.

Alfonso Rodriguez, Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues [Selections on the Jesuit Vocation].
Jerome Nadal, Meditation on Christmas.
Luis de la Puente, Meditation on the Parable of the Sower.
Bellarmine, Selections from Ascent of the Mind to God.

Juan Polanco, Chronicon [Selections on Healing Vendettas and Helping Former Prostitutes].
Claudio Acquaviva, Rules for Parish Missions.
Friedrich von Spee, Selections from Cautio Criminalis [Defense of Women Accused of Witchcraft].
Juan Polanco, Chronicon [Selections on Bullfights and Carnival].

Canons 12 and 13 of the Fifth Jesuit General Congregation [Against Jesuit Involvement in Politics].
Juan Mariana, On a King and the Education of a King.
Claudio Acquaviva, Rules for Jesuit Royal Confessors.
Bellarmine, Selections from On the Duty of a Prince.

Juan Polanco, Chronicon [Selections on Opposition to the Jesuits in Spain and France].
Étienne Pasquier, Le Catéchisme des Jésuites, Book III, ch. 24.
Watson and Bagshaw, English Catholic Attacks on the Jesuits.



About the Author:

John Patrick Donnelly, S. J. is Professor of History, Marquette University.