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Volume 4, Issue 3, 2017

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414


Table of Content

Research Article
Melchor Cano and the Spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola:
The Censura y parecer contra el Insituto de los Padres Jesuitas
Terence OReilly pp.: 365394 (30)
The Perils of Accommodation:
Jesuit Missionary Strategies in the Early Modern World
Andrs I. Prieto pp.: 395414 (20)
Beyond Religious Exclusivism:
The Jesuit Attacks against Buddhism and Xu Dashous Refutation of 1623
Thierry Meynard pp.: 415430 (16)
The Jesuit College Ballets:
What We Know and Whats Next
Judith Rock pp.: 431452 (22)
60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series
John W. Padberg pp.: 453472 (20)

Book Review
The Jesuit Emblem in the European Context,
written by Peter M. Daly and G. Richard Dimler, S.J.
Walter S. Melion pp.: 473483 (11)

La vocazione: Storie di gesuiti tra Cinquecento e Seicento,

written by Adriano Prosperi
Simon Ditchfield pp.: 484488 (5)

How the Jesuits Survived Their Suppression:

The Society of Jesus in the Russian Empire (17731814),
written by Mark Inglot, S.J.
Ronald A. Binzley pp.: 489491 (3)

Les jsuites aujourdhui: Depuis leur rtablissement (1814),

written by Patrick Goujon
John W. Padberg pp.: 492494 (3)

The Jesuits and the Popes: A Historical Sketch of Their Relationship,

written by John W. OMalley, S.J.
D. Scott Hendrickson pp.: 495497 (3)

Ignacio y la Compaa: Del castillo a la misin,

written by Mara Lara and Laura Lara
Patricia W. Manning pp.: 498500 (3)

Missioni, saperi e adattamento tra Europa e imperi non cristiani:

Atti del seminario,
edited by Vincenzo Lavenia and Sabina Pavone
Thomas M. Cohen pp.: 501504 (4)

Cognitive Psychology in Early Jesuit Scholasticism,

edited by Heider, Daniel
Cristiano Casalini pp.: 505507 (3)
Divine Causality and Human Free Choice. Domingo Bez,
Physical Premotion and the Controversy,
written by R.J. Matava
Petr Dvorak pp.: 508510 (3)

Identity, Intertextuality, and Performance in Early Modern Song Culture,

edited by Dieuwke van der Poel, Louis Peter Grijp, and Wim van Anrooij
Daniele V. Filippi pp.: 511513 (3)

Publishing Subversive Texts in Elizabethan England

and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth,
edited by Teresa Bela, Clarinda Calma, Jolanta Rzegocka
James E. Kelly pp.: 514516 (3)

Polonia Reformata: Essays on the Polish Reformation(s),

written by Piotr Wilczek
Karin Maag pp.: 517519 (3)

Benedict XIV and the Enlightenment: Art, Science and Spirituality,

edited by Rebecca Messbarger, Christopher M.S. Johns, and Philip Gavitt
Daniel J. Watkins pp.: 520522 (3)

Fealty and Fidelity: The Lazarists of Bourbon France, 16601736,

written by San Alexander Smith
Thomas Worcester pp.: 523525 (3)

Voices of Conscience: Royal Confessors and Political Counsel

in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France,
written by Nicole Reinhard
Robert Bireley pp.: 526528 (3)

The Mughal Padshah:

A Jesuit Treatise on Emperor Jahangirs Court and Household,
written by Jorge Flores
Joo Vicente Melo pp.: 529531 (3)

Rencontres et mdiations entre la Chine, lOccident, et les Amriques,

missionnaires, chamanes et intermdiaires culturels,
written by Shenwen Li, Frederic Laugrand and Nansheng Peng
Yves Vend pp.: 532534 (3)

Qing Encounters: Artistic Exchanges between China and the West,

edited by Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu and Ning Ding
David E. Mungello pp.: 535537 (3)

Religion, Gender, and Kinship in Colonial New France of Book,

written by Lisa J.M. Poirier
Mary Dunn pp.: 538540 (3)

Histoire des jsuites en Afrique: Du XVIe sicle nos jours,

written by Lon de Saint Moulin, S.J.
Jean Luc Enyegue pp.: 541543 (3)

Not und Bedrngnis: Als Jesuit in Auschwitz und Dachau; Lagertagebuch,

written by Adam Kozowiecki, S.J.
Kevin P. Spicer pp.: 544547 (4)
Francis A. Sullivan, S.J. and Ecclesiological Hermeneutics:
An Exercise in Faithful Creativity,
written by Michael M. Canaris
Richard R. Gaillardetz pp.: 548550 (3)

Sacramentum Mundi Online,

edited by Karl Rahner with Cornelius Ernst and Kevin Smyth
Peter Joseph Fritz pp.: 551553 (3)

Recognizing the Gift: Toward a Renewed Theology of Nature and Grace,

written by Daniel A. Robert
Joshua Furnal pp.: 554555 (2)
journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414


The Perils of Accommodation: Jesuit Missionary

Strategies in the Early Modern World

Andrs I. Prieto
University of Colorado at Boulder


The notion of accommodation, or the adaptation of ones message to ones audience,

has been regarded as a central feature of the Jesuit way of proceeding at least since the
seventeenth century. In recent years, scholars have come to understand accommoda-
tion as a rhetorical principle, whichwhile rooted in the rules of classical oratory
permeated all the works and ministries performed by the Jesuits of the Old Society.
By comparing the theoretical notions about accommodation and the advantages and
risks of adapting both the Christian message to native cultures and vice versa, this pa-
per shows how and under what conditions the Jesuit missionaries were able to trans-
late this rhetorical principle into a proselytizing praxis. By focusing on the examples
of Jos de Acosta in Peru, Matteo Ricci in China, and of those Jesuits working in the
missions in Paraguay and Chile, this essay will show how the needs in the missionary
field superseded and overruled the theoretical requirements set beforehand. They re-
vealed the ways in which the political and cultural context in which the missionaries
operated determined the negotiations needed in order to achieve a common ground
with their would-be converts if their mission was going to happen at all.


accommodation Jesuit missions China Chile Paraguay Peru Jos Acosta

(15401600) Matteo Ricci (15511610)

In his Provincial Letters (1656), Pascal recounts how, among the many strange
things he heard from a Jansenist friend regarding the Society of Jesus, there
was a description of their accommodationist strategy. According to his friend,
Prieto, 2017|doi 10.1163/22141332-00403002
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial 4.0 Unported (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
396 Prieto

since the Jesuits goal was to extend their influence everywhere and to govern
all consciences, they readily adapted Christianity and its moral norms to every
kind of person they might happen to encounter. The most appalling exam-
ple was their behavior in China, a land where, since the doctrine of a cruci-
fied God is accounted foolishness, they suppress the offence of the cross and
preach only a glorious and not a suffering Jesus Christ, while allowing their
converts to continue practicing their idolatrous rites.1 Eager to test the limits of
Jesuit accommodation, Pascal decided to consult a Jesuit priest about the pos-
sibility of being excused from fasting. The Jesuit diligently released Pascal from
the obligation, justifying his decision with quotes from Escobar, Surez, and
other Jesuit authorities in Probabilism. When Pascal inquired what would hap-
pen in the case other authorities, such as the Church Fathers, had expressed
an opinion contrary to that of modern Jesuit moralists, the priest answered,
The Fathers were good enough for the morality of their own times; but they
lived too far back for that of the present age. Moral rules and religious obliga-
tions, the Jesuit insisted, needed to be accommodated to present times and
individual circumstances.2
Accommodation, the attitude that so outraged Pascal, had been a main
feature of the Jesuit way of proceeding since the early years of the order; one
that had been championed by Ignatius himself. Thus, for example, in the in-
structions he wrote in 1549 to Alfonso Salmern (151585) and Peter Canisius
(152197) with occasion of their mission to Ingolstadt, Ignatius recommended
that in their actions and words they should accommodate to the wits and af-
fections of those they had to deal with.3 Ignatius had given a similar directive
to Paschase Brot (c.150062) and Salmern in 1541, quoting 1 Cor 9:22 (I have
become all things to all people).4 This scriptural justification notwithstanding,
Jesuit accommodationism was rooted, ultimately, in the precepts of humanis-
tic and classical rhetoric, as John OMalley noted almost two decades ago.5 This
rhetorical principle went beyond the needs of preaching, lecturing, and even
of casuistry, and informed the theological and anthropological assumptions
of Jesuit pastoral work.6 The belief that God labors directly in the individual

1 Blaise Pascal, Penses and The Provincial Letters, trans. W.F. Trotter and Thomas MCrie
(New York: Random House, 1941 [1656]), 375.
2 Pascal, Penses and The Provincial Letters, 384.
3 Ignatius Loyola, Obras de San Ignacio de Loyola, ed. Ignacio Iparraguirre, Cndido de
Dalmases, and Manuel Ruiz Jurado (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1991), 866.
4 Loyola, Obras, 752.
5 John W. OMalley, The Ministry to Outsiders: The Jesuits, in OMalley, Saints or Devils Incar-
nate?: Studies in Jesuit History (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 8997, here 9091.
6 John W. OMalley, The First Jesuits (Cambridge, ma: Harvard University Press, 1993), 255.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

The Perils of Accommodation 397

and that the individual must then be accommodated was the fundamental
premise of the [Spiritual] Exercises.7 This willingness to accommodate the in-
dividual and his or her circumstances was one of the main reasons for the Je-
suit commitment to probabilistic thought in moral matters.8 Accommodation,
although grounded in a definite conception of the relationship between God
and the individual Christian, transcended the purely individual to inform the
orders main ministries.9 Crucially (and most polemically, as Pascals mordant
satire makes clear) it also became associated with the evangelizing methods
put in place by the Jesuits in their overseas missions.
The Jesuit willingness to accommodate themselves and their message to
different audiences drew criticism from very early on. Almost a century be-
fore Pascals Provincial Letters, Pero Fernandes Sardinha (14971556), bishop
of Brazil, complained to the Jesuit superiors in Lisbon that their mission-
aries were going too far in embracing the native way of living, and accused
them of being overly permissive with native rituals.10 Similar charges were
often leveled against Jesuit missionaries, particularly by members of other
religious orders.11 But not all criticisms came from the outside. Even though
the rhetoric of accommodation permeated the spiritual and worldly activi-
ties of the Jesuits, not all members of the order agreed on how to translate
this notion into actual practice. This was particularly so when accommoda-
tion moved away from the individual level to the adaptation of Christianity
to non-European cultures, that is to say, when accommodation happened in
the contexts that so distressed critics such as Pascal or Fernandes Sardinha. In
the following pages, I will trace the development of different Jesuit ideas and
practices regarding accommodation in places as diverse as Ming China and
seventeenth-century Chile and Paraguay. My goal is to underscore the wide
range of attitudes early modern Jesuits had regarding accommodation, from

7 Stephen Schloesser, Accommodation as a Rhetorical Principle: Twenty Years after John

OMalleys The First Jesuits (1993), Journal of Jesuit Studies 1, no. 3 (2014): 34772, here
8 Robert A. Maryks, Saint Cicero and the Jesuits: The Influence of the Liberal Arts on the Adop-
tion of Moral Probabilism (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), 7980.
9 OMalley, First Jesuits, 256; Schloesser, Accommodation as a Rhetorical Principle, 34864.
10 Judith Shapiro, From Tup to the Land Without Evil: The Christianization of Tupi-
Guarani Cosmology, American Ethnologist 14, no. 1 (1987): 12639, here 129.
11 For a summary of the different criticisms faced by Jesuit missionaries regarding the prac-
tice of accommodation in the early modern period, see Jonathan Wright, Gods Soldiers:
Adventure, Politics, Intrigue, and Power; A History of the Jesuits (New York: Doubleday,
2004), 11623.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

398 Prieto

seeing it as a necessary step towards the conversion of native peoples to its

total rejection in m issionary settings. I will begin by discussing the practices
put forth by Alessandro Valignano (15391606) and implemented by Matteo
Ricci (15521610) when trying to found a Chinese Christianity. Their decisions
regarding how to best adapt Christianity to the social and cultural milieu of
late Ming China are among the first examples of accommodation in the over-
seas missions, and one of the most polemic. Riccis strategic decisions still
inform our discussions of Jesuit evangelizing practices among non-European
peoples. I will then examine the writings of one of the most influential Jesuit
missiologists of the sixteenth century, Jos de Acosta (15401600). Acostas dis-
like of accommodationist strategies had a profound influence in the develop-
ment of pastoral texts and attitudes in the South American church well into
the seventeenth century. Yet, for all his influence, his opinions were not always
heeded by those Jesuits that came after him, who felt the need to compro-
mise and search for a common ground with their a udiences in the missionary
field. I will finish this essay by analyzing the ways in which Luis de Valdivia
(15611642) adapted Acostas texts to the realities and needs of pastoral work
in seventeenth-century Chile, while still managing to accommodate their mes-
sage to his audience reactions.
In the last two decades, accommodation, understood both as a rhetorical
principle and a missionary practice, has come to be accepted by most schol-
ars as a staple of the Jesuit way of proceeding. Yet, as I hope to show in the
following pages, early modern Jesuits did not agree on the exact meaning of
accommodation. This is particularly true in the thorny issue of what aspects
of Christianity, and to which degree, it was convenient to present to native
cultures outside the Mediterranean. As we will see, Jesuit attitudes regarding
accommodation ran the gamut from cherry-picking some aspects of Christian-
ity while hiding or downplaying others, to a purely rhetorical and extremely
rigorist interpretation of the principle. By studying the theoretical and prac-
tical challenges faced by Jesuit missionaries, my goal will be to highlight the
variety of attitudes towards accommodation within Jesuit ranks, that is to say,
to unravel some of the different manners in which the Jesuits themselves view
one of the key elements of their way of proceeding.

Valignano, Ricci, and Accommodation in China

Perhaps the best-known example of Jesuit accommodationist strategies is that

of the China mission and the so-called rites controversy. Alessandro Valig-
nano, visitor of Asia, developed in the late 1570s and early 1580s a policy of

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

The Perils of Accommodation 399

a ccommodation for the Jesuits working in China and in Japan.12 Even though
Valignano would eventually become disappointed with the reception of Chris-
tianity by the Japanese,13 he nonetheless insisted that the missionaries learned
Mandarin and Japanese, and that they adopted the clothes and customs of the
Chinese.14 Valignano was, of course, following the guidelines laid out in the
orders Constitutions, according to which the Jesuits garb had to conform to
local use.15 Yet, Valignano took the idea of accommodation a step further by
making the crucial assumption that, with more civilized peoples such as the
Chinese and the Japanese, one could tolerate diversity of customs and find a
common moral ground on the basis of natural law to facilitate their conver-
sion.16 Following Valignanos suggestions and his own observations, the first
Jesuit missionary in China, Michele Ruggieri (15431607), adopted the persona
of a Buddhist monk. Ruggieri, who had been laboriously studying Chinese in
Macao in preparation for his mission, published a catechism titled, Tianzhu
Shilu (1584), the first catechism in Chinese characters ever to be used in main-
land China. In it, he presented himself as Tianchu seng, a monk from India,
the land of Buddha. This choice was in part motivated by Ruggieris desire to
portray himself and his companion, Matteo Ricci, as Westerners without fully
identifying themselves with the more aggressive Portuguese merchants from
Macao. But it also reflects the fact that, in the religious climate of late Ming
China, the Jesuits and the religion they preached (their claims to uniqueness
notwithstanding) were initially perceived by the Chinese Mandarins of Zhaoq-
ing through the lens of Buddhism.17

12 Edward J. Malatesta, Alessandro Valignano Fan Li-An (15391609): Strategist of the

Jesuit Mission in China, in Portrait of a Jesuit: Alessandro Valignano (Macau: Macau Ricci
Institute, 2013), 12143, here 134; Catherine Pagani, Clockwork and the Jesuit Mission in
China, in The Jesuits ii: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, 15401773, ed. John W. OMalley et
al. (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2006), 65877, here 659.
13 Jonathan D. Spence, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (New York: Penguin, 1985), 42.
14 Nicolas Standaert, Jesuits in China, in The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits, ed.
Thomas Worcester (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008), 16985, here 172;
Mary Laven, Mission to China: Matteo Ricci and the Jesuit Encounter with the East (London:
Faber & Faber, 2011), 4546.
15 Ignatius Loyola, The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, trans. George E. Ganss (St. Louis,
mo: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1970), 35779.
16 Joan-Pau Rubis, The Concept of Cultural Dialogue and the Jesuit Method of Accommo-
dation: Between Idolatry and Civilization, Archivum historicum Societatis Iesu 74, no. 147
(2005): 23780, here 249.
17 Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, A Jesuit in the Forbidden City: Matteo Ricci, 15521610 (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2010), 9093.

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400 Prieto

Ruggieri was sent back to Rome in November 1588. Although his mission
to secure a papal embassy to the Ming Emperor in order to strengthen the
Jesuit position in the Middle Kingdomnever came to fruition, his departure
represented a turning point for the Jesuit accommodationist strategy in China.
Between 1589 and 1593, Ricci refashioned his own identity and the missionary
program of the China mission. This new program was based on a complete
rejection of Buddhism, a change in orientation that Valignano approved in
1593.18 Not introducing himself anymore as a monk from India, Ricci let his
hair and beard grow and began studying the Confucian classics, gradually as-
suming the identity of a Confucian scholar. His first book in Chinese script,
Jiaoyun Lun (1595) was a collection of maxims and anecdotes culled from Stoic
and Patristic sources dealing with male friendship, one of the five basic hu-
man relationships in Confucian doctrine. Significantly, Ricci presented himself
in the proem of the book as having come from the Far West, and not from
India anymore.19 Furthermore, he stopped calling himself a monk, and used
instead the term shenren, a term usually employed to describe Ming literati
who did not hold office or who had retired from lower posts in order to be
employed by other Mandarins in their literary projects.20 His following book,
Xiguo Jifa (1596), intended as a present for the governor of Jiangxi, Lu Wangai,
also addressed another central focus of concern for the Mandarins: the art of
memory. It was, in fact, meant to instruct the governors sons in the techniques
of European mnemonics to help them pass the grueling qualifying exams that
determined the careers of all Mandarins in the empire.21
Riccis rejection of Buddhism and his subsequent adoption of the habits,
clothing, and demeanor of Confucian literati, were a tactical move. Aware of
the lower social status of Buddhist monks in late Ming society, and the cen-
trality of the Confucian rituals and literary cannon in the public lives of his
office-holding patrons, Ricci refashioned himself as a scholar as soon as Rug-
gieri (who was comfortable in his persona as a Tianchu seng) departed for
Rome. Famously, Ricci would develop a view of Confucianism not as a reli-
gion, but as a civil practice; a political philosophy that was atheistic at its core
and, therefore, compatible with Christianity if one could get past the more
recent Buddhist and Daoist metaphysical additions to it.22 Even though the

18 Malatesta, Alessandro Valignano, 126.

19 Matteo Ricci, On Friendship: One Hundred Maxims for a Chinese Prince, trans. Timothy
Billings (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009 [1595]), 87.
20 Hsia, Jesuit in the Forbidden City, 156.
21 Spence, The Memory Palace, 34.
22 Liam M. Brockey, Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 15791724 (Cambridge,
ma: Harvard University Press, 2007), 1067; Spence, The Memory Palace, 210.

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The Perils of Accommodation 401

Mandarins attended the temples, performed rites, and burned incense during
Confucian holidays, Ricci saw these practices as grounded in a moral philoso-
phy whose emphasis on state and family made it akin to classic Stoicism, and
not a form of idolatry.23 Confucianism, Ricci claimed, was not a religious law
(legge), but an academia, instituted for the good governance of the republic.
It could, then, be Christianized, since nel suo essentiale non contiene niente
contra lessentia della fede Catholica [in its essence it does not contain any-
thing against the essence of the Catholic faith].24
However, Riccis synthesis of Christian and Confucian doctrines was more
than a tactical maneuver. In the complex religious climate of late Ming China,
several schools of thought offered competing syntheses between the three
major religions, Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism. To complicate matters
more, at the time Ricci and Ruggieri began their missionary sojourn into the
Middle Kingdom, at least some scholars and officials were seeking to reform the
Mandarin class, paralyzed, in their opinion, by the influence of Buddhism.25
One of these scholars was Zhang Huang (15271608), who presided over the
White Deer Grotto Academy in Nangchang, where Ricci resided from 1595 to
1598. Zhang Huang understood Confucianism as the practice of moral virtue,
and his reading of the doctrines of Confucius and Mencius was predicated on a
metaphysics derived from his studies of the IChing.26 Ricci stroke a friendship
with the Confucian sage, and attended the monthly gatherings at the Acad-
emy he presided. There, aside from being exposed to more in-depth discus-
sions of the Confucian doctrines and canonical texts, Ricci also expounded
about Christianity. It was from these discussions that a number of points of
convergence between the two mens intellectual programs became evident: A
stress on self-discipline and introspection; a return to the text of the Confucian
classics in order to reconstruct a Confucian orthodoxy free of Buddhistand
Daoist accretions; the practice of moral knowledge in daily life; and the search
for harmony between the study of nature and self-cultivation, all important
topics in Riccis Tianzhu Shiyi, the catechism he published in 1603.27 On top of

23 Ana Carolina Hosne, The Jesuit Missions to China and Peru, 15701610: Expectations and
Appraisals of Expansionism (New York: Routledge, 2013), 86.
24 Matteo Ricci, Descrizione della Cina, ed. Bernardo Valli (Macerata: Quodlibet, 2011 [1610]),
25 Yu Sanle, Seeking the Truth from the West: A Generation of Giants in Late Ming China,
in Culture, Art, Religion: Wu Li (16321718) and His Inner Journey (Macau: Macau Ricci In-
stitute, 2006), 45984, here 46263.
26 Hsia, Jesuit in the Forbidden City, 160.
27 Ibid., 15960.

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402 Prieto

the intellectual influence Zhang Huang had on Riccis understanding of Confu-

cianism, some high-placed officers, such as Xu Guanqi (15621633), custodian
of the Heir Apparent and grand secretary of the Hall of Literary Profundity,
saw Catholicism and Western knowledge as instrumental to free Confucian-
ism from Buddhist influences, therefore offering Ricci their protection, em-
bracing Christianity, and helping disseminate Western doctrines and ideas.28
In the end, and more important than the particular attacks on certain forms of
Chinese Buddhism, such as Chan meditation, that scholars like Zhang Huang
waged, it was the general climate amiable to religious synthesis that favored
Riccis accommodationist strategy. As Mungello has pointedly remarked, the
best sign of Riccis sinification lays not in what he rejected, but in his attempt
to synthesize Confucian and Christian doctrines.29
After Riccis passing in 1610, the Jesuit accommodationist strategy in
China came under attack, particularly by newly arrived Franciscan and
Dominican missionaries. The newcomers came imbued with a more rigorist
Counter-Reformation approach to the teaching of dogma, and saw Confucian
rites not as civil practices, but as an idolatrous cult of ancestors. Reports of
the Jesuit permissiveness reached Rome, and the controversy over Confucian
rites and their place (or lack thereof) in Chinese Catholicism escalated. Finally,
in 1704, the pope decided to condemn Riccis compromises, which in turn led
Kangxi, the Qing Emperor, to withdraw his protection of the Jesuits.30

Jos de Acosta and the Jesuit Opposition to Accommodation

Even though Ricciand the China mission more generallyhas become the
emblem of the Jesuit missionary strategy, not all sixteenth-century Jesuits
shared Riccis and Valignanos positive view of accommodation. In fact, some

28 Yu Sanle has argued that both Jesuit missionaries and Chinese mandarins were respon-
sible for the introduction of Christianity into China (Sanle, Seeking the Truth from the
West, 45984). On Xu Guanqi and his efforts to disseminate Western ideas, see Roger
Hart, Imagined Civilizations: China, the West, and Their First Encounter (Baltimore: The
John Hopkins University Press, 2013), 195256.
29 David E. Mungello, Curious Land: Jesuit Accommodation and the Origins of Sinology
(Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989), 62.
30 The full history of the Rites Controversy falls outside my scope here. For a brief summary,
see Brockey, Journey to the East, 1047; Mungello, Curious Land; and George Minamiki, The
Chinese Rites Controversy from Its Beginning to Modern Times (Chicago: Loyola University
Press, 1985), 2576. For the Dominican perspective, see James S. Cummins, A Question of
Rites: Friar Domingo de Navarrete and the Jesuits in China (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1993).

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The Perils of Accommodation 403

of the leading missiologists of the order, such as Jos de Acosta, alarmed by

what they perceived as a dangerous practice, sought to curb the use of cross-
cultural adaptations in missionary settings. In recent years, there has been a
tendency among historians to compare Ricci to Acosta, precisely on the issue
of their attitudes toward native cultures. Thus, for instance, Joan-Pau Rubis
has commented that Acostas view of native cultures was more rigorist than
Riccis, seeing native rituals as thoroughly inspired by the devil.31 More recent-
ly, Ana Carolina Hosne has compared Riccis accommodationist strategy to
Acostas idea of Hispanicization or acculturation, famously exemplified by his
remark in De procuranda that the Andean natives needed to be taught how to
be human before they could be taught how to be Christians.32 Predictably, the
comparison (motivated by the fact that they were roughly contemporaries and
by their inescapable influence in China and Peru, respectively) is only partially
satisfactory. As Hosne has documented, Acostas position towards Andean cul-
ture was deeply ambiguous, and nothing similar to Riccis saving view of Con-
fucianism can be found in his writings.
One could argue that the comparison between Ricci and Acosta yields only
partially satisfactory results due to the different nature of their engagement
with native cultures. Ricci spent almost three decades founding and spiritually
tending to Christian communities first in the Guangdong province and later
in the imperial capitals of Nanjing and Beijing. In the process, he transformed
himself to look, sound, and behave like a Mandarin, to the point that, at a ban-
quet in Nanchang, a Mandarin gave Ricci the supreme compliment of publicly
saying that there was nothing foreign about the Italian Jesuit, except for his
face.33 Acosta, on the other hand, never spent any meaningful amount of time
among native communities and he never learned Quechua or Aymara, the two
main indigenous languages in the Andes. Except for a few sermons preached
during short visits to native parishes, he never got personally involved in the
nitty-gritty of missionary work. The difference between Acosta the administra-
tor and Ricci the missionary had a profound effect on their views on accom-
modation. It is important to keep in mind that, as the examples of both Jesuits
show, there were at least two different ways of going about accommodation.
The first one was the adaptation of Christian dogma to different cultural reali-
ties, without betraying the essence of the faith. This is what modern theolo-
gians call inculturation, and is visible in the emphasis Acosta put on simpli-
fying both the language and the reasoning used to preach the fundamental

31 Rubis, The Concept of Cultural Dialogue, 246.

32 Hosne, Jesuit Missions to China and Peru, 76.
33 Hsia, Jesuit in the Forbidden City, 167.

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404 Prieto

Christian precepts to the Andean natives. The preacher must accommodate

himself completely to his audience, Acosta remarked in 1584, although that
did not mean picking and choosing what aspects of the faith they were taught
or how to interpret them.34 On the other hand, accommodation can refer to
the adaptation of non-Christian customs or beliefs to Christian ends, or the
reinterpretation of non-Christian traditions in order to make them more ame-
nable to Christian indoctrination. In this sense, accommodation represents
more than just a rhetorical compromise, as in the case of inculturation, but
rather a conceptual compromise designed to bridge the chasm between the
missionarys and the would-be converts cultures. This was Valignanoss and,
especially, Riccis understanding (although Ricci did practice some measure of
inculturation in his pastoral writings, particularly in his Tianzhu Shiyi).
Acostas position on accommodation became more and more conservative
over time. In his handbook for missionaries, De procuranda Indorum salute,
which he wrote in 1576, Acosta refuted in strong terms those who advocated
teaching only certain aspects of the faith to the natives, based on their per-
ceived intellectual capabilities. Acosta complained that some modern theolo-
gians maintained that the Indians could be saved without an explicit knowl-
edge of Christ or his sacrifice, an opinion he considered an absurdity.35 He was
well aware that these theologians had developed this theory out of a concern
for the natives, who for so many centuries had been deprived of the revelation,
and therefore, of any knowledge of Christ. Yet, he insisted, this doctrine []
is so openly heretic that there is nothing that could be more at odds with the
faith than to say that anyone can be saved without [explicit faith in Christ].36
The minimum every neophyte was expected to know was spelled out in the
long and short catechisms he prepared for the Third Lima Council (158283)
and in the Tercero cathecismo, a collection of sermons Acosta published under
the councils imprint. In the prologue to the Tercero cathecismo, Acosta insisted
in what the catechumens needed to know before baptism:

34 Jos de Acosta, Tercero cathecismo y exposicion de la doctrina christiana por sermones

(Lima: Antonio Ricardo, 1585), 4.
35 Jos de Acosta, De procuranda Indorum salute (Madrid: c.s.i.c, 1984 [1589]), 2:18889.
36 Ibid., 2:191. Incidentally, it was precisely notions such as the original sin, the passion of
Christ, his resurrection and its larger meaning in the economy of salvation that Ricci left
out of his Tianzhu Shiyi, which presented to the Chinese readers what Ronnie Po-Chia
Hsia has called a pared-down Christianity (Hsia, Jesuit in the Forbidden City, 224). It was
this aspect of Riccis strategy that drew the ire of critics such as Pascal, as we have already

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

The Perils of Accommodation 405

And so it is convenient that, as with dull disciples, we try to instill in them

the most essential points of our faith, especially those which they ignore
the most, such as the unity of one God, and that we must not worship
more than one God, that Jesus Christ is God and man, and the only savior
of men, that through sin man loses Heaven and is damned forever, that to
free oneself from sin, one has to get baptized, or to confess all sins; that
God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that there is another life and eternal
damnation for the wicked and eternal glory for the just.37

All this was explained in the catechisms, which were organized as a series of
questions and answers meant to be memorized by the native neophytes, cover-
ing every article of faith from the Nicene Creed.
Unlike previous evangelizing efforts, after the Third Lima Council (in which
Acosta had a decisive intervention), the South American church moved away
from trying to accommodate both language and content to its native audiences
and towards a more uniform program of religious indoctrination.38 Acosta re-
jected earlier accommodationist missionary practices, like the use of native
words or neologisms to translate key doctrinal concepts, such as God, church,
holy cross, and others into native languages.39 This was reflected in the lexical
choices of the trilingual texts published under the imprint of the Third Lima
Council: in the Quechua and Aymara versions, these terms were simply ex-
pressed with loan words from Spanish in order to achieve both unity in the
instruction given across the Andes and to minimize the possibilities of misin-
terpretation by the natives. Otherwise, the missionaries risked a lot of confu-
sion [among their converts], and even occasions for these Indians to think that
they are being taught different doctrines through different terms.40
One can trace the evolution of Acostas anti-accommodationist ideas from
the mid-1570s to 1590, the date of his last published work. In 1576, when he
was beginning to formulate his ideas on the proper amount of dogma native
neophytes should know before baptism, and the convenience of using Spanish
instead of native terms for certain doctrinal concepts, Acosta could still accept

37 Acosta, Tercero cathecismo, 3v4r.

38 Juan Carlos Estenssoro Fuchs, Del paganismo a la santidad: La incorporacin de los indios
del Per al catolicismo, 15321750, trans. Gabriela Ramos (Lima: ifea, 2003), 18889; Alan
Durston, Pastoral Quechua: The History of Christian Translation in Colonial Peru, 15501650
(Notre Dame, in: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), 8485.
39 Acosta, De procuranda Indorum salute, 2:75.
40 Jos de Acosta, Doctrina Christiana y catecismo para instruccion de los indios (Lima: Anto-
nio Ricardo, 1584).

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

406 Prieto

the use of Christianized Andean songs and dances in missionary contexts. On

December 21, 1576, Acosta visited the Jesuit mission in Juli, on the shores of
Lake Titicaca. He was pleased to see that he was welcomed by a most solemn
reception that included native dancers of all ages, even children who could
barely walk, singing and dancing Christianized versions of takes, traditional
Andean songs.41 By the end of the decade of 1580, however, Acosta was de-
nouncing all native ritual practices as demonic inversions of Christian sacra-
ments and rituals, and therefore irredeemable for Christian use.42 By 1590, his
concept of accommodation had ceased having anything to do with the adapta-
tion of Christianity to non-Christian cultures. In his treatise, De Christo revela-
to (1590), Acosta defined accommodation not as a way to adapt Christianity to
new cultural realities but as a method of interpreting scripture by extending its
meanings to topics and events the biblical authors could not have predicted.43
But even in this heavily restricted sense, Acosta still insisted that accommoda-
tion had no place in missionary settings. Missionaries should stick to teaching
neophytes only the literal and historical sense of the sacred text and nothing

Missionary Strategies in South America

As several scholars have noted, Acostas emphasis on inculturation over ac-

commodation was expressed in his rejection of the use of Quechua words
and Quechua neologisms to translate key doctrinal concepts, a position made
church policy by the Third Lima Council.45 However, one must be careful in
assigning too much weight to this indictment. Other Jesuits in South America
had a more liberal view of accommodation. Tellingly, they usually had a more
prolonged exposure to native cultures and to the realities and needs in the
missionary field. Thus, when in 1639 Antonio Ruiz de Montoya (15851652)
published his dictionary and grammar of the Guarani language, he decided to
follow a route more akin to Riccis than to Acostas. In his Arte y bocabulario,

41 Antonio Egaa, ed., Monumenta Peruana, 7 vols. (Rome: Monumenta Historica Societatis
Iesu, 195481), 2:279.
42 Jos de Acosta, Historia natural y moral de las Indias, ed. Jos Alcina Franch (Madrid:
Dastin, 2002 [1590]), 35859.
43 Sabine MacCormack, Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru
(Princeton, nj: Princeton University Press, 1991), 262.
44 Jos de Acosta, De Christo revelato libri novem (Rome: Jacob Tornerius, 1590), 99.
45 Durston, Pastoral Quechua, 8485.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

The Perils of Accommodation 407

Ruiz de Montoya translated soul with the Guarani notion of ang, and used
the name of a Tupi-Guarani deity, Tup, to refer to the Christian God.46 The
use of native words to name Christian concepts became the standard Jesuit
practice in Paraguay, but it also opened up a flank to the attacks of the en-
emies of the order. Barely a decade after the publication of Ruiz de Montoyas
Arte y bocabulario, the Franciscan bishop of Asuncin, Friar Bernardino de
Crdenas (15791668), violently engaged the Jesuits, to the point of an armed
confrontation that resulted in the burning down of the Jesuit college of Asun-
cin and a retaliatory expedition against the bishops supporters by a squad-
ron of reduction Guarani armed with fire weapons.47 According to the Jesuit
provincial, Joan Baptista Ferrufino (15811655), the conflict originated in the
Jesuit negative to recognize Crdenas as the legitimate bishop of Paraguay.
Crdenas had obtained local support by promising to expel the Jesuits and to
redistribute the natives from the reductions among the Spanish settlers, who
could thus put them to work in their fields.48 Among the many reasons Crde-
nas gave for his attempts to banish the Jesuits from his see were, significantly,
their accommodating practices. Crdenas, in particular, objected to the use of
Tup, which they use in their catechism instead of the sovereign name of God,
which they reject so they can use the name Tup, which is abominable, being
the proper name of some demon, as it is that of Tub, which they use instead
of that of God Our Father.49 Ultimately, the conflict between the bishop and
the Jesuits was resolved favorably for the latter when Crdenas left Asuncin
in 1651, freeing the Jesuits to continue their accommodating strategies. In 1724,
the Jesuit Paulo Restivo (16581740) asked the Guarani chief Nicols Yapuguay
(1680?) to translate a commented catechism into the Guarani language. The
printing press the Jesuits had in the mission of Santa Mara la Mayor published
the resulting book. Even though loan words from Spanish appear throughout
the text, they refer mainly to secular cultural concepts introduced by the mis-
sionaries (although some loan words are used for Christian concepts, such as

46 Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, Arte y bocabulario de la lengua guaran (Madrid: Juan Snchez,
1640), 153 and 323.
47 Barbara Ganson, The Guaran under Spanish Rule in the Ro de la Plata (Stanford, ca: Stan-
ford University Press, 2003), 4849.
48 Joan Baptista Ferrufino, Letter to the Jesuit Procurator in Madrid, Buenos Aires, January
30, 1648, Archivo Nacional de Chile, Santiago, Fondo Jesuitas 196.78 (1648), 7.
49 Bernandino de Crdenas et al., Coleccin general de documentos tocantes a la persecucin
que los regulares de la Compaa suscitaron y siguieron tenazmente por medio de sus jueces
conservadores y ganando algunos ministros seculares desde 1644 a 1660 contra el Ilustrsimo
y Reverendsimo Sr. Don Fr. Bernardino de Crdenas, (Madrid: Imprenta Real de la Gaceta,
1768), 2:9293.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

408 Prieto

sacramento or Santa Madre Iglesia). Yapuguay consistently used Tup to re-

fer to the Christian God. Thus, for instance, the sentence the Ten Command-
ments of God became Tup andequaitaba diez in Yapuguays translation.50
The use of native helpers to translate pastoral texts had a long tradition
among the Jesuits in South America. Ferrufino himself, working in the Chi-
loe archipelago in southern Chile in 1609 (before becoming provincial of
Paraguay), enlisted the help of two un-Christianized natives to translate a cat-
echism. The southern part of the archipelago was inhabited by the Chono peo-
ple, who spoke a different language than the Mapuche peoples of continental
Chile, who had been up to that point the focus of Jesuit proselytizing efforts in
the area. The Jesuits had already translated Acostas 1584 catechism into Ma-
pudungun, the Mapuche language. Since Chono groups regularly travelled to
the Spanish settlements on the main island to barter, Ferrufino used this op-
portunity to enlist the help of two Chono traders who also spoke Mapudun-
gun to translate the catechism into their language. Upon completing the task,
Ferrufino checked the quality of the resulting translation with several people
who told me it was good.51 Although the resulting catechism is lost, we can
surmise that the double translation (from Spanish into Mapudungun and from
there into the Chono language) and, above all, the use of non-Christian native
translators would have been condemned by Acosta as inappropriate and out-
right dangerous.
The translator of Acostas catechism and confession manual into the Ma-
pudungun language was Luis de Valdivia, one of the most important Jesuits in
seventeenth-century Chile. Born in 1561 in Granada, Spain, Valdivia joined the
Society of Jesus in 1580. Soon after being ordained, Valdivia was sent to Peru,
where he showed to be a good linguist and a good administrator.52 In 1593,
he was part of the first group of Jesuits sent to establish a mission in Chile.
There, he occupied the rectorate of the College of San Miguel in Santiago, and

50 Nicols Yapuguay and Paulo Restivo, Explicacion de el catechismo en lengua guarani

(Santa Mara la Mayor, Paraguay: n. p., 1724), 3.
51 Emilio Ravignani and Carlos Leonhardt, Documentos para la historia argentina, vol. 19
(Buenos Aires: Facultad de Filosofa y Letras-Instituto de Investigaciones Histricas,
1927), 111.
52 Aside from learning Quechua and later translating the catechism and Acostas sermons
into Mapudungun, Valdivia also wrote grammars and short dictionaries of the Mill-
cayac and Allentillac languages, which were spoken near Cuyo, Argentina; see Alexan-
der Chamberlain, The Allentiacan, Bororoan, and Calchaquian Linguistic Stocks of
South America, American Anthropologist 14, no. 3 (1912): 499507; and Horacio Zapater,
La bsqueda de la paz en la guerra de Arauco: Padre Luis de Valdivia (Santiago: Editorial
Andrs Bello, 1992), 6971.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

The Perils of Accommodation 409

was charged with preaching to the native population of the city.53 Although
Valdivia has been saluted by Chilean historians as a promoter of native rights,
the fact is that in the late 1590s we found him cozying up to the military elite
rather than working with the natives. After the 1598 uprising, when Mapuche
forces killed Governor Martn Garca ez de Loyola (b. 1548; nephew of Igna-
tius) and destroyed all Spanish settlements south of the Bo Bo River, Valdivia
publicly endorsed the enslaving of all rebel natives.54 Valdivias closeness to
the political and military powers worried his superior, Provincial Rodrigo de
Cabredo (15601618), who in 1602 ordered him back to Lima. This was the tip-
ping point of his career. As Daz Blanco has recently documented, it was in
Lima that Valdivia came into contact with the Lascasista faction of the Peru-
vian Jesuits and had a change of heart regarding the Mapuche.55 From 1605
on, Valdivias writings articulated his newfound views on the evils of personal
service and the rights of the natives, views that would underwrite his defensive
war strategy. In a nutshell, the strategy implied halting all military operations
against the Mapuche; establishing a border between Spanish and Mapuche
lands, punctuated by the strings of forts built by Governor Alonso de Ribera
in 1602; and sending missionaries into rebel territory to preach Christianity
and obtain the voluntary submission of the lonkos (Mapuche leaders) to the
Spanish crown. After a trip to Spain to lobby for the change of military tactics,
Valdivia came back to Chile in 1612, endowed with ample powers to oversee the
implementation of the defensive war strategy. He began touring the Mapuche
lands, notifying the lonkos of the policy change and, for the first time in his
career, doing actual missionary work.
Once back in Spain in 1621, Valdivia published a translation into Mapudun-
gun of the first nine homilies from Acostas Tercero cathecismo. By and large,
scholars have parsed these sermons for what they reveal about Valdivias grasp
of Mapuche culture, or to probe into Valdivias translational practices and

53 For Valdivias biography, see Horacio Zapater, La bsqueda, 1937 and Eduardo Tampe, Ca-
tlogo de jesuitas de Chile (15931767): Catlogo de regulares de la Compaa en el antiguo
Reino de Chile y en el destierro (Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Alberto Hurtado-Instituto
de Historia Pontifcia Universidad Catlica de Chile-Centro de Investigaciones Barros Ara-
na-DIBAM, 2008), 257. More recently, Jos M. Daz Blanco has shed new light on Valdiv-
ias political activities in the 1590s and the early 1600s: Jos M. Daz Blanco, El alma en la
palabra: Escritos inditos del padre Luis de Valdivia (Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Al-
berto Hurtado-Instituto de Historia Pontifcia Universidad Catlica de Chile, 2011), 3036.
54 Melchor Caldern, Tratado de la importancia y utilidad que ay en dar por esclavos a los
indios rebelados de Chile (Madrid, 1601), 24; Enrique Garca Ahumada, La inculturacin en
la catequesis inicial de Amrica, Anuario de historia de la Iglesia 3 (1994): 21532, here 229.
55 Daz Blanco, El alma en la palabra, 3133.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

410 Prieto

methods.56 Yet, Valdivia did not simply translate Acostas Spanish original into
a new language. Even though for the most part he followed Acostas exposi-
tion, Valdivia decided to paraphrase and in some cases outright change the
original Spanish text instead of simply translating it into Mapudungun. A good
example of Valdivias adaptation of Acostas text is the sixth sermon, which
introduces to the audience the concept of good and bad angels, and their role
within the economy of salvation. Valdivia followed Acosta closely, save for em-
phasizing a certain aspect or explaining a concept in more detail. But, in a
spectacular departure from his model, Valdivia introduced in this sermon the
story of Lucifers rebellion and subsequent fall from grace, completely absent
in Acostas original. Lucifer was the most beautiful, the wisest, the strongest,
most powerful and more excellent in everything than any other angels. Yet,
Lucifer dared compare himself to God, claiming to be on equal footing with
him. Who is there like me? Who is my equal, he asked, Nobody, I exceed
every one. Lucifer convinced other angels to follow him against God. But Lu-
cifers rebellion was crushed, and God banished him and all his followers from
Heaven, throwing them down to Earth, to a life of torments and suffering. Lu-
cifers sin was pride, the sin most abhorrent to God, according to Valdivia. For
this reason, everything he had received from God (which was a lot), he did not
thank, just as if he had not received it.57
The inclusion of stories such as this goes beyond inculturation and falls
squarely into the more restrictive view of accommodation that Acosta had
banned from the missions: the allegorical reading of sacred history to apply it
to a new reality unforeseen by the sacred writers, in this case, the colonial situa-
tion of the lonkos. In all likelihood, the Mapuche understood Lucifers rebellion
and his punishment as more or less transparent allusions to the 1598 rebellion
and the massive enslavement that came upon them as a consequence. In this
way, this story not only helped Valdivia present a more coherent e xplanation

56 Ana Carina Kosel, Los sermones de Valdivia: Distribucin de lugares, didctica y polmi-
ca en un testimonio del choque de dos culturas, Anuario de estudios americanos 55, no. 1
(1997): 22944; Mara T. Aedo Fuentes, El doble discurso de la frontera: Los textos cate-
qusticos del padre Luis de Valdivia, Acta literaria 30 (2005): 97110; Jos Quidel Lincoleo,
Rol y presencia del Mapuzungun en la colonia frente al proceso de evangelizacin, in Ta
I Fijke Xipa Rakizuameluwn: Historia, colonialismo y resistencia desde el pas Mapuche,
ed. Comunidad de Historia Mapuche (Temuco: Ediciones Comunidad de Historia Ma-
puche, 2012), 4563; Gertrudis Payas, Jos M. Zavala, and Mario Samaniego, Al filo del
malentendido y la incomprensin: El padre Luis de Valdivia y la mediacin lingstica,
Historia 45, no. 1 (2012): 6990.
57 Luis de Valdivia, Sermon en lengua de Chile de los mysterios de nuestra Santa Fe Catholica
(Valladolid: n.p., 1621), 4143.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

The Perils of Accommodation 411

for the existence of evil; it also helped him subtly tie in proper Christian be-
havior to political subservience, that is to say, it allowed him to simultaneously
advance the political and the religious ends of his defensive war strategy.
But perhaps the best example of Valdivias accommodationism comes not
from the sermons he published, but from his missionary work among the Ma-
puche people. Although most interactions between missionaries and native
peoples are lost to the historian, sometimes a stroke of luck allows us a glimpse
into the complex cultural negotiations involved. In his Historia de la Compa-
a de Jess de la provincia del Paraguay (1755), Pedro Lozano copied a report
in which Valdivia described his experience with the Mapuche lonkos from Pa-
icav. According to Valdivia, when he met the lonkos, he preached to them what
seems to have been a version of Acostas first three sermons.58 After this, and in
a calculated display of piety, Valdivia dismissed them and began to read from a
breviary. Their curiosity aroused, the lonkos surrounded Valdivia and demand-
ed to know if he was a sorcerer. Valdivia told them he was simply offering his
respects to the creator of heaven and earth, thus sparking a conversation in
which Valdivia tried to convince the lonkos that some of their customs, such
as collective drinking or the practice of polygamy, were sins. They agreed with
some of the Jesuits reasons, but flatly rejected others on the basis that they
were practices sanctioned by their traditions. Valdivia asked them to explain
him more about these traditions, wishing to see if there was among them a
trace of religion, but the lonkos refused. Next morning, more lonkos arrived to
talk to Valdivia. As he began preaching again about the one God creator, one
of them, Aivil, interrupted him by saying that the Mapuche needed to believe
in only one god, Pilln, who had created them all and who rewarded the lonkos
and the warriors with a place in the sky. This was plain for everyone to see, con-
tinued Aivil, because every sunset Pilln exalted the warriors by displaying in
the sky the blood they had shed. Seizing this opportunity, Valdivia asked his
audience whether Pilln had a body or whether it was a purely spiritual being.
And here they tried to satisfy my curiosity, answering with a lot of nonsense, to
which I smiled, saying that I felt pity for them, for although some of the things
they said were right, they were mistaken in a thousand others, due to their lack
of books.59 This remark was intended to bring to the lonkos mind Valdivias
display the day before of the book (and, by extension, of the literate priest) as
the proper mediator between creator and creature. After a debate, in which
Valdivia claimed to have shown them how neither Pilln nor the souls of the

58 Pedro Lozano, Historia de la Compaa de Jess de la Provincia del Paraguay (Madrid:

Imprenta de la viuda de M. Fernndez, 1755), 382.
59 Ibid., 384.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

412 Prieto

warriors could eat or drink in the afterlife for they lacked bodies, he concluded:
And so, the one you call Pilln cannot be what you claim he is, or else he is our
God.60 The lonkos admitted that Valdivia was right: Good is God, and we want
to serve Him so He will take us to Heaven. But it is your duty to teach us, for we
do not know what is convenient for us.61
In spite of the triumphalism of Valdivias report, one must ask: What did the
lonkos recognized as the truth? Valdivia had explicitly said that the native di-
vinity Pilln was also the Christian God; and the word he used to express heav-
en was, in all likelihood, huenu, literally, the place above; the sky. This was the
same word Aivil would have used to refer to the place where Pilln rewarded
the souls of the lonkos and the conas, and also the one used by the lonkos in
their acceptance of Valdivias mission. Moreover, right after identifying Pilln
with the Christian God, Valdivia had urged the Mapuche to praise God/Pilln
for having inspired Philip iii to abolish the dreaded personal service and the
forced labor in the gold mines, offering a general pardon to all those who had
rebelled but now accepted the Spanish rule. Both Valdivias effort to accom-
modate Mapuche beliefs to Christian teachings and the lonkos acceptance of
his reasoning, then, were politically motivated, and acted in the best interest
of both parties. Not unlike the compromises between the Confucian Manda-
rins and Matteo Ricci, Anvil and Luis de Valdivia devised a common ground,
a compromise between their cultures that enabled both to feel that each had
gotten the upper hand.


Here, we can see the limits of the missionary use of accommodation, or, to
put it in another way, some of the reasons why Acosta (or the mendicant friars
in seventeenth-century China) had dreaded its use so much. But Valdivias at-
titude towards accommodation and Mapuche culture more generally in the
second part of his career is also instructive from a methodological point of
view. Whereas during his first years in Chile, when he devoted himself to ad-
ministration and the teaching of theology, Valdivia favored radical forms of
acculturation, such as the enslaving of the Mapuche and their forcible removal
from their communities, a more sustained and prolonged contact with them
and their culture led him to try and accommodate some aspects both of the
Christian dogma and of native traditions. To be sure, this was a tactical move,

60 Ibid., 385.
61 Ibid.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

The Perils of Accommodation 413

but accommodation is always a tactical move, as Riccis rejection of the Bud-

dhist image devised by Ruggieri to don the robes of a Chinese scholar makes
clear. The different examples and attitudes toward accommodation that I have
discussed here allow us to see not just the rhetorical principle of accommo-
dation, but also the sometimes contradictory ways in which this principle was
translated into action in specific missionary settings.
Seen in this manner, we can begin to understand how and under what con-
ditions the Jesuits were able to translate the rhetorical principle of accommo-
dation into a proselytizing praxis. Two conclusions can be drawn from the pre-
vious discussion. The first is that the needs in the missionary field seemed to
have always superseded and overruled the theoretical requirements set before-
hand. Efforts such as those of Jos de Acosta in order to stem the use of cross-
cultural elements and to prefer inculturation over accommodation ultimately
resulted in a partial failure precisely because of the missionaries need to take
into account the diverse political and cultural settings in which they had to
work. The second conclusion has to do with this diversity of settings. Whereas
all the examples discussed here can be firmly placed within the European co-
lonial expansion of the early modern period, not all the missionaries were able
to exert the same authority over native peoples. In late sixteenth-century Peru,
where coercitive structures had been put in place by the reforms of Viceroy
Francisco de Toledo (r. 156881), Acosta could simply assume that Christian-
ity would be imposed from the top down. The same was not true for the likes
of Ricci or Valdivia, a fact Acosta himself had recognized in De procuranda.
There, he distinguished between three kinds of barbarian peoples, each of
which called for a different missionary strategy. Acosta specifically named the
Chinese and the Japanese peoples among those for whom conversion should
come about by rational argumentation.62 For all other peoples, continued
Acosta, some degree of colonial rule and coercion were necessary. But what
Acosta increasingly refused to concede was that, for those Jesuits working in
missionary settings such as Ming China or early seventeenth-century southern
Chile and Paraguay, some negotiation was needed in order to achieve a com-
mon ground with their would-be converts if their mission was going to happen
at all.
Although accommodation as a rhetorical principle permeated the discours-
es both of the Acostas and the Riccis of the early modern period, their actual
missionary preferences and practices were determined, in a large measure, by
the realities they encountered in the field and the specific obstacles they need-
ed to negotiate. In this sense, we would do better in talking of accommodation

62 Acosta, De procuranda Indorum salute, 1:63.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

414 Prieto

as a range of practices going from cross-cultural adaptations and negotiations

(as in the cases of Ricci and Valdivia) to the rigorist interpretation found in the
injunctions against accommodation in Acostas late writings. For most Jesuit
missionaries, accommodation was somewhere in between these two poles. It
is in the often complex negotiations between catechist and catechumen where
we can see both the benefits and the pitfalls of this strategy, as well as measure
the gap between theory and practice; between rhetorical principle and applied

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 395-414

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430


Beyond Religious Exclusivism: The Jesuit Attacks

against Buddhism and Xu Dashous Refutation
of 1623
Thierry Meynard, S.J.
Sun Yat-sen University


The article examines the dynamics of religious competition brought into Asia by
Christianity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. More specifically, it analyzes
how Xu Dashou adopted an exclusivist approach in order to defend his own traditions,
leading him to a full rejection of Christianity. After engaging himself for some time in
an anti-Christian campaign, he understood that the exclusivist approach he had em-
braced was not congenial with his own traditions and, drawing from the metaphysical
insights of Buddhism and Confucianism on ultimate reality and truth, he showed a
way beyond religious exclusivism.


Christianity Buddhism Confucianism three teachings exclusivism


Inter-religious dialogue is increasingly seen as a necessity and an opportunity

for all the worlds religions. As religions are engaging in this dialogue, it is im-
portant to recognize the different mechanisms that have hindered it in the

* This research has received the financial support of the Program Documents and Research
on East Asian Buddhism ( ), from the Center for Buddhist
Studies of Fo Guang University, Taiwan.

Meynard, 2017|doi 10.1163/22141332-00403003

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial 4.0 Unported (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
416 Meynard

past. This paper discusses how Xu Dashou, a scholar in late Ming China, re-
sponded to Christian attacks on Buddhism by writing a treatise of refutation.
After setting the historical background for Christianity in the area of Hang-
zhou around 1620, and the personal background for Xu Dashou, I shall recon-
struct from archival evidences and his own treatise the complex motivations
behind his initial interest in Christianity and his final rejection. More precisely,
I shall analyze the dynamics of exclusion promoted by the Jesuit missionaries
against Buddhism, and how Xu reacted by adopting a similar exclusivist ap-
proach which led him to great intellectual difficulties. This polemic between
Christianity and Buddhism invites us today to reflect on the possibilities of a
mutual dialogue between Christianity and other religion in general.

The Jesuit Attacks and the First Buddhist Reactions

In the sixteenth century, Jesuits missionaries encountered various forms of

Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, and China. In those countries, Bud-
dhism was not the only religion and could usually live harmoniously with
other religions.1 Westerners were puzzled by the tolerance of Asian religions
because Europe at that time was torn apart by religious wars, each side hold-
ing that, as truth could only be one, religion in one particular country should
also be one. During his stay in Japan in 154951, Francis Xavier (150652) had
discussions with Buddhist monks and came to a preliminary, partial under-
standing of Buddhism. Other Jesuits like Cosme de Torres (151070), Lus Fris
(15321597), and Baltasar Gago (c.152083) investigated Buddhism further. On
this basis, Alessandro Valignano (15391606), the Jesuit visitor for East Asia,
worked from 1579 to 1582 in editing the Catechismus christianae fidei, known
also as the Catechismus Japonensis.2 His work notably presented Buddhism
as a double-teaching: a popular doctrine consisting in the worship of deities,
and an elite religion reserved to monks. According to those Western categories,

1 This does not exclude the fact that sectarian violence was committed sometimes in name of
the Buddha or of the Buddhist community.
2 Alessandro Valignano, Catechismus christianae fidei, in quo veritas nostrae religionis ostendi-
tur, et sectae Japonenses confutantur [Catechismus Japonensis] (Lisbon: Antonius Riberius,
1586; reprint: Tennessee: Kessinger La Vergne, 2009). See also Josef Franz Schtte, Valignanos
Mission Principles for Japan, trans. John J. Coyne (Saint Louis, mo: Institute of Jesuit Sources,
1980); and, more recently, Urs App, The Cult of Emptiness: The Western Discovery of Buddhist
Thought and the Invention of Oriental Philosophy (Tokyo: University Media, 2012).

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

Beyond Religious Exclusivism 417

the popular teaching of Buddhism was a superstition or idolatry, but the inner
teaching of the monks was even more pernicious because hidden: it amounted
to nihilism and radical atheism.3 The Catechismus Japonensis analyzes through
Aristotelian and Scholastic categories the inner teaching of Buddhism, and it
shows its teaching to be intellectually flawed.
When the Italian Jesuit Michele Ruggieri (15431607) came to China, he ex-
plained Christianity in reference to Buddhism. His True Record of the Lord of
Heaven (Tianzhu shilu , 1584) adopts many Buddhist terms in order
to express Christian doctrine (paradise or tiantang , hell or diyu ),
and yet it clearly refutes central tenets of Buddhism like the transmigration
of souls. Later, Matteo Ricci (15521610) made the decisive step of explaining
Christianity in Confucian terms, and his True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven
(Tianzhu shiyi , 1603) represents a vigorous refutation of Buddhist
teachings, especially on transmigration and fasting.4
The reactions of the Buddhist communities to the Jesuits attacks were quite
late and quite slow. In 1608, the Buddhist layman Yu Chunxi (15531621)
sent a letter to Ricci asking him to stop his attacks on Buddhism and to study
it instead.5 However, the Jesuits and Chinese Catholics continued their as-
sault on Buddhism. In 1615, five years after Riccis death, for the first time a
Buddhist monk, Zhu Hong in Hangzhou, wrote a refutation of Christi-
anity. His refutation of the Christian concept of heaven in his Four Essays on
Heaven (Tianshuo siduan ), is quite cursory, and Zhu Hong instead
focused on the religious precepts of fasting and the interdiction of killing. De-
spite being unsystematic and quite superficial, this refutation of Christianity
by Zhu Hong marks a turning point, because he was one of the most eminent
Buddhist figures of his time.6 Thus, it is not mere coincidence that in Nanjing
the following year Shen Que ( ) launched the first official interdiction of
Christianity, and finally obtained from the imperial court a nationwide prohi-
bition of the new religion. This event put for the first time the Catholic Church
under the spotlight, and it came to be known as the Nanjing case, or Nanjing
persecution, depending whether one looks at it from the point of view of the

3 See Thierry Meynard, Chinese Buddhism and the Threat of Atheism in Seventeenth-Century
Europe, Buddhist-Christian Studies 31 (2011): 323.
4 See Matteo Ricci, The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, trans. Douglas Lancashire and
Peter Hu; revised edition by Thierry Meynard (Chestnut Hill, ma: Institute of Jesuit Sources,
2016), 16995.
5 See Douglas Lancashire, Buddhist reaction to Christianity in Late Ming China, Journal of the
Oriental Society of Australia 6 (196869): 82102, here 83.
6 See Lancashire, Buddhist reaction, 8791.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

418 Meynard

government or from the point of view of the Catholic Church.7 However, after
only a couple of years, Christianity could resume its fast-track development.
This was particularly the case in Hangzhou, where the Church was protected
by prominent Chinese Catholics like Li Zhizao ( , 15711630) and Yang
Tingyun ( , 15621627).

Xu Dashou: The Personal Background

Having described the historical background, let us now turn to our main char-
acter. In the summer of 1625, in Fuzhou ( ), Xu Dashou ( ) decided
to destroy the book he had painstakingly written two years before. His heart
was filled with contradictory thoughts and feelings. Memories came to mind
of how he had met the missionaries, of his conversations with Giulio Aleni
(15821649) in the church of Hangzhou, of how he had diligently read the Chris-
tians books, fervently attended religious services, and met new friends.8 In this
period of intense intellectual stimulation, he had also encountered difficul-
ties accepting some elements of the Christian teaching, and so he ultimately
delayed his baptism. Around this time, his mother had passed away. Friends
and relatives who had already received baptism had urged him to be baptized
as well, and probably suggested organizing Christian funerals for his mother.
But what assurance could Christianity give him about the eternal rest of his
parents, now both deceased, since they had not been baptized? How could he
express the feelings of a filial son if the fate of his parents had already been
sealed at their death? Finally, Xu made up his mind: he would hold Buddhist
funerals for his mother and invite Buddhist monks to recite incantations for
his mother so that she might be reborn in the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha.
His decision meant abandoning all the Christian ideas, rituals, relationships
that had shaped his life in past years. And yet, he could not simply abandon
Christianity in this way; he felt the need to convince himself how Christian
teaching was flawed and perverse. While observing the prescribed mourning
rituals at home for forty-nine days, Xu wrote a refutation of Christianity, me-
thodically criticizing its doctrine and rituals. He thought that by writing this
refutation he could completely eliminate Christianity from his life. But this

7 See Edward Kelly, The Anti-Christian Persecution of 16161617 in Nanking (PhD diss.,
Columbia University, 1971).
8 Concerning Aleni, the best presentation to date is still Gianni Criveller, Preaching Christ in
Late Ming China: The Jesuits Presentation of Christ from Matteo Ricci to Giulio Aleni (Taipei:
Taipei Ricci Institute, 1997).

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

Beyond Religious Exclusivism 419

was not enough: Christianity should also be banned from the entire country.
He realized how ineffective the prohibition of 1617 had been, and thus a sys-
tematic treatise was needed, showing how wrong, pernicious, and dangerous
Christianity was. The mourning period being over, Xu went out and distribute
his treatise among the high officers in the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian. He
called it Zuopi (Help to the refutation), because he was aware that, not
being employed in any important function, he could hope only that, through
the connections of his deceased father, he might approach some high officials
who could urge the court to ban Christianity. After two years of vain attempts
at convincing prominent officeholders, Xu may have realized that his desire
for revenge against Christianity had not brought him the peace he was looking
for, and on the contrary was leading him astray. In a final twist, Xu decided to
destroy the copies of the treatise he still had in stock and even to take back
some he had given away. Such is, in a nutshell, Xus tortuous itinerary as we can
reconstruct it. In order to understand more fully the intellectual, psychologi-
cal, and spiritual twists of Xu Dashou, we need to start narrating his story from
the beginning.
Xus father, Xu Fuyuan ( , 15351604), was a well-known figure in the
political and intellectual scene of the time. A native of Deqing ( ), not far
from Hangzhou, in 1562 he successfully passed the highest grade of the impe-
rial examination, and came to occupy high positions, becoming the inspector-
general, or xunfu ( ), of the province of Fujian. In this position, he con-
tributed to the national defense against the disorders caused by pirates. Later,
he occupied other high positions in Nanjing. In the margins of his political
career, Xu Fuyuan pursued intellectual interests. Devoted to Confucianism,
he maintained contacts with leading scholars and he himself produced some
commentaries on the Confucian Classics.9
Chinese sources tell us very little about Xu Dashou himself; fortunately,
Professor Adrian Dudink of Leuven University was able to find precious in-
formation on him in the Jesuit reports of the period. Based on those archi-
val documents, Dudink wrote a very detailed and precise analysis of differ-
ent documents concerning Xu Dashou.10 Xu Fuyuan had two sons, but the
elder died at a young age.11 In 1609, five years after the death of his father, Xu
Dashou invited Ye Xianggao (15621627), a friend of his fathers and

9 Biography of Xu Fuyuan (Xu Fuyuan zhuan ), Ming history (Mingshi ),

juan 283.
10 See Adrian Dudink, The Sheng-chao Tso-pi (1623) of Hs Ta-shou, in Conflict and Ac-
commodation in Early Modern East Asia, ed. Leonard Bluss and Harriet T. Zurndorfer
(Leiden: Brill, 1993), 94140.
11 Dudink, The Sheng-chao Tso-pi, 1078.

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420 Meynard

a high-ranking official, to write an inscription for Xu Fuyuans tombstone. Xu

Dashou was admitted in the imperial academy in Nanjing, and in deference to
his fathers merits, he served as an officer in the ministry of justice.
What were the motivations for Xu Dashou in writing the Zuopi, this anti-
Christian work in ten volumes, or juan ( )? In his study, Dudink proposes
some hypotheses. My own study here is based on those hypotheses, and at-
tempts to go further by reconstructing Xu Dashous intellectual and spiritual
journey. The story will unfold in four stages: first, his initial interest in and
study of Christianity; second, his rejection of the Christian faith because of his
intellectual reservations and a personal crisis; third, the active phase of attack-
ing Christianity and his reshaping of the Chinese tradition in a xenophobic
direction; fourth, his destruction of the Zuopi and the end of his anti-Christian

First Stage: Xu as Catechumen

Within a couple of years of the national prohibition of 1617, Christianity was

able to continue its development. In 1620, the more open-minded Ye Xiang-
gao was back in his post as Grand Secretary of the Grand Secretariat (neige
shoufu, ) in Beijing. In Hangzhou in particular, Christianity was
flourishing, under the patronage of Li Zhizao and Yang Tingyun. In 1623 alone,
Aleni published three books: The Complete Map of all the Countries (Wanguo
quantu, ), The Records of Regions beyond the Jurisdiction of the Impe-
rial Geographer (Zhifang waiji, ), and The Survey of Western Learn-
ing (Xixuefan, ), to the immense pride of the Christian community.
It seems that the sad memories of the Nanjing Case, or Nanjing Persecution,
were gone for good. Even in Deqing, Xu Dashous town, the Catholic com-
munities expanded quickly, reaching three hundred people, according to the
Jesuit annual letter of 1623.
In Hangzhou itself, Xu would have had many occasions to interact with this
new and rapidly expanding community. The Third Refutation of the Zuopi
informs us that Xu had conversations with Aleni. Those may have happened
around 162022 since Aleni had arrived at Hangzhou only in 1619. Xu went to
Aleni to learn about Christianity, and both developed a personal relationship.
Also, when Xus mother passed away in 1623, Aleni visited his family house in
Deqing in order to express condolence; he was still hoping that Xu would f inally
embrace Christian faith.12 The Zuopi tells us that Xu had also contacts with

12 Annual letter 1624, 17778; see Dudink, The Sheng-chao Tso-pi, 13435.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

Beyond Religious Exclusivism 421

other Jesuit missionaries. Among them was Niccol Longobardo (15591654)

whose name is mentioned three times in the Zuopi.13
Around Xu there were also a good numbers of Chinese Catholics. He would
have certainly known Li Zhizao and Yang Tingyun, but it seems that Xu avoid-
ed on purpose mentioning theirs names in the Zuopi. In the Fifth Refutation,
he mentioned instead his personal friend, Zhou Guoxiang , as well as a
Catholic in Hangzhou who held regular gatherings in his own house.
The great deal of Christian literature mentioned in the Zuopi suggests that
Xu had already acquired considerable familiarity with Christian doctrine in
162122. The Eighth Refutation alone mentions the titles of more than ten dif-
ferent works.14 Xu was also quite familiar with Catholic liturgy, since he men-
tions basic prayers like the Our Father and the Creed. The Fifth Refutation also
describes the ritual of baptism (holy water, salt, candle, and so on), and so it
seems that Xu attended the baptism of one of his friends, perhaps the Zhou
Guoxiang mentioned above.15 Further, the Zuopi shows that Xu had an insid-
ers knowledge of the organization of the Catholic community in Hangzhou.
Thus, Dudink made the hypothesis that Xu was a convert or a catechumen.16
However, if Xu had been baptized at some point, the Jesuit missionaries would
not have failed to mention it, and so it is more probable that Xu was never
baptized, but hesitated to embrace Christianity due to some intellectual and
personal reserves.

The Second Stage: Xus Rejection of Christianity

It is difficult to know the reasons for conversion to a religious faith; it is even

more difficult to know why someone abandons a religious faith and turns
against it. Xu Dashou had studied Christianity for two years and had inter-
acted with the Catholic community of Hangzhou, but he suddenly changed
his mind. Probably something in the Catholic doctrine presented a stumbling
block for him: the Christian claim of exclusivity, as we have mentioned in the

13 According to Joseph Dehergne, Longobardo was in Hangzhou in 162123; see Rpertoire

des jsuites de Chine de 1552 1800 (Rome: Institutum Historicum S.I., 1973), 154.
14 Zuopi 34a, 290. The text of the Zuopi was edited by Tokugawa Nariaki (180060) for
the Kdkan House in Mito , and included in a Buddhist collection:
Gen-Min bukky hen , 1856, 14:11045650. I have used a reprint of it, pub-
lished in Taiwan by Huayu Press : Dazangjing bubian , 1986,
28: 27394.
15 Zuopi 18a, 282.
16 Dudink, The Sheng-chao Tso-pi, 130.

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422 Meynard

introduction of this article. When Jesuit missionaries and Chinese Catholics

presented Christianity they felt the need to distinguish it from Buddhism. This
was not only a mark of hostility towards Buddhism, which they regarded as
idolatry, but also a pedagogical necessity: since the two religions shared so
many similarities, it was necessary to clarify Catholic teaching by highlighting
its doctrinal differences with Buddhism, and in this process of clarification, the
missionaries and the Chinese Catholics would easily make value judgments,
declaring that Christianity alone is correct, and Buddhism completely wrong.
In the True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, Ricci discarded the whole of Bud-
dhist teaching as wrong, and he also slandered the Buddhist monks as liars,
hypocrite, and corrupt.17 Most of the Chinese Christians entirely agreed about
rejecting Buddhism, either because they had had little sympathy for Buddhism
even before conversion (like Xu Guangqi [ ], 15621633), or because
their conversion made them reject their former faith (like Yang Tingyun). Not
only did Christianity require abandoning Buddhism completely, but also it de-
manded denying any truth to the faiths doctrines. Thus, at the psychological
level, people who had previous ties with Buddhism may have been hesitant to
adopt the new faith. Also, at the intellectual level, those assertions of exclusiv-
ism would had been the most difficult to accept.
According to the Jesuit annual letter of 1623, Xus mother passed away in
1623, and this would have created a personal crisis tearing him apart between
the Christian teaching and his own tradition.18 His mothers death forced Xu
to make a decision, and he eventually decided for traditional funerals. We do
not know whether his mother was a devout Buddhist or not, but Xu would
certainly have considered the fate of his deceased parents. Catholic doctrine
could give him no definitive assurance about their salvation. In the Fifth Refu-
tation, Xu Dashou summarizes the Catholic position: A good son who flatters
the Lord of Heaven will certainly go to paradise, but this would be of no profit
to his parents because the wrath of God is terrible and no one can escape from
it.19 Xu Dashou may have felt helpless, finding in Christianity no way to allevi-
ate his possible guilt about the fate of his father and mother burning in hell.
In the Sixth Refutation, Xu also condemned Christianity for not respecting
ancestors. In contrast, through Buddhist funerals, Xu could express his feel-
ings of filial piety. According to the Jesuit letter of 1623, he turned his house in
a temple of idols, inviting monks to recite prayers. When Aleni came to visit

17 See, for example, Ricci, True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, 357.
18 Annual letter 1623, 405a/b; see Dudink, The Sheng-chao Tso-pi, 111.
19 Zuopi 17a, 281.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

Beyond Religious Exclusivism 423

him in Deqing and learned that Xu was organizing Buddhist funerals for his
deceased mother, the missionary would have been shocked, but he may never-
theless have decided to visit Xus home in order to express his condolences. On
such an occasion, it would certainly have been improper for Aleni to engage
Xu in argument.
His mothers funeral may have provided Xu Dashou with the occasion for
rejecting Christianity, but there were other elements which could have played
an important role in his decision. First, Xu was probably astonished and quite
worried by the rapid growth of Christianity. In 1623, when Aleni published his
three books in the space of one year, some Chinese Catholics in Hangzhou
became very arrogant, even to the point of saying that Confucius does not
measure up to Aleni by far (Fourth Refutation).20 Xu may have been worried
about the influence of Christianity among his own relatives. According to the
Jesuit annual letter of 1623, his cousin Xu Shoujie ( ) had been baptized
together with his son and grandson.21 From Aleni Xu Shoujie had received an
Agnus Dei, a small medal with Christ as the Lamb of God. When Xu Shoujie
happened to cross the Yellow River on a boat and was caught in a strong tem-
pest, he held the medal and prayed; immediately the winds stopped and he
was able to reach the shore safely. This kind of religious fervor may have ap-
peared suspect to Xu Dashou, who seemed to have contacts with Christianity
before Xu Shoujie did and engaged in lengthy studies to understand Christian-
ity more deeply. Xu Dashou may also have been skeptical about the miraculous
powers of such a medal: in the Seventh Refutation he mocks the superstition
of Catholics who believed that a similar medal had saved a Christian house
from a huge fire in Hangzhou.22 According to the Jesuit annual letter of 1623, it
seems that Xu Shoujie was baptized before the death of Xu Dashous mother.
If that is the case, we can imagine that a fervent convert like Xu Shoujie would
have tried to convince Xu Dashou to arrange Christian funerals for his aunt,
and also have argued against Buddhist funerals. Xu Shoujies extreme stance
may have backfired and pushed his cousin in the opposite direction.
A second concern for Xu Dashou was that Christianity undermined social
stability and threatened national security. In the late Ming period, external
pressure was put upon China from the Manchus to the north, the Japanese
to the east, and the Portuguese to the south. In a report to the imperial court,

20 Zuopi 16a, 281.

21 Dudink, The Sheng-chao Tso-pi, 11223.
22 According to Dudink (11719), the fire happened on August 15, 1621, but the house of Li
Zhizao was spared from destruction.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

424 Meynard

mentioned by Xu Dashou in the Zuopi, his father Xu Fuyuan had expressed

concerns over an alliance between the Japanese, the Portuguese in Macao, and
the Spanish in the Philippines.23 Xu Dashou also mentions some incidents that
had occurred to the Portuguese in Guangdong some one hundred years before.
Domestically, China suffered from rebellions like that of the sect of the White
Lotus in the Shandong province, which ended only in 1622. In the same year,
another rebellion instigated by Ye Langsheng ( ) started in the north-
ern part of Zhejiang province, not far from Hangzhou. In this climate of great
instability, Xu Dashou came to see Christianity as a danger to social stability
and national security. He states in the Zuopi that foreigners had entered China
without authorization, making conversions through gifts of money, and that
the Christians were not abiding by the laws and could instigate a rebellion, like
the sect of the White Lotus.24
Xu Dashou is not an isolated case of someone who initially became interest-
ed in Christianity and then turned hostile. When he was in Beijing, Shen Que
had friendly relations with the Jesuits,25 but in Nanjing he was probably irri-
tated by Alfonso Vagnones (15661640) open criticism of Buddhism. Similarly,
Jiang Dejing ( , 15931646) at first collaborated with Aleni on one of his
books in 1623, but when a religious case arose in Fujian in 1637, he advocated
the elimination of Christianity.26 We can discern a common pattern in peo-
ple like Xu Dashou, Shen Que, and Jiang Dejing, who were initially attracted
to Christianity, but, after having studied it more deeply, discovered Christian
claims that they could not accept, especially the statement that Christianity
had the full truth and that Buddhism was completely wrong. Thus, their initial
sympathy towards Christianity turned into a deep hostility. Like Shen Que and
Jiang Dejing, Xu Dashou felt disappointed by Christianity and decided to fight
against it at the political level, but unlike them, Xu also felt the need to ground
this political battle on an intellectual basis, and so he investigated the founda-
tions of Christianity to reveal its flaws and contradictions. Xu rejected Chris-
tianity, yet he adopted its radicalism. As Christianity was denying any truth
and good in Buddhism, Xu attempted to show that Christianity was completely
wrong and pernicious. To the exclusivism of Christianity, Xu answered with the
same degree of exclusivism.

23 Zuopi 3b, 275.

24 Zuopi 18b19a, 282; 41a, 293.
25 Dudink, The Sheng-chao Tso-pi, 132.
26 Wang Xiliang , Poxieji fanjiao yuanyin yanjiu [Re-
search on the reasons behind the anti-Christian work, Poxieji] (ma thesis, Sun Yat-sen
University , 2015), 22.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

Beyond Religious Exclusivism 425

Third Stage: Xus Anti-Christian Campaign

In order to refute Christianity, Xu reread the books he had first encountered as

a catechumen. He systematically refuted Christian doctrines, like their ideas
about God, creation, and the soul, as well as Catholic rituals and even the secu-
lar knowledge of geography and astronomy brought by the Jesuits.
Compared to previous refutations of Christianity, the Zuopi is certainly
the most comprehensive and systematic. Another distinctive feature is that
it refutes Christianity from the point of view of the three Chinese traditions
of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. This is a completely new approach
and constitutes the originality of the Zuopi. In the introduction, Xu sets up a
rhetorical question: why not refute Christianity from the point of view of Con-
fucianism alone, leaving Buddhism aside? Xu answers:

Since the foreigners say that there is a life after death, it is necessary to use
Buddhism with Confucianism in order to refute their doctrine. Their trick
is precisely to openly attack Buddhism and to secretly destroy Confucian-
ism. Their nominal attack on Buddhism aims at deceiving Confucians
without deep understanding. I shall strive to show everyone that their
pernicious doctrines do not reach the level of Buddhism and Taoism, and
even less to the level of Confucianism. Those three teachings cannot ac-
commodate a fourth one. In terms of correct government and learning,
the way transmitted by the wise people across the ages is incorruptible.27

Here Xu reveals the missionaries strategy: first to attack Buddhism, and later to
attack Confucianism. Thus Confucians should not rejoice at seeing Buddhism
attacked by Christianity, and of course they should not unite with Christian-
ity against Buddhism, but instead they should join with Buddhists against the
Christians who aim at destroying the whole of Chinese tradition, including
Confucianism. Similarly, when Buddhists understand that the Christians look
down on Confucius, they should not tolerate it and they should defend Confu-
cianism. As we can see, Xus strategy of uniting the three teachings counteracts
precisely the strategy of Christianity of playing them against each other. The
Zuopi enacts a sacred union of the three teachings against Christianity, with
each teaching being able to refute Christianity in a specific area: the five Confu-
cian relationships refute the egalitarian conception of Christian communities;
the Buddhist doctrine of reincarnation refutes the utilitarian conception of
the Christian paradise; the naturalism of Daoism refutes Christian dogmatism.

27 Zuopi 2a, 274.

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426 Meynard

We need to pay attention to the fact that in the process of refuting Christian-
ity, Xu is reshaping the Ming concept of the Three Teachings into One (sanjiao
heyi, ), which initially meant that the three teachings were not op-
posed to each other and could in fact be harmonized. Here, Xu adds a new
meaning by creating an exclusivist unity of the three teachings: when a new
teaching (Christianity) comes into China, the unity of the three teachings must
be enhanced to a defensive level, to protect the three against the intrusion of a
fourth. In other words, the arrival of Christianity forces the tradition to change
itself and to redefine its boundaries. The remodeling of the three teachings
into an exclusivist system led Xu Dashou to adopt radical stances to counteract
Christianitys radicalism. The Zuopi shows a strong xenophobia, rejecting the
presence of the foreigners on the Chinese soil, and rejecting all their knowl-
edge in astronomy and geography as incorrect and useless. Xu also recounted
stories that he knew to be only rumors, without any reality. For example, in
the Seventh Refutation, he quotes a report written one hundred years before,
according to which the Portuguese were stealing children to eat their flesh.28
Similarly he copied from Yu Chunxi the story that the missionaries converted
people to Christianity by offering money or mechanical clocks.29 Xu Dashou
had personal contacts with foreigners and Chinese Catholics in Hangzhou,
and he knew beyond all doubt that those stories were unfounded. However,
in order to build his case against Christianity and stir up hostility, he made
use of the stories furnished by Yu Chunxi. Similarly, Xu expressed his opposi-
tion to Catholic rituals that violated the rules of gender separation, and went
even further by suggesting that the priests and the Catholic women were com-
mitting impure acts at night (hunye hunza ).30 Such rumors against
Christians circulated in Hangzhou, being repeated over and over in the anti-
Christian literature. In order to stir up panic against Christianity, Xu went so far
as to express his fear of being murdered by the Christians.

Fourth Stage: The Intellectual Reasons for Aborting the

Anti-Christian Campaign

In 1623, after having published the Zuopi, Xu Dashou took upon himself the
responsibility of distributing it. According to the Jesuit annual letter of 1623,
Xu went to see the officer in Deqing and warned him that Christians might

28 Zuopi 26b, 286.

29 Zuopi 18b, 282.
30 Zuopi 18a, 282.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

Beyond Religious Exclusivism 427

attempt to stir up a rebellion and kill the local officers.31 In 1624, on account
of the Zuopi, the governor of Hangzhou decided to ban Christianity, but be-
fore the ban was promulgated, Ye Xianggao happened to go through Hangzhou
and was able to persuade the governor to set the plan aside. At that time, Ye
Xianggao invited Aleni to go to Fuzhou. According to the Jesuit annual letter of
1625, Xu Dashou himself went to Fujian and there distributed his Zuopi to the
high officials. In April or May 1625, Xu Dashou visited Ye Xianggao at Fuzhou.
Xu knew that Ye was protecting the Christians, but he may have decided to
visit him because of the personal connections between Ye and his father, Xu
Fuyuan. In the presence of Ye Xianggao, Xu Dashou unexpectedly met Aleni.
We can easily imagine Xu Dashous unease at facing Aleni, and, according to
the Jesuit annual letter, Xu Dashou merely expressed his thankfulness to Aleni
for having visited him in Deqing after his mother passed away.32
The letter of 1625 informs us about the final twist to the story. A Chinese
Catholic named Zhao Mingyang ( , baptismal name of Melchior)
went to see Xu Dashou in Fuzhou and told him all the errors contained in the
Zuopiprobably the ones we have noted above.33 Xu Dashou knew clearly
that, in many passages of his work, he had unfairly framed Christianity for the
sake of creating a feeling of panic towards it. According to the letter, Xu prom-
ised to burn the remaining copies of his work, and he went to see Aleni to ask
for forgiveness. It seems that Xu indeed destroyed many copies of the Zuopi,
because only twenty years later the Buddhist monk Ouyi Zhixu ( ,
15991655) complained that the work was very difficult to get hold of.34 Fortu-
nately for us, Xu was unable to destroy all the copies.
Xus decision to abort his anti-Christian campaign can be understood from
different angles. First, he may have realized that he had not had much suc-
cess in rallying high officials against Christianity, due to Ye Xianggaos still con-
siderable power in the region. Equally, he may have recognized that his Zuopi
contained unfounded accusations against Christianity, perhaps feeling some
shame at holding such extreme opinions and advocating such harsh policies
upon people he had befriended in the past. Also, at the psychological level, his

31 Dudink, The Sheng-chao Tso-pi, 116.

32 Ibid., 131.
33 Concerning the role of Melchior Zhao in strengthening the connection between Ye Xiang-
gao and Aleni, see George Dunne, Generation of Giants: The Story of the Jesuits in China
in the Last Decades of Ming Dynasty (Notre Dame, in: University of Notre Dame, 1962),
34 See Charles B. Jones, P xi j : Collected Refutations of Heterodoxy by Ouyi Zhixu
( , 15991655), Pacific World 11 (2009) 351408, here 356.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

428 Meynard

campaign against Christians did not bring him the peace he sought, but had
instead led him astray, towards feelings of hate.
Ultimately, intellectual reasons may have been even more persuasive. Xu
may have felt that the new role he had played in defense of the Chinese tradi-
tion was a mistake, and in fact ran counter to the ideals of Confucianism and
Buddhism, as we shall see.
In the Second Refutation, Xu stated that Christians committed the mistake
of venerating a God, at once invisible and yet animated by desires and attached
to the illusions of selfhood (wojian ).35 In the Seventh Refutation, Xu ex-
pressed the same criticism in Confucian terms: by harboring the seven feel-
ings of happiness, anger, sadness, joy, love, hate, and desire (xi nu ai le ju ai wu
yu, ), the Lord of Heaven showed himself unable to reach
the realm of the unity of nature (yixing, ).36 According to Xus understand-
ing, God created the world and humanity only for his own selfish satisfaction,
for the sake of having people to worship him. Because the Christians have this
conception of a God who distinguishes himself from the rest of the cosmos
and demands from human beings an absolute obedience and reverence, they
engage in competition with other teachings, claiming that their religion alone
is correct. In contrast, the Buddha and the neo-Confucian concept of Taiji
( ) go beyond any idea of separateness from the cosmos. Thus they are not
morally attached to the cosmos, or, as Xu said in the Seventh Refutation:

the Buddha exists beyond all dharma, and this is similar to the Confucian
saying that everything unites with the Taiji and that The Most Venerable
has no equal. The true body in its fullness is one with its fundamental na-
ture, without claiming Venerability for itself. Circumstances may lead to
different karmic retributions and transformations, or as the Confucians
say, each thing has its own Taiji, so that everyone is Venerable unto him-
self. However, the Buddha teaches that the self has no real existence, and
thus no one and nothing can be considered as being inferior. The one
who reaches the universal principle is called the Venerable, meaning that
he has realized the equality of everything.37

According to Xu, Buddha or the Taiji, unlike the Christian God, contain and
unite everything precisely because they do not have any desire of controlling

35 Zuopi 8a, 277.

36 Zuopi 24a, 285.
37 Zuopi 21a, 284.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

Beyond Religious Exclusivism 429

things or any desire of being venerated. From this standpoint, we can under-
stand now why the reactions of the Buddhist world to the Christian attacks
were slow and mild.
Christianity brought to China two completely new concepts, which are
deeply interrelated: the idea of an absolute God, and the idea of an exclusiv-
ist religion. Chinese Christianity adopted many ideas and expressions from
Confucianism, but yet felt the need to separate itself strictly from Buddhism,
Daoism, and popular religions. Facing the exclusivist attitude of Christian-
ity, Buddhism faced a dilemma: could it adopt the same approach in refuting
Christianity, and still be faithful to their more inclusive stance? My analysis of
the Zuopi shows that Xu Dashou, in his refutation of Christianity, inclined to an
exclusivist approach, building up an enclosed interpretation of Three Teach-
ings into One. In order to respond to Christianitys unfair attacks on Buddhism,
Xu adopted no fairer strategies, and came to immerse himself into the con-
flict. For example, Ricci in the True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven had wrongly
accused the Buddhists of having borrowed from Christianity the concepts of
paradise and hell, and to have corrupted their original meaning.38 In the Sev-
enth Refutation, Xu Dashou replies in kind, listing the concepts Christianity
stole from Buddhism. Paradoxically, all the commonalities between Christian-
ity and Buddhism that could have provided a platform for dialogue became
instead the battlefield between the two.
Once Xu started to fight back, it became difficult for him to disengage.
He developed a one-sided view on reality, and promoted extremist stances
toward Christianity. His Zuopi came to stress the cultural difference between
the Chinese and the foreigners, and he fomented fear against a foreign
Such an exclusivist approach runs contrary to the ideals of both Buddhism
and Confucianism as just elaborated by Xu Dashou, since, in the highest realm
of Buddha or Taiji, all things are equalized, and unlike the Christian God, the
Buddha and the Taiji are not distinguished from all else. This metaphysical
view on the ultimate reality precludes Buddhism or Confucianism being erect-
ed as an absolute teaching above all others, but on the contrary leads to the
idea that all teachings are equal in their ultimate goals. Xu may have finally
decided to abandon his anti-Christian campaign because he now saw things
from the point of view of the equalization of all teachings. He no longer felt
the need to fight back.

38 Ricci, True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven, 117.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

430 Meynard


Early Jesuit missionaries in Asia had a very superficial understanding of Bud-

dhism, and so their refutation of Buddhist philosophy based upon Aristotelian-
ism and Scholasticism was often off the mark, and could be easily dismissed by
those like Xu Dashou. In fact, behind the familiar aspect of an organized reli-
gion, the Jesuit missionaries encountered the disconcerting idea of an absolute
that was not expressed as a personal God.
Facing Christianitys attacks, Buddhism could either ignore them or answer
back. Xu Dashou initially chose the second way, and created a new idea of
China based on the three traditions of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism,
in order to prevent the intrusion of a fourth doctrine. But having created an
enclosed idea of China, Xu Dashou may have realized that this defensive con-
struction ran counter to the universalism of his own tradition.
Modernity has produced the idea of religious pluralism and ecumenical
dialogue. In contrast to the traditional conception of religious tolerance that
had prevailed in Asia, and which was ultimately embraced by Xu Dashou, the
modern concept stresses a proactive dialogue between religions, based on
mutual respect and mutual understanding. Religions may accept and wel-
come inter-religious dialogue as an opportunity to change for the better, to
rid themselves of the idea that they alone embody the fullness of truth, to
enrich their self-understanding through encounter with other traditionsso
that Buddhists may become better Buddhists, and Christians better Chris-
tians. Xu Dashous insights about an absolute reality that is itself completely
de-absolutized are an invitation for Christianity and other religious traditions
to find similar forms of de-absolutization that could be a common ground for

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 415-430

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452


The Jesuit College Ballets: What We Know

and Whats Next

Judith Rock
Independent scholar


The existence and nature of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century ballets produced
at Jesuit colleges in Catholic Europe, most often in France and German-speaking lands,
is better known now, in the United States and in France, than it was several decades
ago. Researchers have come to understand much more about the ballets, their motiva-
tion and widespread production, and their professionalism. The Jesuit college ballets
are a rich nexus of art, theology, philosophy, and culture. Looking again at what we
already know reveals questions that need to be addressed in future research. The most
fruitful future research is likely to come from scholars committed to interdisciplinary
work, including some physical understanding of dance as an art form. As with any phe-
nomenon involving the meeting of an art form and theology, historians of the art form
and historians of the theology tend to know and be interested in very different things.
And their colleagues, historians of culture, may be interested in yet something else. As
scholars approach a variety of possible future Jesuit college ballet projects, this inter-
disciplinary challenge can illumine more completely the commitments and intentions
of the ballets Jesuit producers, as well as the ballets influence on their surrounding
cultures, and the cultures shaping of the ballets.


Jesuit college ballets baroque dance kinesthetic identification horse ballets

ballet-tragedy connection comedy professional baroque dancers verbal
rhetoric physical rhetoric restaging

Rock, 2017|doi 10.1163/22141332-00403004

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial 4.0 Unported (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
432 Rock


Someone, says Annie Dillard in The Writing Life, wrote that each student of
the ferns will have his own list of plants that for some reason or another stir
his emotions.1 Part of the delight of researching anything is that in the pro-
cess we are startled and enlightened and entertained by the surprising and
singular passions of other scholars. Those passions keep our own burning. For
nearly forty years, my emotions have been stirred and my mind fascinated, as
both dancer and scholar, by the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Jesuit
college ballets. This is partly because they are a perfect example of the meet-
ing of a sophisticated performing art and theology. Working on that shadowy
boundary where art and theology meet has been my vocation as dancer, ac-
tress, novelist, and scholar. In this essay, I want to consider first what we know
now about the Jesuit college ballets, and then what that younger scholar, who
finds his or her emotions, mind, and imagination stirred by the ballets, might
discover next.
What do we know now about the ballets? They were created and per-
formed primarily in the French, German, and eastern European Jesuit col-
leges, from the middle of the seventeenth century until the early 1760s and
the suppression. In my own research, I have focused on the French college
ballets, and especially on those created and performed in Paris at the college
of Louis le Grand, the flagship of ballet production. Louis le Grand, originally
called Clermont, was the only Jesuit college in Paris, though not the only col-
lege producing theatermany schools did so, having inherited the medieval
tradition of student performance. By 1560, Jesuits were teaching on the Left
Bank at the college of Clermont on the rue de La Harpe, near the Seine. In
1563, Clermont moved to the nearby rue St. Jacques, where the Lyce Louis le
Grand still stands. Clermont was renamed Louis le Grand in 1682 when Louis
xiv (r.16431715) became its patron. There are numerous websites referring
to the Jesuit colleges in Paris. This mistake probably arises from the 1690
Philidor collection of music, titled Ballets des jsuites, which for some un-
known reason contains a score titled Ballet dHarcourt. The college of Har-
court, founded in 1280, also produced tragedies and ballets. (It exists now as
the Lyce St. Louis.) Though the Jesuit ballets seem to have been sometimes
shared among Jesuit schools, there is no evidence that they were shared with
non-Jesuit colleges.

1 Annie Dillard, The Writing Life (New York: Harper and Row, 1989), 67.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452

The Jesuit College Ballets 433

An Interdisciplinary Project

The Jesuit college ballets are a rich nexus of seventeenth- and eighteenth-
century art, theology, philosophy, and culture, which means that working
with their layered reality is always an interdisciplinary project. The researcher
needs an understanding of pre-suppression Jesuit educational philosophy and
Christian humanist theology, a working knowledge of the seventeenth- and
eighteenth-century cultures that surrounded the colleges, and some physical
understanding of dancewhat it is and is not, and that it communicates from
body to body, not verbal mind to verbal mind. This kind of communication is
called kinesthetic identification.
In the ballets own time, there was much speculation about the physical-
ity of dance. The Jesuit dance historian and creator of grand events Claude-
Franois Menestrier (16311705) believed that dance began with sound hit-
ting the eardrum. He explained in his 1682 Des Ballets anciens et modernes2
that soundespecially the sound of violinssent a ball-like thing called
les esprits bouncing through the body and creating movementlike a small
stone cast into water causes ripples. In our own time we would describe
dances physical communication as kinesthetic identification by the watcher
with the dancers movement, because of which and after which verbal re-
flection and response arises. Though baroque dance, as we now call the
seventeenth- and eighteenth-century dance technique used on the Jesuit
stage, had deep connections to verbal rhetoric, it was understood as physical
How does the non-dancer academic acquire more than an intellectual un-
derstanding of dance? By taking a few beginning dance classes, baroque if pos-
sible, but experiencing any precise and demanding technique will be useful. By
going to dance concertsbaroque if possible, but professional modern dance
or ballet will also be helpfuland noticing the physical response of ones body
during the performance. And by watching the excellent videos on the New York
Baroque Dance Company websiteclick on the Gallery tabwhere there are
examples of the two baroque technical styles, serious and comic.
Without this sort of effort, our perhaps limited contemporary understand-
ing of dance will mislead us in understanding the college ballets. For example,
some researchers have assumed that the ballets were like modern well meant
but clumsy childrens dance recitals. One researcher, not understanding the

2 Claude-Franois Menestrier, Des Ballets anciens et modernes selon les rgles du thtre (Paris:
Ren Guignard, 1682).

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452

434 Rock

basic reasons for the ballets production, concludes that they were a Jesuit ploy
for pleasing parents. We always need to guard against what medievalist Caro-
line Walker Bynum has called presentist assumptions.

The Dance Technique and Style of the Ballets

Baroque dance technique itself tells us a great deal about the culture sur-
rounding the ballets. To our eyes, the noble or serious style of technique, used
for serious and important characters, is small and contained. Legs are never
raised beyond a forty-five degree angle from the hip, arms never reach above
the shoulder. The jumps and turns are precise and intricate, but because they
stay within baroque dances small frame, we may miss just how complex and
difficult they are. We are accustomed to leotards, tights, and light flowing fab-
rics that show the body, especially the center body, and its movement. Baroque
dance costumes covered most of the body: voluminous skirts and sleeves to
the elbow for women, heavy jackets and breeches to the knee for men. Both
sexes wear corsets and heeled shoes. Masks were often worn and elaborate
headdresses were usual. Baroque dance techniques celebration of limits, pre-
cision, and small intricate complexity, of the luxurious weight of costume as
part of movement, tells us much about the manners, ways of speaking and
moving, and even thinking, in upper bourgeois and noble society during the
century of the Jesuit college ballets.
Women were dancing professionally in France by the 1680s, but on the Je-
suit stage, male dancers performed the female rolesin spite of the Societys
prohibition against theatrical cross-dressing. In court ballets, costume signaled
that a woman was really a man or boy. For noble or serious characters, the
skirt came only a little below the knee, garlands of flowers circled the calves,
and a piece of fabric was tucked into the low cut bodice and gathered around
the neck. For adult male dancers, these alterations helped hide bulging male
muscles and chest hair. Most of the boys of the Jesuit stage would not have
needed these precautions, and the costume may have served as a reassurance
to the audience that no women were performing.
Both male and female comic characters in seventeenth- and eighteenth-
century ballets danced in what became known as the Grotesque style of
dance, which was in sharp physical contrast to the noble or serious style. In
1716, Gregorio Lambranzi , a Venetian ballet master and performer active in
the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, published his book The
New and Curious Style of Theatrical Dancing, about comic ballet characters

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452

The Jesuit College Ballets 435

and their dances.3 In dance, Grotesque described a contrast to noble beauty,

self-possession, and restraint. The contrast of the Grotesque ballet character
to the noble characters, and the function of the Grotesque characters, is very
much like the relation of nobles and peasants in the plays of Shakespeare
(15641616) and Molire (162273). The Grotesque style pointed a social norm
and carried a social judgement, in that its characters were invariably peasants,
fools, drunks, impossible dancing figures like pumpkins and onions, arguing
couples, and others behaving outside upper class or noble norms. Grotesque
figures also presented comic optical/kinetic illusions, such as a dancer appear-
ing to carry someone on his back in a basket, or a pair of dancers, each appear-
ing as a single leg. Grotesque movement was big, sloppy, and heavy, legs were
wide apart and turned parallel or inwards rather than outwards as in the noble
style, arms were flung, bodies bent and crouched, with obvious physical com-
edy results. On the New York Baroque Dance Company website, in the Gallery
section, there are several excellent short videos of dances reconstructed from
Lambranzis book which show the comic/Grotesque dance style. In the Jesuit
college ballets, characters dancing in that style were often those acting outside
the moral and Christian virtues the Jesuits hoped to instill in their students.

Why the Ballets Were Produced

When I mention the college ballets in non-specialist conversation, the first

questionafter Jesuit what?!is usually, Why? The most important reason
for the ballets production was that the teaching of rhetoricthe art of com-
municationwas central in the Jesuit college syllabus, laid out in the Ratio
studiorum of 1599. The early connection of rhetoric with theater is cautiously
mentioned in section eighty-seven of the 1599 Ratio. That section says that the-
atrical tragedies and comedies should be only in Latin and extremely rare,
should be holy and devotional [] nor should any female character or cloth-
ing be introduced.4 Very soon all of these stipulations except for the Latin re-
quirement were being progressively ignored by many colleges, the contentious
record of which is preserved in the archives of college correspondence with

3 Gregorio Lambranzi, New and Curious School of Theatrical Dancing (Nuremberg: Johann
Jacob Wolrab, 1716).
4 The Ratio studiorum: The Official Plan for Jesuit Education, trans. and ed. Claude Pavur, S.J.
(St. Louis, mo: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2005), 35.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452

436 Rock

The verbal rhetorical training of speaking and acting in the tragedies includ-
ed the physical rhetoric of stance, movement on the stage, and gesture. The
proper use of gesture, of arms, hands and fingers, was part of teaching both
verbal and physical rhetoric. The Jesuits students learned the precise gestural
vocabulary shared by seventeenth- and eighteenth-century actors, dancers,
preachers, lawyers, and singersand by important men having their portraits
painted. In some portraits of Louis xiv, he stands in baroque dances fourth po-
sition, and holds his arms and hands in much the way a baroque dancer would.
There were many educational gesture manuals in use in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, and probably also in Jesuit colleges, which showed the
rhetorical gestures of the hands and fingers and taught where and when they
should be used.
Because the ballets at Louis le Grand and the other French colleges trained
students in French cultures most important physical rhetoric, they quickly
joined the tragedies as part of the annual late-summer prize-giving. The first
recorded ballet at the Paris college was done in 1638, not at prize-giving but
most likely in October, to celebrate the birth of Louis xiv.5 Beginning in 1650,
ballets were produced at the college almost every year until 1762, to accom-
pany the tragedies performed at prize-giving.6
Not all Jesuit colleges were as prolific of ballets as was Louis le Grand, though
most, if not all, French colleges, and also German colleges, produced them. As I
have said, ballets were apparently shared among colleges, probably both livrets
and dances. They were also sometimes repeated within a college. There was a
ballet called Orphe at the College of La Flche in 1689, and an Orphe at Louis
le Grand in 1690;7 Avignon produced Le Jeux Olympiques in 1707, and there was
a ballet of the same name at the College of the Trinity in Lyon in 1714.8 At Louis
le Grand, there was a France victorieuse sous Louis le Grand (France Victorious
under Louis the Great) in 1680 and also in 1687.9
The French cultural reason for this training in physical rhetoric was that
in the adult lives of upper class students, physical self-presentation and mas-
tery in dancing would be crucial for achieving a place in society, maintaining
reputation, and forming social relationships. The test for taking ones place

5 Robert W. Lowe, Marc-Antoine Charpentier et lopra de collge (Paris: Maisonneuve et

LaRose, 1966), 176.
6 Ibid., 176n95.
7 Ibid., 181.
8 Website Exposition Archives Municipal de Lyon: Lyon et lOlympisme, 15 mai-3 aot 2013, Les
Jeux Olympiques Lyon 1714, 6.
9 Lowe, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, 17980.

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The Jesuit College Ballets 437

at Louis xivs court was to dance with a partner before the king, with all the
courtiers watching. There is a story of one young man who had not practiced
enough, fell on his face, and was sent abroad by his father until the consider-
able scandal died down and he could try again. There is also a story of a boy
from a highly placed legal family who was expected to go into the army. His
dancing master had to inform the boys father that the boy was simply incapa-
ble of learning to dance. Which meant that he could not be an army officer, be-
cause he would be excluded from the balls and social occasions at which most
of the important necessary communication took place among the officers.
Other forms of culturally shaped physical rhetoric were also presented
where dance was less important. In German-speaking lands, where horseman-
ship seems to have been an important way of communicating mastery, order,
and precise physical skill on the part of both horse and rider, some Jesuit col-
leges staged horse ballets, complex equestrian events which were probably
something like the contemporary feats of the Austrian horses called Lipizzan-
ers. When looking up the spelling of Lipizzaner, I discovered a video of an an-
nual Christmas event held near Johannesburg, South Africa, called Lipizzan-
ers and Carols by Candlelight, also known as The Ballet of the White Stallion.
The video excerpt shows the South African Lipizzaners and riders performing
with orchestra and choir. The spectators have little candles in paper holders, as
on Christmas Eve in churches. Some of South Africas European cultural heri-
tage is German, and I suspect that the Ballet of the White Stallion, in the dec-
orated indoor performing hall, is much like the seventeenth- and eighteenth-
century German horseback productions. If you are wondering what a Jesuit
college horse ballet might have looked like, I recommend watching this video
Italian and Spanish colleges apparently did not produce ballets (human or
horse), though they staged elaborate musical productions and religious tab-
leaus. The Portuguese colleges produced plays and apparently had a particular
interest in music. Baroque music, too, had connections with rhetoric. Accord-
ing to baroque opera specialist Olga Termini, In Italian baroque opera [] the
concerns of the camerata and the emergence of the stile recitativo attest pri-
marily to the goal of moving the affections through the words.10 The national
and local culture surrounding each college explains the emphasis on different
theatrical forms, but all the forms, even music, were understood as rhetoric,
communication intended to move, persuade, and please the audience.

10 Olga Termini, The Role of Diction and Gesture in Italian Baroque Opera, Performance
Practice Review 6, no. 2 (1993): 14656, here 146.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452

438 Rock

The plays, ballets, horse ballets, and musical performancesmany of

which included dancewere much loved by audiences. Jesuit Charles Pore
(16761741) left this poem, found among his papers after his death.

Musicians, dancers,
It was only they the audience loved;
for them the audience hardly had eyes and ears enough.
But during the piece [tragedy]
they emptied their bottles;
their shouts and applause
were only for the leaping.11

Of course, the Jesuits religious and political adversaries, like the quasi-Calvinist
Catholic Jansenists and the University of Paris, threw verbal rhetorical bottles
at the whole theatrical enterprise. But the Jesuit theater remained very popu-
lar with audiences, both lay and religious, and with influential personages on
whose continuing good opinion the Jesuit enterprise depended for its exis-
tence in every town and realm.
The Jesuit concern for pleasing and praising those in charge in the sur-
rounding world has led at least one historian to categorize the Jesuit college
theater as simply an influential part of promoting monarchical absolutism.12
The French Jesuits certainly sought to please, and also to influence the actions
of those who had power over their future, going so far as to re-name the Paris
college after Louis xiv when he became patron of the prize-giving therethat
is, he paid for the prizes. Though often distasteful and unacceptable to mod-
ern eyes, the efforts to please and influence the king were on a continuum
with Louiss Jesuit confessors efforts to influence his actions religiously and
politically. Again, we have to be awareand bewareof our Presentist al-
legiances, if we are to put these efforts in an accurate historical perspective.
The Jesuits always understood their theater as a school of virtue, as the Je-
suit Pore described it in his March 13, 1733 oration at Louis le Grand, Whether
the Theatre is or can be made a School for forming the Mind to Virtue.13 The
plays and ballets were understood as part of the Jesuit theological and moral
mission to king, court, nobility, and the upper classes in general, the people

11 Pierre Peyronnet, Le thtre des jsuites, Dix-huitime siecle 8 (1976): 10720, here 117.
12 Sara Beam, Laughing Matters: Farce and the Making of Absolutism in France (Ithaca:
Cornell University Press, 2007), 21040.
13 Charles Pore, Whether the Theatre Is or Can Be Made a School for Forming the Mind to
Virtue, trans. J. Lockman (London: T. Astley, St. Pauls Churchyard, 1734).

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452

The Jesuit College Ballets 439

making and influencing what we would call policy decisions at every level. Just
as the Society of Jesus routinely used elements of foreign cultures to help them
communicate in their missions, they used the production of plays and bal-
lets to communicate with, influence and convertor reconvertEuropean
princes, nobles, and upper class people in cities and towns. The Jesuit Constitu-
tions of the period put their concern and intent in these words: It is helpful in
general to strive to retain the goodwill and charity of all [] and especially of
those whose favorable or unfavorable attitude toward [the Society of Jesus] is
of great important for opening or closing the gate leading to the service of God
and the good of Souls.14
None of this means that the Jesuit educators ignored ordinary people. They
recognized that the cultural language of ordinary people was not the language
of ballet and tragedy, and addressed them and their needs in different ways.
One way was by providing free education for day students: sons of the poor,
of ordinary workers, and of craftsmen and small merchants. Molire, whose
father was an upholsterer, was a Louis le Grand day student. So far as is known,
day students did not perform in the annual tragedies or ballets.
Beyond teaching students and preparing them for the future, or pleasing
and teaching audiences or princes, the deepest reason for the Jesuits attention
to physical rhetoric was that they were Christian humanists who believed the
physical creation, including the body, to be essentially good in and of itself;
and they believed in the incarnation of Christ: God come to humanity in hu-
man flesh. Nonetheless, the 1599 Ratios decree that performances were to be
devotional was not followed. In the next century, Menestrier cautioned libret-
tists not to mix what belonged to the altar and what belonged to the stage. For
example, ballets occasionally included Religion as a character and religion as a
concern, but neither was presented in a devotional way.

The Ballets in Performance

The five Act tragedies, originally in Latin, later sometimes in the vernacular,
and the four Part ballets were only tangentially related. Louis le Grands 1699
summer tragedy was Joseph tabli vice-roy dEgypte and the ballet was Les Song-
es (Dreams).15 But nothing in the ballet referred to Josephs dreams. The ballet
was about ordinary dreams, ideas about dreams, etc. The ballets had four Parts,

14 The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, ed. John Padberg, S.J. (St. Louis, mo: Institute of
Jesuit Sources, 1996), 406.
15 Lowe, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, 183.

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440 Rock

and ended with a Ballet General. The tragedy began with a prologue, spoken
by a student and followed by the plays first Act. Then the ballets first Part was
danced, followed by Act ii of the tragedy, followed by Part ii of the ballet, etc.
After the tragedys fifth Act, the Ballet General was danced, bringing all the
dancers, student and professional onstage, and leading by some dramatic de-
vice into the prize-giving.
The prize-giving performance took place on an outdoor stage constructed
in the college courtyard. There may be a relationship between a colleges pos-
session of a large courtyard and the beginning of ballet production, which usu-
ally included the most elaborate staging, machinery, and effects possible. The
tragedy and ballet performances and the prize-giving drew large audiences,
which included upper class citizens, religious of other orders, parents and
families, and sometimes nobility and royalty. The large courtyards, surrounded
by college buildings of several stories, provided space for seating: men in the
courtyard on benches and women on chairs at the buildings many windows.
Louis le Grands main courtyard appears on architectural drawings of the
college by 1628.16 As we have seen, the colleges first recorded ballet was pro-
duced ten years later. Jesuit colleges also needed indoor performing space
where smaller audiences could be accommodated. They often produced plays
during the winter and early spring, and also organized frequent rhetorical dis-
plays. Judging from a plan of Louis le Grand dated 1762, one of the uses of
the long classroom at the east end of its court was as a theater. On that plan,
the long room is designated as Theatre, Logique, and Musique. A neigh-
boring and seemingly only partially separate space to the south is labeled
Cinquime, and may have been usable as part of the theater.17 Other French
colleges known to have had indoor theaters include those at Bordeaux, Dijon,
La Flche, Pont--Mousson, Rouen, and Reims. Rouens indoor theater could
hold about a hundred spectators.18 The outdoor courtyard performances ac-
commodated many more: Louis le Grands courtyard, and surrounding win-
dows were often said to seat more than a thousand. Judging from todays Louis
le Grand courtyard, this seems impossible, but the buildings, courtyards and
other open spaces have undergone many changes over the years, and not all of
them seem to have left surviving records.
At Louis le Grand, the west-facing stage, with its understage area, trap doors,
and overhead flies, was constructed at the east end of the great courtyard,

16 Clmentine Mathurin, Du collge de Clermont au collge Louis le Grand: Architecture et

histoire dun collge jsuite Paris 15631792 (MA thesis, Sorbonne: 200910), 2:15.
17 Ibid., 2:35.
18 Beam, Laughing Matters, 235.

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The Jesuit College Ballets 441

b acking up against the tall windows of the rhetoric classroom. Wooden steps
were built, and the classroom served as the backstage, with the windows as
stage access. The college is on the east side of the rue St. Jacques, and the bal-
lets were performed in the afternoon, so the mid-afternoon sun would have
been behind the east facing spectators. Though an enormous canvas was
stretched over the courtyard in case of rain, the afternoon daylight would have
contributed to the stage lighting. Other lighting was from candles in sconces
nailed to the stage ends of wings, and perhaps in a large wheel of candles sus-
pended from the flies.
Scenery included painted backdrops and wing flats, and many stage effects
were used. Denizens of the underworld came and went through trapdoors,
gods and goddesses descended from the sky on painted clouds lowered from
the flies, seas were wide, blue satin ribbons stretched from wing to wing across
the stage and manipulated by stagehands so that the water seemed to ripple
and shine. Stage machines, like the huge hydra used in the 1686 ballet The La-
bors of Hercules,19 moved along small rails laid on the stage, guided by students
hidden inside, who also made the hydras mouth emit clouds of smoke. Musi-
cians sometimes emerged from elaborate machines or were placed precari-
ously in the branches of scenery trees. Snowstorms of sugar fell from the flies,
lightning flashed, and thunder growled.
The ballet livrets were written by Jesuit rhetoric professors like Joseph Jou-
vancy (16431719), Gabriel Le Jay (16571734), and Pore. The student actors
and dancers were boarding students from the upper rhetoric class. These boys
were well to do and socially highly placed, and their families helped pay for
the elaborate costumes necessary for the productions. Some boys were sons
of the old nobility of the sword, a few were royal, and many came from the
new nobility of the robethat is, legal professionalsand some, especially
in provincial towns, were well-to-do upper bourgeois. They would have begun
learning to dance at the age of seven or so, and by the time they arrived at
Louis le Grand, usually somewhere between ten and fourteen years of age,
most of them would have been reasonably competent dancers. So the deci-
sion to produce ballets meant using a skill most of the boarding students
already had.
Professional dancing masters created, taught, and rehearsed the dances in
the ballets. Even small provincial towns would have had at least one dancing
master. Though many Jesuit professors would have danced in their youth, it
was understood that no Jesuit danced, even in order to teach. Because Louis le
Grand was in Paris, the known ballet masters who worked at the college from

19 Les Travaux dHercule, Bibliothque nationale de France, Paris, Rs. Yf 2855.

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442 Rock

the later seventeenth century through 1761 included the most accomplished
and famous in Europe. The best known is Pierre Beauchamps (1631c.1719),
dance director of the Royal Academy of Music and credited by dance histori-
ans with inventing the five positions still used by all Western concert dancers.
He also invented the comprehensive system of dance notation, which has the
dances music across the top of each page, and through which baroque dances
have came down to us. It is called Feuillet notation, after Raoul-Auger Feuil-
let (c.16601710) fellow dancing master and colleague, who published it. Louis
Guillaume Pcour (16531729), and Michel Blondy (16771747) also choreo-
graphed and directed Louis le Grand ballets, as did eighteenth-century masters
Froment, Laval, and Franois-Antoine Malter (167?1761). Being a professional
ballet master meant being also a musician, playing the small violin necessary
for teaching and rehearsing dances, and composing music for the dances and
other parts of the ballets.
The best male professional dancers from the Royal Academy (which be-
came the Paris Opera) often danced alongside the Louis le Grand students.
Professional dancers named in Louis le Grand ballet programs include Blondy,
Claude Ballon (16761739), Antoine Germain, Louis Bouteville, Feuillet, Domi-
nique Magny and his son Claude-Marc (b. c.1677), Gaetan Vestris (17291808),
known as the god of the dance, and many others.20 It would be interesting
to know if the Feuillet named as part of the professional cast of the 1690 bal-
let Orphe21 is the Raoul-Auger Feuillet who published Pierre Beauchampss
system of notation. The date is right for his career as dancer and ballet master,
and he is known to have worked with Pcour, who was ballet master for the
production. But only student performers full names were listed, at the end
of the program. Only the surnames of professional dancers appeared, and in
the body of the program, at the points at which they danced. Little is known
of Raoul-Auger Feuillets life beyond his work with notation, though the noted
French researcher Rgine Astier is currently working with period notarial doc-
uments in the hope of discovering more about him.
Though there is no concrete evidence, it seems likely that Beauchamps
taught his notation system to at least some of his Louis le Grand students, or
perhaps left notated records of his dances to be kept in the college library for
reuse. Unfortunately, much of the college library was scattered or lost when
the University of Paris took over the property after the Jesuits expulsion. If

20 The birth and death dates of many well-known seventeenth- and eighteenth-century
dancers are not known.
21 Orphe, Bibliothque nationale de France, Paris, Res. Yf 2765.

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The Jesuit College Ballets 443

there were notation manuscripts, they were probably sold to the markets for
wrapping paper.
We have little visual record of the Jesuit ballet stage, and it is often diffi-
cult to know if the few Louis le Grand stage decor drawings that exist are for
the ballet or the tragedy. In the program of the tragedy Adonias, presented
at Louis le Grand in 1648, there is a drawing of student actorssix male and
two female charactersperforming Act iv of the tragedy Adonias, before a
backdrop showing classical pillars and a terrace.22 So far as I know, there are
no drawings of dancers, either student or professional, onstage in a Jesuit col-
lege production. There are, however, some drawings of professionals who are
known to have danced at Louis le Grand, including the drawing of Magny, who
performed several roles in the ballet Orphe in 1690. In the drawing which
accompanies this article, he is masked and costumed as an old man in a secu-
lar ballet.

The Ballets and Rhetoric

I have said that the ballets were intended as training in physical rhetoric. Like
the tragedy livrets, the ballet livrets often began with an Argument in the
rhetorical sense. In verbal rhetoric, the argument is the statement of the rheto-
ricians intent and procedure. In the 1687 Louis le Grand ballet, La France Vic-
torieuse sous Louis le Grand, the Argument printed at the beginning of the
program reads:

It is not only by the force of arms that France is victorious under Louis
the Great: she is even more victorious by the laws that this prince has so
wisely established; by the arts, which he has made flourish again with
such brilliance; but above all by peace, which he has generously given to
Europe. France triumphs by law over the principal disorders that injus-
tice has introduced; over ignorance by the arts; over her enemies by arms;
and over herself, in the end, by peace. These four kinds of triumph which
are uniquely the work of Louis the Great, and which make France under
his reign the most illustrious of all the nations, will be the subject of the
four Parts of the ballet [translation mine].23

22 Regi christianissimo agonothetae munificentissimo Adonias, Bibliothque nationale de

France, Paris, Rs. YF 2614.
23 La France Victorieuse sous Louis le Grand, Bibliothque nationale de France, Paris,, Res. YF

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444 Rock

Each of the ballets four Parts presents one kind of triumph, so it is reason-
able to assume that the college ballet creators thought of the ballets stan-
dard four Parts as at least similar to Aristotles four parts of a verbal rhetori-
cians speech.

Greek and Roman speeches are traditionally divided into four parts:
prooimion, diegesis, pistis, and epilogos, that is, introduction, narrative,
proof, and epilogue. Rhetoricians proposed many subdivisions, and the
parts were at times given different names. But the four-part speech and
the parts individual functions were familiar throughout the rhetorical
tradition: the prooimion should inform the audience of the matter at
hand, seize its attention, and win its goodwill. The narrative should give a
clear and persuasive account of the speakers version of events. The proof
should confirm the narrative. The epilogos should recapitulate the argu-
ment and make a final emotional appeal to the audience.24

Each Part of the ballet was made up of a variable number of entrees, and the
entrees were made up of dances, dramatic action, music, and often songs,
sometimes sung by a dancer as he danced. Not only were the four Parts of the
ballet at least somewhat like the four parts of a speech, each separate dance
within the ballet could be understood in rhetorical terms. Dances were usually
notated in four pages, and it is in the notation that the connection of dance
and rhetoric is clearest.
Each notated page was understood (though no doubt more by ballet mas-
ters and rhetoricians than by the average dancer) as a section of a speech.
This physical rhetorical presentation is meant to persuade the audience of the
expertise and efficacy of the character being presented. At the top of the page
are the musical measures which accompany that pages movement. The large
pattern of lines on the page shows the floor path of the dancer, where he or she
goes in space. This floor path is called the figure and is related to the verbal
rhetoricians figure of speech. A small half circle with a double outline, if the
dance was created for a womantells us where the dancer begins the path.
The complicated smaller marks along the floor path line are her steps. On the
first page of an early eighteenth-century gigue, she dances downstage, ingrati-
ating herself (or her character) with her audience, as in the first part of a verbal
rhetorical speech. She presents herself to the audience and literally shows her
various sides, in preparation for persuading and moving the watchers.

24 Michael de Brauw, The Parts of the Speech, in A Companion to Greek Rhetoric, ed. Ian
Worthington (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), 187202, here 187.

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The Jesuit College Ballets 445

On the second page, she states her case, clearly, concisely, and in a bal-
anced manner: she dances in a sweeping circle to her left, withdraws upstage,
approaches the audience again to make a contrasting sharp-angled pattern in
order to show the other side, then once more withdraws upstage.
On the third page, she tries to prove her case, dancing in the most com-
plex floor pattern, or figure, of the dance. This figure is full of circling jumps
and turns, and it ends at the heart of the matterin the exact center of the
On the fourth and final page, she dances downstage once more, making a
last effort to move the audience. As on the second page, this figure is clear,
brief, and balanced, each side of the figure being clearly differentiated. Final-
ly, her physical rhetorical communication finished, she withdraws to stillness
and the place from which she began.
I have presented this description of a single dance and its notation in such
detail partly as an additional way of demonstrating why we cannot simply ap-
proach the college ballets with what we think we know about dance in our own
time. Our assumptions have little relation to the thickly layered seventeenth-
and eighteenth-century reality. To repeat, the phenomenon of the ballets is a
rich and complex nexus of baroque art, Jesuit theology and philosophy, and
the now vanished culture of its time.
But seeing the richness that is there from our distance in culture and time
can feel like trying to untie the Gordian knot. For American researchers, the
problem is complicated by there being so little archival material held in this
country. Of course, many French documents are available online from the
Bibliothque nationale de France, through Gallica. The trouble with digital
documents, useful as they are, is that they communicate little or nothing of
their time-ness, to coin a word. When I hold in my hand a seventeenth- or
eighteenth-century ballet program or copy of the Mercure monthly newspa-
per, or a book or a piece of clothing from those centuries, something altogeth-
er different is happening. I am literally touching these centuries. Something of
the time communicates itself physically to my fingers, and nose, and sense of
rhythm as I read the period language or feel the texture and weight of fabric. It
is my strong belief that researchers need this experience, no matter how much
is available on a screen. History is not simply an idea or a piece of information.
It is the pursuit of lost worlds, which have left behind small, tangible, physical
pieces that tell us more than words.
In France, the Bibliothque nationale, the Bibliothque de lArsenal, and
the Bibliothque Mazarine in Paris, and the Bibliothque municipal de Lyon
hold extensive ballet archives from the Jesuit colleges, principally livrets and
programs, but also a few stage drawings, as well as various seventeenth- and

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eighteenth-century Jesuit writings on dance and its value and purpose in the
Jesuit theater. The small group of Jesuit ballet music scores which I have men-
tioned, the Philidor collection, is at the Bibliothque nationale. The only titled
score is Sigalion, whose music is by Pascal Colasse (16491709). Sigalion ou
le secret25 was produced at Louis le Grand in 1689, with dances by Pcour. It
is the only Jesuit college ballet for which we have both the program and the
The fact of the college ballets is more widely known now than it was forty
years ago. But even at the Lyce Louis le Grand, the century of ballets produced
there are little remembered. This is partly because of Frances long history of
anticlericalism, but also because of the usual academic lack of attention to the
arts, and especially to the very physical art of dance. In 2013, I took the Louis
le Grand ballets back home. The senior English teacher at the school had read
my four historical novels set at Louis le Grand in 1686 and 1687, whose central
character is a Jesuit scholastic who teaches rhetoric and helps produce the bal-
lets. Through her, I was invited to speak about the ballets and the novels at
Louis le Grands 450th Anniversary Symposium. Reintroducing the Jesuit col-
lege ballets in the place where the most illustrious of them were created was
an utterly unexpected and very great honor, and the crown of nearly forty years
of work.

And Now?

What about the next forty years? What might be next in our efforts to under-
stand and communicate the Jesuit college ballets?
In November 2005, Sigalion, the ballet whose score is in the Philidor collec-
tion, was restaged in Paris by historian Anne Pijus, and baroque dance expert
Christine Bayle.26 The performance was in an auditorium at the Bibliothque
nationale. As I have said, we have the program and music for this ballet, but
not the dances. But the score gives the characters, and the music itself tells us
the emotional and theatrical tone of the dances. Christine Bayle created new
dances to go with the scores dance music in the score. But, very sadly, the pro-
duction was not videotaped.

25 Sigalion ou le secret, Bibliothque nationale de France, Paris, Res. YF 283435.

26 Plaire et instruire: Le spectacle dans les collges de lAncien Rgime, actes du colloque de
Paris, dir. Anne Pijus (Rennes: pur, 2007): 287300. See also Carine Barbafieri and Laura
Naudeix, Polymestor lpreuve du secret: Lefficacit du regard, xviie sicle 238, no. 1
(2008): 2739. The full issue is devoted to Sigalion.

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The Jesuit College Ballets 447

Restaging this ballet yet again, or reviving the very professional 2005 pro-
duction, and filming it is one of the most important projects that could be done
for the field of Jesuit college ballet research. This could be done by bringing the
2005 directors and dancers to an American Jesuit university. Students could
be involved in appropriate ways, and the visiting baroque dancers might offer
workshops or classes in the technique and style of the period. The directors
might teach about the ballet as guests in a few history or French classes. This
would certainly cost money, but if the project were tied to an important Jesuit
celebration or to a university program, money might be raised.
Another way to do this would be to invite the directors of the French project
to this country, to set the ballet on an American baroque dance company. Or an
American company could use the Sigalion score and program to do their own
restaging. Though creating a new restaging would take longer than remounting
the ballet, and would probably be more expensive. But the potential value of
a film record of Sigalion, with copies of that record put in appropriate librar-
ies, would be incalculable to the fields of dance, music, and Jesuit history. We
have many videos of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century dances recreated
from Feuillet notation. But the dances are not the most important reason for
restaging or recreating the college ballets. The ballets used the secular dance
technique and dance forms, but differed in other ways from secular ballets.
The world of French baroque dance assumed that a ballet might communicate
political statements and comment on people and events. Though court and
secular theater ballets were usually about the loves and pleasures of gods and
mortals, the characters were very often allegories for king, consorts, and other
important figures. The Jesuits treated female roles and characters differently
in the tragedies, women were occasionally moral and political heroines, and
in ballets, Religion was a female character. The major difference of intent and
shaping between secular and Jesuit ballets is that the Jesuits used their ballets
to speak morally, socially, and politically to contemporary society.
Whether or not the contemporary researcher agrees with the period moral,
social, and political commitments of the Jesuit creators and producers, these
differences are important historical reasons for restaging and recording se-
lected ballets. The recordings would be held in the archives of the fields of
dance, culture, and Jesuit theater. Many religious orders and their colleges of
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries produced plays, and some produced
ballets. But the Jesuits use of professional dancersin spite of vociferous
criticismand high-level staging to present full-length ballets to knowledge-
able audiences is a singular instance of a Christian religious order committing
itself to the regular productionand costsof (at least at Louis le Grand) state
of the art dance as part of its communication and mission over the course of a

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448 Rock

century. This unprecedented and unrepeated meeting of dance and theology

is in itself a compelling reason for the restaging and recording of the ballets.
So far as I know, Sigalion is, even now, one of only two Jesuit ballets which
have been restaged. The other was LEsperance, first done at Louis le Grand
in 1709, which I restaged at the University of San Francisco in May 1986. That
production, using student dancers and done on a very small budget, was com-
missioned by the late Dr. Lynn Farwell, S.J., to celebrate the Jesuit School of
Theology at Berkeleys fiftieth anniversary. Like Sigalion, my LEsperance was a
restaging, not a reconstruction. So far as we know, no complete reconstruction
of a Jesuit college ballet is possible, because we do not have all the pieces
livret, program, dances and musicfor any single ballet. I chose dances, with
their music, from the 1700 Feuillet collection of notated dances, and the mu-
sic director chose appropriate baroque music for the prelude, songs, etc. That
small production was videotaped, and the tape was part of my presentation at
Louis le Grand in 2013.
Another research area which has been little explored is the place of comic
characters and entrees in ballets produced at a variety of Jesuit colleges. This
would mean looking at the surviving livrets and programs, culling the comic
characters and scenes, and considering the differences in the colleges settings:
country and region, and whether provincial, capitol, or large or small provincial
town. Because of the ballets moral character, and their underlying religious
character, their comic dimension has been little considered: some researchers
mistakenly assume that their moral dimension and religious underpinnings
mean that they have no comedy. The summing up of the Jesuit college theater
productionsballet as well as dramaas part of the discourse of absolut-
ism I mentioned above, gives at least the impression that neither drama nor
ballet was likely to include comedy, which both clearly did.
Looking first at comedy in the college dramatic pieces would be a use-
ful preliminary to looking at comedy in the ballets, because it would create
a theatrical context for how comedy was viewed and used across the Jesuit
theatrical enterprise. Keeping in mind, of course, when considering the earlier
Jesuit theatrical productions, that until the seventeenth century, most if not all
French drama was often called comedy. And during the seventeenth century,
multiple types of comedy were distinguished on the secular and college stag-
es. The Louis le Grand performance archives mention comedy, tragi-comedy,
heroic comedy, and comic drama. There was also a contemporary form called
comedy-ballet, sometimes seen in court theatricals.
At Louis le Grand, comic plays were rare in the seventeenth century, but
became much more frequent in the eighteenth century, beginning at least in

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The Jesuit College Ballets 449

1716. In some years after that, two or three comedies were performed, usually
around Carnaval, and also in May or June. Some Jesuits involved in theatrical
production, like Jouvency at Louis le Grand, had reservations about comedy in
the college theaters. Nonetheless, from 1716 through 1758, fifty-three dramatic
comedies were performed at Louis le Grand. That period includes fifteen years
without any comedy performance, though with other drama and dance perfor-
mances, which means that fifty-three dramatic comedies were staged in thirty-
one years.27
The Louis le Grand ballets had many comic characters. La France Victorieuse
sous Louis le Grand,28 danced on August 6, 1687, with dances probably by Beau-
champs, had comic characters in at least two of its four Parts. These included
Cut-purses, Chicanery, and Litigants in Part 1, and several Scaramouche danc-
ers and Harlequins to entertain the people in Part 2. The Spaniards, Germans,
and the Dutch in Part 3 may also have been presented as comic figures.
In Sigalion ou le secret,29 performed on August 17, 1689, there were comic
dancers in at least three of the Parts. The first Part had glassblowerswho,
after trying to bribe the Sybils, could produce only smoked glassand also
Goblins. Part 2 included Bacchus and a band of Drunks, Indiscreet Children,
Momus, and Fools. The third Part presented Old men, Orators, Litigants, and
troupes of Lies.
Les Nouvelles,30 on August 6, 1703, with dances by Pcour, includes the young
Apollo in Part 2, sent by his mother Latona to put water in a fountain. He is met
by a hostile troupe of peasants and changes them into frogs. Their croaking
tells changes in the weather. Perhaps the audience was reminded of the Latona
fountain at Versailles with frog sculptures around its edges, which represented
the myth of Latonas changing hostile peasants into frogs when they refused
her a drink of water from their pond. The Jesuits probably made Apollo the
hero of their version of the myth, because in the original version his mother
Latona is very pregnant and would not have been an appropriate figure for the
college stage.
LArt de vivre heureux31 was the 1718 Louis le Grand ballet, performed on
August 3, with music and songs by Andr Campre and M. Abeille. The third
Part contains an interesting comment on Lambranzis still recent book

27 Lowe, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, 18694.

28 Bibliothque nationale de France, Paris, Res. Yf 440.
29 Bibliothque Mazarine, Paris, 15454 53.
30 Bibliothque nationale de France, Paris, Res. Yf 2762.
31 Bibliothque nationale de France, Paris, Yf 2547.

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450 Rock

about the Grotesque style. In Part 3, Momus and a troupe of Grotesque danc-
ers interrupt Terpsichore, the Greek goddess of dance, as she dances with la
plus exacte bienseance, the most precise decorum/propriety. That descrip-
tion indicates the noble dance style, as opposed to the Grotesque style. The
Grotesque dancers include the Italian comedy characters Scaramouche, Pol-
ichinelle, Pierrot, Arlequin, Docteur, and others unnamed. Terpsichore chases
them away.
Since comic characters were already frequent in ballets, and continued so
for the next forty years, this seems unlikely to be a simple rejection of the com-
ic dance style. I wonder if this entree in Lart de vivre heureux was a warning
about including too many Grotesque dancers in a ballet, at the expense of the
most precise decorum.
LOrigine des jeux32 was performed at Louis le Grand on both August 2 and 5.
The program gave this explanation for the fourth Parts entree about the game
of ninepins: A Philistine boor, living at the foot of Mt. Parnasse, overhears the
Great Poets and Muses talking about poetry. Fancying himself a poet and his
nine children as his Muses, he climbs the mountain to join the conversation.
He is punished for his audacity by having his children changed into ninepens,
and Apollo throws him off the mountain. As he rolls downhill, he becomes the
ninepen ball.
It seems clear from their theatrical record that the writers and producers of
the Jesuit theater considered comedy a good and allowable thingwhich must
not, however, be allowed to dominate either drama or ballet. Knowing more
about general production of comic drama and ballet entrees in the c olleges
would help in better understanding their communication to their audiences
and their commentary on their surrounding culture and world.
Another set of projects which would contribute to our knowledge of the Je-
suit ballets and theatre in general is the translation of more Jesuit documents on
the theater. For example, a readily accessible and readable English translation
of Pores 1733 Latin address on whether the theater was or might be a school
of virtue would provide non-Latin and non-French speaking researchers with
a reference point for eighteenth century Jesuit dramatists attitudes toward
theater production. Translations of works by the Jesuits Jouvancy and Gabriel
LeJay (16571734) on the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Jesuit theater
would also be very helpful. And, of course, there are the mid-seventeenth
century works of Menestrier on dance, especially his Des ballets anciens et
modernes, which still exists only in French. Translating Des ballets would
be a formidable projectone period Jesuit c ommented that he wished the

32 Le Mercure de France (August 1739): 183648.

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The Jesuit College Ballets 451

book had not been such a cornfield of ballets. That is, the o rganization of
the material leaves something to be desired, and especially for the modern
And finally, it would be an immeasurable service to Jesuit college ballet re-
search, and to the fields of dance history and Jesuit history, if The Sopron Col-
lection of Jesuit Stage Designs33 could be reprinted. The 1999 edition is nearly
impossible to find now. This gorgeous and informative book is a one of a kind
document for stage and costume designs from the eastern European college
ballets, and invaluable for Jesuit college ballet research in general. There is
nothing remotely comparable that exists from the Western European colleges.
Whatever projects future Jesuit college ballet researchers pursue, it will be
important to remember that, no matter how much we think we know, we must
always be alert for the startlingand perhaps unwelcomedetail, for the un-
expected voice. Recently, looking through the April 1700 online issue of the
Mercure monthly newspaper, I found an account of a rhetorical display given
on March 21, 1700, at the Jesuit college in Toulouse.34 A twelve-year-old student,
M. de Fleyres, gave a public display of his rhetorical skills. The audience in-
cluded his teachers and the worthies of the city. Both men and women were in
the audience, though the women had to sit in the back rows. At the end of the
students speech, as questions began, ten-year-old Mlle de Mariotte, sitting in
the back with her mother, made her way through the rows of seats to the dais
and began to question M. de Fleyres. No one stopped her. The event contin-
ued and ended with M. de Fleyres and Mlle de Mariotte trading questions and
answers. Any researcher of pre-suppression Jesuit schools knows that women
and girls were rarely seen there, except on occasions like the summer prize-
giving. And never on the rhetorical display dais. One reason no one stopped
her was probably that (as the Mercure tells us) she was the daughter of a highly
placed Toulouse official. The account also says that she was very well educated.
Perhaps the rhetorical display had been much like other rhetorical displays
and the audience was charmed and diverted by the little girls bold action. Of
course, this curious report from Toulouse simply details a surprising exception.
But Mlle de Mariotte made me wonder. How often were the absolute norms
and unvarying practices we deduce from our research not, in fact, so absolute
or unvarying?
Exceptions do not invalidate extensive evidence of usual practice. But ex-
ceptions matter because they tell us about people and the sudden changes they

33 Eva Knapp, The Sopron Collection of Jesuit Stage Designs (Budapest: Encklopedia Publish-
ing, 1999).
34 Le Mercure galant (April 1700): 12229.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452

452 Rock

made and experienced in their daily worlds surface. Those m aybe-only-once

changes are as real, and in more hidden ways perhaps as consequential, as the
unvarying practices we deduce from our research. The most important thing
Ive learned doing the Jesuit college ballet research is when to hold my expert
peacethat is, when to let those people who were not just us in costumes tell
me what Ive missed and what I need to know.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 431-452

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 453-472



60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series
I might be a living example of Oscar Wildes famous story, The Portrait of
Dorian Grey: A Conversation with John W. Padberg, S.J.

John W. Padberg
Jesuit Hall, St. Louis


In October 2016, the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College award-
ed John W. Padberg, S.J., the George E. Ganss, S.J., Award, which recognizes a per-
sons significant scholarly contributions to the field of Jesuit Studies. At the occasion,
RobertA. Maryks, the associate director of iajs and the successor of Padberg as the
editor of the Institute of Jesuit Sources interviewed John about his scholarly career as
a prominent Jesuit historian and editor. This is the first of a series of 60-Minute Con-
versations with Jesuit History. What follows is an edited transcription of the interview
that was videotaped at Boston College in October 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/


John W. Padberg, S.J. Jesuit Studies George E. Ganss, S.J., Award Institute
for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College Institute of Jesuit Sources
60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series

MARYKS: Welcome to 60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History. Im Rob-

ert Maryks of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies and of the History
Padberg, 2017|doi 10.1163/22141332-00403005
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial 4.0 Unported (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
454 Padberg

Departmenthere at Boston College. Our guest today is John Padberg. John

Padberg has lectured extensively on the history of the Society of Jesus and on
Jesuit education, including presentations at almost every Jesuit college and
university in the United States. His many publicationsmore than seventy-
fiveinclude a monograph entitled Colleges in Controversy: The Jesuit Schools
in France from Revival to Suppression, 18141880, and an edited collection of
documents, For Matters of Greater Moment: The First Thirty General Congrega-
tions of the Society of Jesus, which is still available from Jesuit Sources.
Born in St. Louis, Father Padberg entered the Society of Jesus in 1944 and
was ordained priest in 1957. He received a masters degree in modern European
history from Saint Louis University and a doctorate in intellectual history from
Harvard. He served as an academic vice president at Saint Louis University
and the president of the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mas-
sachusetts, for ten years. He later returned to St. Louis, where he directed
between 1986 and 2014 the Institute of Jesuit Sources, now housed at Boston
College. Hes here at Boston College these days to receive the George E. Ganss,
S.J., Award and deliver the Fiore Family Annual Lecture on Jesuit Studies.
Welcome to Boston College, John.

PADBERG: Thank you very much. Ive been here before, and every time its
been a pleasure.

MARYKS: Wonderful. John, last May, you turned ninety.

PADBERG: Thats right.

MARYKS: And you look amazing.

PADBERG: Well, thank you. [laughter]

MARYKS: Whats the secret?

PADBERG: There are three possibilities. One is that Ive led a decent Christian
life, and sometimes some of my brethren express skepticism about that. Sec-
ondly, I may have sold my soul to the devil. Thats a possibility. And the third, I
might be a living example of Oscar Wildes famous story, The Portrait of Dorian
Grey. I have carefully put that portrait at the back of the closet in my room, if
thats the case.

MARYKS: [laughter] Wonderful. Now, my first question or second question is

why and how did you fall in love with Jesuit history?

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60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series 455

PADBERG: Oh, thats a long story, I think.

MARYKS: We have enough time.

PADBERG: Maybe it goes back to falling in love with history to begin with. As
a kid, I think probably from the age of ten or so, I got interested not so much
in the why a certain thing happened, but how did it happen? What were the
circumstances around which stuff that I was readingand by that time, I was
reading a lot of Walter Scotts novels, things like that

MARYKS: Like Ivanhoe.

PADBERG: Yes, like Ivanhoe. Exactly. How did that happen? What circumstanc-
es? Who were the people? What was more to be found about them and their
circumstances? That was just an unstructured interest, and I have no idea ex-
actly how I got into that.
The other thing I was interested in at the timevery amateurly, obviously,
at the age of ten or twelvewas architecture. I used to draw amateurish little
floor plans for things and sketch buildings very badly, but I always looked at
the section of the local newspaper on Sunday for new buildings that had been
built, etc. And when I got older, Id wander around if I could, seeing places like
that that were new or admiringespecially around St. Louis, there are a lot of
places that were built in the nineteenth century and fortunately not destroyed
for steel, glass, and aluminum towers. I guess I have no idea where that innate
interest began, but thats where it started.

MARYKS: What produced the transition from that general interest in history
into a specific historyinterest in Jesuit history?

PADBERG: Jesuit history? Well, I suppose the remote sources of that were
going to a Jesuit school for high school, Saint Louis University High. I tell
people that apart from my Jesuit training itself and simply my earlier life with
my parents in the faith, the two places that were most influential in my own
academic development were Saint Louis University High School and Harvard
The high school was an excellent place. I had very good teachers among
some of the scholastics and priests. One or two of them got me interested not
from teaching a course in Jesuit historythey didnt have anything like that
but again, how did the Jesuits become who they were here? What influenced
them to enter the Society? What was the Society itself like? Those were incho-
ate questions, obviously, but that I think was the turn toward the Jesuit part of it.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 453-472

456 Padberg

Then when I entered the Society, there was a vast array of material avail-
able to read about, to experience, and I kept that interest, although originally
for graduate studies, I was not at all destined to, and I didnt destine myself,
for Jesuit history as such. It was more a history of ideas or academic history.
That came partly from a very fine lay teacher at Saint Louis University, Thomas
Neill, a fellow who wrote a book, very well selling many, many, many years
ago, Makers of the Modern Mind. I had him for several courses. He intrigued
me. The how became not just the external circumstances of the time, but the
ideas that were influencing people to do what they did or not do what they
didnt do.

MARYKS: I imagine you must have been one of the first Jesuits to enroll at
Harvard. Is that correct?

PADBERG: Oh, no. No, there were people way back when. Among the most
famous, of course, was Walter Ong, the real international scholar. On the
day I met for the first time the advisor for first-year doctoral students at Har-
vard, Dr. Stuart Hughes, who was very much a twentieth-century intellectual

MARYKS: What years are we talking here about?


MARYKS: What years are we talking about here?

PADBERG: Oh, 1959 I started studies there. The first time I met him, as all of the
first-year doctoral students did, he said, oh, I see that you are a Jesuit. I said yes,
I am. He said, do you know Father Walter Ong? I said, indeed, I do. He lives in
the same house with me. Hes a good friend. Oh, he said. We expect no less of
you. [laughter] That was a high barrier to come up against.

MARYKS: How did you find yourselfHarvard University doesnt have a fame
of being very embracing of Catholic culture. So as a Jesuit, how did you feel
studying at Harvard?

PADBERG: Welcome. I felt very welcome. I never had a single teacher there
who was dismissive of religion or of the church. It may just have been the luck.
Im not sure. They could speak very quickly about the virtues, the deficiencies,
the craziness in some ways within the faith and the great things theyve done.

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But among others, I had Crane Brinton, who was one of the great intellectual
historians at the time for eighteenth-century France; Stuart Hughes, whom
I mentioned; Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., for American intellectual history, and Paul
Tillich for a course which certainly wasnt American history or intellectual his-
tory as such.
But there was nothing at all dismissive. Several of the people that I got to
know among the faculty were very encouragingvery encouraging. And per-
haps among the most interesting things I didyou remember the name David
Riesman, The Lonely Crowd, about American culture and American attitude
sort of things? I got a call one day at the Jesuit house I was living in Boston
Is this Father Padberg? Yes. He said, This is Mr. Riesman. They never ad-
dressed each other or themselves as Professor or Doctor. That was presumed.
This is Mr. Riesman. Do you know me? I said, Oh, yes, I do know who you
are. He said, I have a proposal. Would you be interested in being one of the
teaching assistants in the course that I teach regularly on American intellec-
tual history, American culture? I would be interested if you would be. I said,
Well, may I askhow did you find out about me? He said, Well, your advisor,
Dr. Stuart Hughes, recommended you as a possibility. Would you care to come
to dinner some evening with the other people who are being asked to do this?
I said, By all means.
So off one evening I went to his home in Cambridge, had a typically
Cambridge sherry beforehandvery nice dinner served. Salad at the end of
the meal, as is proper in Europe. And after the dinner, he would talk about
what he was going to talk about in his lectures the next week and asked each
week one of us to prepare our own reflections on the reading that the students
were to do.
That was one of the most interesting things I think I have ever done. I took
the job for two years. They paid menot very much. But I learned more every
week from these people than I think I could possibly have imagined elsewhere.
One time, I was supposed to deal with material that Riesman was going to deal
with the next week, de Tocqueville. Well, OK. I do that.
The second year I was involved, I was to deal with material from, I guess, a
subgroup within American culture that maintained its identity while still en-
tering in some ways into the culture. It was one of the Native American groups
in the Far West.
So I read the material, called Riesman, and said I can do this, and Im very
happy to do it, but it struck me that I would know a lot more about another
subgroup that has tried to enter into the current culture here and otherwise
and attempts to maintain its identity. Whats that group? I said the Jesuits, the
Society of Jesus. Id like to take the material or the insights from The Lonely

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458 Padberg

Crowd, where he talks about the three ways in which people reacted to the sur-
roundings about them in American society over the years.
The first of them could be signified or symbolized by a compasstrue north,
you kept going this way. Thats where things are supposed to gothe early
founders of the American society, for example. Pardon methe first one was
a map, tradition direction. This is the way explorers had seen things. This is the
way things are. You follow this, youll get to your destination. The second was
the compass. That was American society through the nineteenth century, for
example. The third was the radar, constantly scanning the horizon as to what
was going on and that qualifying your personal and societal reactions to what
was going on. I said, I can do that for the Society of Jesus and the training we got.
So that particular eveningnormally we had dinner and discussion and
finished by 9:30, 10:00 maybe. Finally I stopped, because I said, Look, I can go
on with this at 11:00 that evening. Im going to talk about this, I said, not from
the point of view of my religious vocation, nor from the point of view of what
we would say Gods grace affecting.

MARYKS: Providence.

PADBERG: Im going to try to talk about it from the point of view of simply
the experience I had and how those three symbols or the way which American
society were stepsits not the only way you can talk about it, but steps in the
formation of the Jesuits. It was fascinating.

MARYKS: It sounds like. Now, did you apply this kind of methodology to your
work on nineteenth-century French Jesuits, which eventually would become
the topic of your dissertation?

PADBERG: Implicitly, I guess, yeah. I never sat down and said this is going
to be the structure of the thing. But that structure helped me see what had
happened beforeor to take into account the early years or the earlier cen-
turies of the Society before their suppression as in some senses the map that
the restored Society was supposed to go back to, even though everything that
had happened since the suppression in 1773, especially the French Revolution
along with the political, social, cultural, intellectual, religious, every kind of
other revolutionno, no, we can find out where were going if we can go back
to what we were as the original, genuine Society 1814 on.
But through the nineteenth century, that compass was there. The ruleswe
know where were going. True north. twentieth century, as the Society began to
change, and thats a subject somebodyIm going to say something tomorrow
about thatthats a subject somebody ought to get into. How did the Society

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60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series 459

change from the reputation, deserved or notI think it somewhat wasfor

being a very conservative group of people who looked at the world interior to
the Society and the world around them through a conservative lens to a Society
who certainly after the First World War gradually began to change and began
to look at the world around with a much more sympathetic viewpoint and re-
act individually as Jesuits and societallydepending on the country, slowly or
rapidlyto the situation in which, rightly or not, the Jesuits today are regarded
as a much more liberal organization. How did that happen? Thats one of the
programsI want to say tomorrow, very briefly, thats a program for the future.
I dont think Im going to do that at my age. [laughter]
See, you ask good questions, I give long answers.

MARYKS: Very good. Thats how this interview should go. How come
nineteenth-century French Jesuits?

PADBERG: Ah, OK. Fairly early in my thinking about what I might work on,
and Im consulting the man who did become my advisoragain, Dr. Stuart
Hughes, who was late-nineteenth, but mainly twentieth-century intellectual
historyI happened to remark at one point, you know, people have written
on Jesuit education in the old Society extensively, but theres not very much on
the new Society. And I said Ive been interested in France simply as a hobby,
maybe, even before. Nothings been written really at that point on what hap-
pened with the restoration. And I said that has to be done sometime or other.
Why dont you do it? I said, well, when and how? For dissertation.
I said, well, wait a minute. Id be reluctant to do that. I am a Jesuit, and I have
my qualms about how objective I could be in doing that. Oh, he said, you
have all kinds of resourcesor rather you have all kinds of advantages. You
know the history of the Society reasonably well. You know where the sources
are. You would probably be given access to them much more freely than some-
body else. And as far as the objectivity part of it, Ive had papers that youve
done, and I think youve been as objective as any person can be, whatever the
circumstances. And if you were to write on the nineteenth-century Jesuits and
Jesuit education then and were wildly nonobjective, Id nail you. [laughter]
And since dissertation director is, if not God, very close to it while youre work-
ing on it, I thought, yes, thats an interesting subject.
But I must say there was another external thing that pushed me toward it
going to Europe. Some of my brethren say I have a naturally European soul, and
the very prospect of having to go there to do the work more than enticed me.

MARYKS: I can imagine. So what did you enjoy mostly about France while do-
ing your research in the archives?

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460 Padberg

PADBERG: What did I most enjoy? Hmm. The architecture. I loved going to any
of the cities that I did get toand I didnt get to nearly as many as I wanted.
But just walking the streets of the city. For example, Ive been to Paris a fair
number of times since I did the dissertation. The thing I most like to do is sim-
ply walk the streets.
Last year, I had the opportunity to be in London for about a month, Paris
for about a month, and Rome for about a month. People asked, what did you
do? I said, I didnt go to most museums. Ive been to many of them. Theyre
well worth going to. But the thing that most interested me was just walking the
streets, looking at the architecture.

MARYKS: Now, thinking of France as being a very special place in the history
of the Societythe first companions studying in Paris, thinking of building a
possible society, and then once the Society was founded, the first Jesuits who
worked in France had a lot of troubles

PADBERG: They did indeed.

MARYKS:with the parliament. And then youre studying the nineteenth cen-
tury, which was the century of continuous expulsions and suppressions. So how
did you feel as a Jesuit in that Parisian and, more largely, French environment?

PADBERG: Well, I finally got to learn enough of the language that I could
worknever mastered, but I felt at home. And as far as the expulsion thing
goes, let me give you an example. Something that suddenlyyes, of course
this is the reason. The house I lived in Paris, the Jesuit house, and some of the
others I visited around France, especially others in Paris, they were clean and
they were neat, but they hadnt been in the American way maintained. They
hadnt been painted. They hadnt been brightened up, etc. OK, I can live with
that. They kept clean and neat. But all of a sudden, it occurred to mewhy
would you do anything on this place if youre going to be thrown out?
The house, for example, on the Rue de Svresgreat philosophical theo-
logical faculty nowthere were three times in which the Society bought it
and were pitched out and friends bought it back and gave it to the Society and
were pitched out again and came back. All of a sudden, it gave me somewhat
of an insight into what I found in someI shouldnt say manysome of the
French Jesuits, the willingness to face up to the problem of not being popular,
not being liked, or being thrown out, for example, and a willingness to take on
new and unpopular positions and see what might happen. That was a little dif-
ferent frommuch more rule-oriented Society in the United States, in which
I had all of my training.

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60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series 461

Just an interesting examplethe first week that I was there living at the Rue
de Grenellevery big Jesuit place. There were about eighty Jesuits there, forty
French and forty from all over the rest of the world. And the poor French had
to put up with all of us who barely knew French. Oh, from what province are
you, Father? That was the level at which things started.
But the story I wanted to tellabout the second or third day, again I real-
ized what had been happening the previous two days is that I could get up and
go down to breakfast at any time between 6:30 am and 9:00 am. In the United
States, the whole time I had been in training, breakfast was from 7:15 in the
morning, and we all had been at Mass immediately before, and in lockstep we
walked down the corridor and had breakfast. Thank God, breakfast in silence.
That was one of the advantages. Then we could get up and leave any time we
wanted. But this was very different. That was a very small symbolic thing. It
wasnt that we didnt have Mass or we didnt have prayers and so on, but it was
much more flexible. All of a sudden.

MARYKS: All of a sudden. Now, as I listen to you, John, it seems to me that

studying history to you was fundamental to develop your own Jesuit identity.


MARYKS: Whats the correlation between the two?

PADBERG: As I think about and have studied, read about Jesuit history, first
of all, there are possibly three or four things that entered into how I saw the
Society and myself in itadmiration for the first founders. They were from
very different places, very different personalities. How they all got along was
another thing. Admiration because they were attempting to do something that
maybe they didnt realize, but had never been done before, really, in the way in
which they did it, and that is to take a chance on two possibilitiesone, that
they could go to the Holy Land and evangelize the Muslims there, a madcap
thing if you ever thought about it, or if they couldnt do that, to place them-
selves at the service of the pope. What do you want us to do?
The possible venture to the Holy Land didnt work out, because there were
no ships going. They were fighting at the time. But these ten people go to Rome,
all university-educated, with degrees from possibly the best university in the
world, approach Pope Paul iii and say, here we are. Were at your service. He
may have thought hed died and gone to heaven at that point. [laughter] But
the admiration for the novelty of that.
Secondly, concern for whether, as the Society grew in numbers, the inevi-
table regulation or bureaucratization or the necessity for rulesten people

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462 Padberg

are different from one hundred people or from one thousand people. When
the Society was officially recognized in 1540, there were ten Jesuits and a
bunch of other people who would sort of like to enter the Society. By the
time Ignatius died in 1556, there were one thousand of them, most of them
in training. Some way or other, somebody had to put structure on that, and
I admired the way in which he attempted to do that with the constitutions,
and I was somewhat distressed at the way in which the constitutions had
been interpreted, especially after the suppression and the restoration of the
Society, and concerned that the constitutions themselves had been very sel-
dom read or used.
We had a little book called The Rules of the Society of Jesus. There were things
froma summary of the constitutions, snippets taken out of context, and then
further rules in there. Thats what we basically lived by. Dont get me wrongI
was not unhappy in the Society as we grew up in it. You have heard the defini-
tion of the Society, I presume.

MARYKS: Which one?

PADBERG: Yes, which one? An absolute autocracy tempered only by the dis-
obedience of its subjects and the incompetence of its superiors. Now, you
may wonder where that came from. The first part of it, Father Kolvenbach
once said. The first part. Oh yes, the Society is an autocracy tempered by
the regular disobedience of many of its subjects. The third part was added by
I dont know whom, but with a laugh. And you cant say that kind of a thing
without being confident of yourself and of the organization that you pertain
to which youre criticizing right there. I remember telling that to some women
religious[gasp] you said that? We might be thrown out of the order. I
said, well, all I can say is the first time I heard it was from a provincial quoting
the general on that first part.
So concern for how the Society interpreted its past and was living it in the
nineteenth and twentieth century, and then greatI guess joy was the word,
for first of all, Vatican ii and the opening that that gave to the Society to look at
its history again, and you didnt look at the history if you didnt read the docu-
ments, and people didnt read the documents, because they were all in Latin or
foreign languages, and Americans refuse to learn anything but English. But the
opportunity out of Vatican ii for the Society at its thirty-first and thirty-second
congregation to look seriously at itself and ask, are we being the best we can
be, with all of the questions about that, in the present world?
Ill tell you as a background to that my own internal experience of Vatican
ii. Its best summed up in one line by William Wordsworth, who wrote this

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particular line at a time he was young and enthusiastic. He later became very
conservative. But he wrote an ode on the French Revolution, and one line in
that sums up the way I saw Vatican ii and the possibilities for the Society
bliss was it in that world to be alive.
That reallythe council touched me in ways that I saw things happen-
ing that I thought maybe in the course of the development and the change
inthe church, maybe some of these things would happen by the time I reached
the age I am now, ninety. But here they were happening right in front of me
the various decrees of the council. I devoured them. And they reinforced my
desire to know more about what had been going on in the church and in the
Society of Jesus over the last 150 or so years.
Those things influenced me greatly, and then the determination for the par-
ticular subject for the dissertationwell, that was Dr. Hughes and myself and
my interest in France and in French history. Ive always been involved. Once
I got into some of the archives over thereoh, this is more interesting than
I thought it was going to be. Doing a dissertation is not the happiest thing in
the world, and living in a foreign country and trying to do it there put an added
strain on it in many ways. But I enjoyed getting into the archives. I didnt nearly
enjoy writing it as much as I did finding things.
Thats an even longer answer and probably wandering to the question you

MARYKS: No, no. I think those kind of skills that you acquired while writing
your dissertation and doing archival work in France helped you envision the
mission of the Institute of Jesuit Sources, of which you were a long-term direc-
tor. Can you expound a little bit on that?

PADBERG: Sure. I never thought that I would have that position. At the point
well, Id been at Saint Louis University. I taught there and had been in admin-
istration. Then after two years at the headquarters in Washington for the us, I
was ten years at Weston as president. I thoroughly enjoyed those years. Now,
its true that at times the faculty might have wished to hang me, and I to hang
them, and we would have done the same to the students and vice versathose
were not the easiest yearsI thoroughly enjoyed them.
And I was very surprised when the then-provincial of Missouri Province,
where the institute was located, at one of his meetings with me said, John,
you know George Ganss is approaching eighty, and he and I both know that
he cant continue with this forever. I would like to see you seriously c onsider
in fact, Id like to have you not only consider, but take the job of director of
the Institute of Jesuit Sources. I said, What? [laughter] He said Yes. My

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464 Padberg

response to itSure, Ill consider it, but I would like at least to keep in the
backgroundwere getting some projects going here at the school. Id like one
more year at least to see them go forward. I did think about the whole thing.
I prayed about it. I consulted several people. Oh, Padberg, youre a natural for
that. You know and youre interested in the history.
One of the first questions I asked the provincial, though, was what does
George think about this? What does George Ganss think? Oh, he said, youve
been on several committees with him, especially the Studies and Spirituality
of Jesuits. I had written for that. Id been at those meetings. Oh, he said, hes
very enthusiastic about you coming. He said he knows you, he likes you, and
he thinks you could do it. I said, I wouldnt want to come there and supersede
the man who founded what I regard as one of the really important things the
American Society had done in the past fifty years. I wouldnt want to supersede
him in that. But if hes willing, let me think about it. So I did, decided yes,
I would come and take the job.
Now, one of the great compliments you could pay George Ganssthis was
his baby. He had founded the thing. Hed been at it for about twenty-five years
or so. He never second-guessed me after I took over. He was always absolutely
there. He continued to work. But he was always supportive. Thats not easy for
someone to do that kind of thing.
Somebody asked, how did George Ganss accomplish everything he did? One
of the other members on the staff at the institutenot with him, but who
came on the staff when I was there, said, oh, three wordsan adverb, an adjec-
tive, and a noun. Utterly relentless assiduity. [laughter] That was true. George
was a persistentnot frantic, but just persistent worker.
When I came, we sat down and talked at a great length about the kind of
things that ought to be done and might be done, basically with limited resourc-
es. Among the things I had askedwhat would you think about my trying to
get some other people to come as part of the staff? That happened. We had
several really goodMarty Palmer, for example, was a man who knew the his-
tory better than almost any Jesuit I had known.

MARYKS: And had the linguistic skills.

PADBERG: Oh, I think he knew eleven languages, the last of which were Swed-
ish and Maltese. [laughter] And he could work with them. Another man, M arty
OKeefe, who was responsible for the first draft translation of all of those
decreesalmost four hundred years of Jesuit congregations. And there were
several other people, including somebody you now have, Claude Pavur, on your
staff. That was a big help through the years that came.

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60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series 465

Then the second thing I talked with him about is what should we, in some
ways, concentrate on? It appeared clear to me that those thirty congregations
congregations, we say, are the ultimate or supreme governing body in the Soci-
ety of Jesus. Nobody had done anything toward translating those, and nobody
had done a real history of the congregations.
That occurred to meeven earlier, I was elected a delegate to the
thirty-second congregation. One night after that, I woke up about 2:00 in the
morning and spontaneously thought, gee, I ought to read a history of those con-
gregations before I go to it. OK. I did not get up at 2:00 in the morning and look
for one. But the next day, I began looking around, and to my surprise could find
absolutely no such history. I began inquiring, and they said, well, yes, the His-
torical Institute in Rome has that as a project that they expect to do. They would
probably have it done within three years or so. Still, they didnt and couldnt do it.
So with OKeefe, who was an excellent Latinist, as well as Palmer and myself,
we enterprised the translation. OKeefe was certain it could be done. Palmer
was certain it could not be done. I was sure that it ought to be done. [laughter]
That took, I think, seven years before we finally finished it.

MARYKS: Its a huge volume.

PADBERG: And the day we handed over the final manuscript all finished, the
proofs, to beI said, Marty Palmer, come here. The person who was going to
do the printingI asked him to stand on one side of the door to the institute.
I stood on the other side of the door. I said, Marty, now look. I am handing this
over to him. Its done and will be finished. But thats an example of the kind of
thing that we did.
Then things like the letters of Francis Xaviernever in English. Patron
always referred to. Or the man who Ignatius said was the best giver of the Spiri-
tual Exercises, Pierre Favre or Peter Fabernone of that had been put into Eng-
lish, etc. The task of the place was basically to do those things, and then some
things that were much more popular. The congregation book, at almost eight
hundred pages, was not a best-seller. The little booklet that we put out called
Hearts on Fire, prayers by Jesuits from everybody, Ignatius to Dan Berrigan and
beyondwe sold I think a little better than a quarter-million copies of that.

MARYKS: And it continues to be a best-seller still today.

PADBERG: I hope it is.

MARYKS: Yes, it is.

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466 Padberg

PADBERG: That kind of thing and others, too, helped sell the thing. Then to get
back to the matters of the thirty congregations, I decided, OK, there isnt a his-
tory. Previously for Studies and Spirituality of Jesuits, I had attempted to write a
brief prcis, popular history of the congregations. Nobody had done that. What
I did is not the final scholarly thing. If you gave me ten more years, maybe with
doing nothing else, I could do that. But nobody had done anything like what
was this body doing, how were they doing it, and how did it affect the Society?
Ill have something to say about that tomorrow.

MARYKS: OK, wonderful. Speaking of congregations, I think its quite a coinci-

dence that this morning, the thirty-sixth congregation had its very first plenary

PADBERG: Yes, right.

MARYKS: Yesterday, there was an inaugural Mass at Il Ges.

PADBERG: Absolutely unprecedented Mass. You know why?

MARYKS: Because of the Dominican?

PADBERG: Yes. The Dominican master general celebrated the Mass. That had
never been done. If you know the fights that the Jesuits and Dominicans had
on grace and free will through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

MARYKS: And going back to the imprisonment of Ignatius in Salamanca as


PADBERG: Oh, yes. On a trip to Salamanca at one point for a meeting, they
had tours of various places in Salamanca, and the convent or the house of the
Dominicans was among the places

MARYKS: San Esteban.

PADBERG: San Esteban, yeahthe places we visited. They had language

groups that went there. I was in the last of the groups. They had had one or two
English-language before that and then other languages. And honestly nobody
will believe me, but after the tour guide, one of the Dominicans, had shown us
a lot of things at the placethat was one of the most important Dominican

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convents in Spain, and a whole bunch of their people were theologians at the
Council of Trent.

MARYKS: Who criticized the Spiritual Exercises later on, right?

PADBERG: Mm-hmm. Hed shown me the room in which St. Teresa of vila
met her confessor. Nobody will believe this, but in all innocence, I asked, Can
you show us the cell in which you confined Ignatius? Well, with a certain
amount of asperity in his voice, No, we cant. We dont know which room it
is or was. Why did he put it that way? Because every single group before my
group had asked the same question, and none of us had concerted to do this at
all together. As a matter of fact, the Dominican said, Well, we cant have treat-
ed him that badly. We had him for dinner in the dining room once in awhile.

MARYKS: While interviewing and interviewing. So we have this image, right,

and subsequent quarrels with the Dominicans, and now the Dominican mas-
ter celebrates the Massmaybe because also the fact that the current superior
general, Nicols, is resigning or has resigned, actually, officially this morning.
So is it symbolic?

PADBERG: You mean the Dominican presence? Oh, I think so.

MARYKS: How do you read this choice?

PADBERG: The quarrels over particular interpretations of doctrine should not

have occurred. We should have been working, the Jesuits and the D ominicans
and others, but especially we should have been working in some senses in
common to find common ground for the things that were necessary to be dealt
with in the church in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.
That, I think, more than anything else, was what the symbolism was about.
You do know the story of back in the late seventeenth century, the Domini-
can master general and the Jesuit superior general agreed that at the death of
the master general of the Dominicans, the Jesuit general would preside at the
Mass, and vice versa. Well, thats OK, except the Jesuit general served for life.
So the Dominican general was always to be had. The Dominican general only
served for six or twelve years and very seldom died in office.

MARYKS: Right. Which is a distinctive characteristic of the Society of Jesus.

Now, you mentioned before Kolvenbach. Now Nicols has resigned as the

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468 Padberg

second consecutive superior general. Is something changing in the very under-

standing of the structure of the Society of Jesus?

PADBERG: Possibly so, but theres something much more fundamental thats
changedthe invention of antibiotics and the very fact that people live lon-
ger now than they did in the fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and
even nineteenth century, and it was not at all usual for generals necessarily to
live as long as or to be elected at the age at which Father Nicols was elected.
He was the second oldest general ever elected at the age of seventy-one. So the
lifespan makes a very big difference in how vigorously a general can pursue
whats going on.
The second thing that made a big difference, beside the invention of anti-
biotics, to keep people healthy and alive, was the invention of the jet airplane.
The general of the Society could not travel much out of Rome, because if he
went to one place, he certainly should have gone to another place, and cer-
tainly he couldnt have done that with the travel sources before the invention
of the jet. Maybe with the prop planes before. That would have taken a long
time to get to America or Asia or Africa. Now, part of the job of the general is
incessant traveling to bind together the threads of a Society that wishes to be
the same, and at the same time, wishes to be extraordinarily diverse according
to the cultures in which its insertedAfrica or Asia or America or Europe.
So those two things, apart from anything else, that made a big difference. I
dont think the resignation signifies any large internal difference to the Society,
except that the idolization of the constitutions as absolutely unchanging
and they have changedis no longer there. We can with ease take the provi-
sion originally that it was a lifetime generals office and adapting it to the pres-
ent day and saying that wont work. Ignatius wanted a lifetime general so you
didnt haveespecially you didnt have the kind of campaigning for the job
that came with frequent elections, which happened in other religious orders.
But its a changed world and a changed situation.

MARYKS: And we had the pope who resigned. Do you think there is any coinci-
dence between Benedict xvi resigning and then Kolvenbach resigning around
the same time?

PADBERG: Coincidence of time only. No, I dont think any other ways. Though,
remember, Father Kolvenbach resigned before anybody such asJohn Paul ii
was not about to resign. No, I dont think theres any coincidence there, other
than the coincidence of time.

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60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series 469

MARYKS: Speaking of other coincidences, today is St. Francis Borgia liturgical


PADBERG: You are very up to date on those.

MARYKS: Thank you. Which superior generalnot speaking of very recent

ones, but from the very beginning of the Society, the period in which you were
interested, right, and documents of which you studiedwhich superior gen-
eral is your favorite, and what do you think about Francis Borgia?

PADBERG: (laughter) You didnt ask who is my least favorite.

MARYKS: OK, we can start from there.

PADBERG: No, were not going to start from there. Who is my favorite? Out of
sympathy and admiration, Lorenzo Ricci, the last general before the suppres-
sion. I think that with sympathy and admiration.

MARYKS: Who ended up in SantAngelo Castle.

PADBERG: Yes. And the way he was treated thereindeed, maybe Clement xiv
had to suppress the Society under the kind of threats of schism that the Bour-
bon monarchs were presenting to him, and the last thing the church wanted
was a schism, with the example of England leaving the fold, as they put it at
the time, and never returning. Would that happen if the French and Spanish
and Neapolitan monarchs did takeI dont think they would have, but take
the church in those countries out of communion with the pope? Maybe he had
to suppress the Society. But the way in which the subordinate officials treated
Ricci as he was in prison in SantAngelo is absolutely unconscionable, and the
way in which he bore that until he died two or so years after the suppression, I
think hes my favorite from that point of view.
From the point of view of efficiency, maybeand thats not a bad word
Acquaviva maybe was the most important general the Society ever had.


PADBERG: Im tempted to say maybe even including Ignatius, but thats sacri-
legious, and its not quite true. Why? Because the rulesand here we go back
to rulesand the spirit with which they were supposed to be interpreted that

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470 Padberg

he finally codified and introduced into the Society were pretty much the way
in which we lived at the point at which I entered the Society in 1944, and we
lived up until about Vatican ii. At least, yes, basically the internal community
life was very much influenced by those rules, and that influences the attitudes,
the psychology, the emotions, everything with which you lived day by day.
But he had to do that. The previous general, Mercurian, and he, but espe-
cially Acquaviva, who had the longest term of any general and was elected at
the age of, I believe, thirty-five or sothe way he structured the Society was
necessary when you had a Society that had increased, as I said, from ten to one
thousand to three thousand to five thousand members, by that time all over
the world. Some way or other, the insights originally that carries them in some
senses had to be structured increasingly for that diversified and widespread
Society. Acquaviva did that. Whether exactly the way he did it should have
been sort of a guidepost for the interpretation of the constitutions, the life of
the Society, for the next two hundred-some years, three hundred years almost,
is to my mind questionable.

MARYKS: How do you see the future of the Society of Jesus?

PADBERG: You are at the moment tempting me to the worst thing that a histo-
rian should do, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. [laughter]

MARYKS: [laughter] I am.

PADBERG: No, youre not. Youre tempting me to be a prophet, and historians

regularly fall into that.

MARYKS: Just give us some predictions.

PADBERG: Ask the question again. What do I see as the

MARYKS: How do you see the future of the Society of Jesus? We dont know
what kind of decrees this current congregation will produce, what will be the
focus of the discussions, but in your opinion...

PADBERG: Well, I certainly see it for quite some time as smaller in numbers.
Thats happening. I see from my own experience of seeing the younger mem-
bers, and I lived with them for ten years in Boston, and they live right down
the street from me in St. Louis at First Studies, and I have some of them not in
classes, but in small informal seminarsI see the Society more adventurous

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60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History Series 471

in the things it takes on than it had been in the past, or at least continuing that
adventurous apostolate search.
I see its internal life certainly not as structured as it was when I entered, but
perhaps more structured, or certainly in some ways more devotional than hap-
pened after Vatican ii and much more willing and interested in the external
if you want to use that word, the external prayer life within the Society than it
had been before.
I see, I hope, the members of the Society increasingly personally spiritually
directed as individual persons within an organization to which theyve given
their lives. Thats a hard thing to do. We had very little of personal spiritual
direction when I grew up in the Society. To take just one example, the annual
retreatby the way, instituted as an obligation by Acquavivathe annual re-
treat was a preached retreat. How could it be otherwise for 120 or 130 or more
scholastics every year? Eight days of four, possibly five sometimes, presenta-
tions points that they called themmaterial for meditation preached for us.
You couldnt have done it otherwise. With the small numbers now, most Jesuits
have the opportunity to make a personally directed retreat every year. I hope
that continues for the future. I think thats going to be very important.
I see the Society and its apostolates possiblythis is a prediction. Youve
gotten me into it. Possibly being more aware of the ecological dimensions of
the world and the way in which the work of the Society can influence for the
better, as the present pope says, our care for the planet than weve ever done
before. What that will involve, actually, I do not know.
I think the concern for the famous combination of the thirty-second
congregation, which wasnt an equal combination, faith and justicefaith of
which justice is a constitutive part, which is very different from saying faith and
justiceI see that continuing to be a concern of the Society, but probably im-
plemented more not individually, as individual people, but implemented dif-
ferently in the circumstances in which the Society finds itselfAfrica different
from Europe, from Asia, different from North America, and within the coun-
tries that we work in there, that combination being implemented differently.
Now, thats some of the things I see as possibilities and hopefulness for the
Society. I would hope not having happened as it grew olderwell, it is going to
grow older for a whileas it grew smaller, I would hope it would not withdraw
into itself and be more defensive of itself.
The precipitous drop over a good number of years in the number of people
in the Society was partly due to the very drastically reduced number of voca-
tions. But much more importantly in many ways than ever looked at by people
is the huge number of people that entered in the 30s, 40s, and early 50s finally
getting older and dying. There are many more of that big cohort there dying off,

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472 Padberg

and its probably within not too many years from now that that finally will have
tapered off. Not that many people are going to live as long as I have, I presume,
unless different antibiotics. [laughter] But as that cohort dies off, it will not
strike people that, oh my heavens, were losing people. Were becoming lesser
so rapidly. I dont know whether that makes any sense or not.

MARYKS: It does. And on that note, I would like to thank you very much, John,
for taking time and having this interview with us and being, actually, the very
first guest of our new series of 60-Minute Conversations with Jesuit History.

PADBERG: What a thing to begin with. [laughter] Thank you. Thank you for
giving me the opportunity to be with you.

MARYKS: Thank you very much.

PADBERG: I enjoyed it.

MARYKS: Me too.

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 453-472

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 473-488


Book Review Essays

Peter M. Daly and G. Richard Dimler, S.J.
The Jesuit Emblem in the European Context. Early Modern Catholicism and the
Visual Arts 14. Philadelphia: Saint Josephs University Press, 2016. Pp. 468, 23 ills.
Hb, $70.

Conceived as a supplement to the authors magnum opus, Corpus Librorum

Emblematum: The Jesuit Series (Part One. Montreal: McGill Queens Univer-
sity Press, 1997; Parts Two to Five. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press,
20007), this important book is largely bibliographic in form and function. It
derives from that great Jesuit compendium, Augustine and Aloys de Backer,
S.J. and Carlos Sommervogel, S.J.s Bibliothque de la Compagnie de Jsus, is-
sued in nine volumes between 1890 and 1932, and updated by Ernest Rivire,
S.J., in 1960. Focusing exclusively on emblematic works, Daly and Dimler have
anglicized De Backer and Sommervogels French terminology, clarified author-
ship and place of publication, differentiated amongst first editions, reprints,
and revisions, indicated on the basis of first-hand perusal, wherever possible,
whether the works in question contain illustrations, and finally, identified
books that appear in dbs but are currently untraceable or inaccessible. The six
introductory chapterson the European production of emblems as a context
for Jesuit emblem-making, on the Ratio studiorum as a defense of emblematic
usage, on Jesuit image theory as it relates to the symbolic forms and functions
of the emblem, on the orders major emblematic publications, on its applica-
tion of emblems in art, architecture, and pageantry, and on the chief functions
of Jesuit emblems and emblem booksconstitute well-informed summaries
of the scholarly literature on these various topics. The thematic chapters lead
to a series of seven superb appendices. The first distinguishes between two
loci of production: Jesuit provinces, such as the Flemish-Belgian and the Gallo-
Belgian, and Jesuit assistancies, the larger administrative groupings, such as
the assistancies of Portugal and Spain, that often encompassed far-flung, in-
deed worldwide territories. There follow six further appendices that briefly
describe, author by author and college by college, the major emblem books
the author(s), 2017|doi 10.1163/22141332-00403006
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial 4.0 Unported (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
474 Book Review Essays

and emblematic publications composed and/or produced within the assistan-

cies of France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, respectively. In ev-
ery case, the authors quote the entry number from The Jesuit Series, wherein
the items are more fully catalogued and also classified according to function.
This nuanced classification system, consisting of eighty-eight categories
forty-four for individual authors, forty-four for institutional authorsunderlies
the discussion of emblem books throughout The Jesuit Emblem in the European
Like other bibliographic publications, The Jesuit Emblem is data-driven: for
example, Daly and Dimler offer several criteria for determining or, better, cali-
brating (5) the significance of the books they have examined. The total num-
ber of copies issued is one such factor: whereas one hundred to five hundred
copies may have been normative, the famed Antwerp publisher Christopher
Plantin and his successors Balthasar and Jan Moretus marketed print runs of
about a thousand; at the other end of the scale were the first and second edi-
tions of Francis Quarless Emblems, the former numbering two thousand cop-
ies, the latter three thousand to four thousand, and the virtually innumerable
Munich editions of Jeremias Drexel, S.J.s emblem booksZodiacus Christia-
nus, Horologium, Considerationes aeternitatis, Heliotropium, Trismegistus, et
aliiwhich Daly and Dimler estimate at well over a million and a half. By ap-
plying other sorts of criteria, more formal than circumstantial, they subdivide
Jesuit emblem books into six main types: namely, books containing three-part
emblems (inscriptio, pictura, subscriptio, viz., motto, pictorial image, and epi-
gram); books without pictures, in which the images are evoked by purely ver-
bal means; books with more than three parts, including corollary texts such as
prose commentaries; books that argue their case with emblemsmeditative
treatises, for instancebut strictly speaking, are not emblem books; theoreti-
cal treatises on emblems and other kinds of symbolic image; and books that
reveal how emblems were used in the material culture (12), such as the lavish
volumes commemorating princely entries or canonization ceremonies.
Related to the systematization of types, the application of another set of cri-
teria, more methodological than historiographical, primarily serves to impose
order on the bibliographic material being catalogued. Amongst the most im-
portant such criteria are the three principal reasons given by Daly and Dimler
for excluding certain kinds of emblem book from consideration: when the pic-
turae (pictures) appear merely to illustrate biblical events or episodes from the
lives of saints, and symbolic elements are conspicuously absent; when the book
consists of poetic epigrams but contains neither pictures nor verbal descrip-
tions of images; when the book includes no more than three emblematic imag-
es, either pictorial or verbal. Daly and Dimler frequently ruminate on these and

journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 473-488

Book Review Essays 475

other criteria since their book is more taxonomic than interpretative, and con-
sequently, the nature of their project requires them to be explicit about which
works they have included and why, and what principles of organization they
have applied and to what ends. The authors undoubtedly had good grounds for
selecting these rules of proceeding, but they make little or no attempt to justify
them, even though criterion one in particular leads to the virtual exclusion of
what is arguably the orders most important proto-emblematic publication,
Jernimo Nadal, S.J.s Adnotationes et meditationes in Evangelia (ed. prin. of
the 153 engravings without the accompanying annotations and meditations:
Antwerp: Society of Jesus, 1593; ed. prin. of the 153 engravings with Nadals full
text: Antwerp: Martinus Nutius, 1595; and ed. ult.: Antwerp: Johannes Moretus,
1607). Nadal is mentioned at several points in the opening chapters of The Jesuit
Emblem in the European Context, though only briefly, and the Flemish-Belgian
subsection of Appendix3 on the Assistancy of Germany begins with the fol-
lowing disclaimer: The vast majority of all Jesuit publications is concerned
with the religious life of Catholics. They are thus spiritual and devotional in
nature. The earliest emblematic publication, 1593, by a Jesuit in this region is
by a member of another province: Jernimo Nadal (256). The importance of
Nadals book thus barely registers, and yet its scriptural images, embedded as
they are within an elaborate emblematic framework, and the books relatively
wide circulation, would have made it a touchstone for any Jesuit interested in
composing or interpreting biblical emblems.
The Adnotationes et meditationes, as is well known, consists of 153 folio-size
engravings illustrating events chronicled in the liturgical Gospels; organized as
itineraria (itineraries), the engraved images anchor several species of corollary
textadnotatiunculae (captions), biblical pericopes, adnotationes (annota-
tions), and meditationes (meditations)that operate emblematically, in the
sense that image and texts are relational, designed to be seen and read com-
plementarily. Nadals complex visual-verbal apparatus can be situated in a lin-
eage from the first Catholic scriptural emblem book, Benito Arias Montanos
Humanae salutis monumenta (Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1571), in which
the seventy-one emblems consist of picturae illustrating scenes from the Old
and New Testaments, each bracketed by three species of what Arias Montano
calls architectonic textsmottoes above, dedications and epigrammatic
distichs below. In addition, each picture attaches to an Horatian ode printed
on the facing page. Like the Humanae salutis monumenta, the Adnotationes et
meditationes is replete with reflections on the nature of sacred images, on their
meditative and exegetical functions, and on their relation to the mystery of
the Incarnationconstrued as the coming forth of Christ, the imago Dei, in a
form humanly discernible and representable. Since Nadals book was required

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476 Book Review Essays

reading for Jesuit scholastics, and taught them to approach the Gospels in a
manner jointly exegetical and emblematic, its significance in this context can
hardly be overstated.
Other early Jesuit emblematists active in the Provincia Belgica (subdivided
into the Provincia Flandro-Belgica and Provincia Gallo-Belgica in 1612), such as
the illustrious Jan David, one of the orders most astute image-theorists, could
have been featured more prominently in The Jesuit Emblem in the European
Context. Given the recent efflorescence of scholarship on David, evinced by the
detailed entries in Dirk Imhofs Jan Moretus and the Continuation of the Plan-
tin Press: A Bibliography of the Works Published and Printed by Jan Moretus i in
Antwerp (15891610) (Leiden: Brill, 2014), consequential articles by Ludger Lieb
(1999) and Werner Waterschoot (1999 & 2007), and my own essays in three ed-
ited volumes, The Authority of the Word: Reflecting on Image and Text in North-
ern Europe, 14001700 (Leiden: Brill, 2012), Ut pictura meditatio: The Meditative
Image in Northern Art, 15001700 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012), and Jesuit Image
Theory (Leiden: Brill, 2016), it seems warranted to digress on Davids emblema-
ta, thereby to argue that he deserved pride of place in Daly and Dimlers book.
No fellow Jesuit produced this many emblem books at such an early date, and
in fact, David may credibly be designated the orders first major emblematist.
In the prefaces and dedications of Davids four emblem booksVeridicus
Christianus (The True Christian, ed. prin., 1601), Occasio arrepta, neglecta (Oc-
casion Seized, Shirked, ed. prin., 1605), Paradisus sponsi et sponsae et Pancar-
pium Marianum (Paradise of the Bridegroom and Bride, and Marian Garland,
ed. prin., 1607), and Duodecim specula (Twelve Mirrors, ed. prin., 1610)as also
in many of the emblems proper, David propounds a general doctrina imaginis
that construes sacred images as key instruments of spiritual reflection, instruc-
tion, and renewal. Most explicitly, in the Veridicus Christianus, he characterizes
meditative prayerthe process his emblems are designed to facilitateas a
method of fixing the imago Christi within the votarys mind, heart, and spirit.
Just as a skillful painter diligently strives to express after the life (ad vivum)
whatever he judges worthy of imitation, so a true Christian (veridicus Christia-
nus) must steadfastly endeavor to portray within himself the life and teachings
of Christ, thereby the better to imitate them, as if they had actually been seen,
heard, and recorded ad vivum. Christ Jesus must be impressed so indelibly
that the votarys soul is itself re-formed in the image of Christ (donec in ipso
formetur Christus). Emblematic images, in concert with their attendant spiri-
tual exercises, are the chief means to this end: the act of painting (or engrav-
ing) is made to stand for the act of portraying Christ by means of emblems that
implicitly analogize the soul to a panel painting (or a copperplate engraving)
capable of containing the image of Christ. The prevalence of this master trope

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Book Review Essays 477

surely explains Davids preference for emblematic images whose protagonists

are shown interacting with painted or sculpted images of Christ: the image
within the image alludes to the votarys effort to visualize his soul as a picture
subsuming within itself the image of Christ.
But if this general notion or, better, doctrine of the image can be seen to
operate in all four of Davids emblem books, it is no less true that his emblem-
atic images, in their specific form, function, and argument, vary from book to
book. In the Veridicus Christianus, David utilizes the pictorial images as exact
equivalents to the verbal images with which he punctuates his catechetical
arguments: both types of image are meant inexpugnably to impress the key
principles of the Christian life and faith. The Occasio arrepta, neglecta explores
a different paradigm of the emblematic image: as David points out in his Pref-
ace to the Reader, the books twelve emblems originate in the conversion of a
pagan idolthe winged and changeable goddess Occasio, famously portrayed
by Phidias and described by Ausoniusinto a prosopopoeic device capable
of carrying a Christian meaning. Moreover, David employs the term schemata
(figurative images) to designate the emblematic picturae, thus emphasizing
that the personifications are being used as figures rather than idols. They are
inserted into narrative situations that David likens to episodes from a theat-
rical spel van sinne, a dramatized argument enacted by allegorical characters
known as sinnekens. The Paradisus sponsi et sponsae et Pancarpium Marianum
introduces yet another emblematic format, the fabric of which is robustly in-
tertextual. Fifty emblematic images of the Virgins virtues (the Pancarpium)
are embedded within a framing series of fifty emblematic images of the Pas-
sion (the Messis). Davids final emblem book, the Duodecim specula, explores
a single motifthe mirrorthe form and function of which are varied as one
progresses through a sequence of twelve emblems. The picturae that preface
the books twelve long chapters depict various kinds and degrees of specular
image, starting with the Everyday Mirror (speculum commune), manufac-
tured by human artifice (artis opus), the surface of which philosophers con-
sult in their efforts to reveal human character, and ending with the Mirror of
Beatific Vision (speculum visionis beatificae), in whose images the cutting
edge of the mind (acies mentis) glimpses the radiance of divinity (divinum
Many of Davids emblems are reflexive in form and function, in that they
incorporate allusions to emblem-making. Take emblem 1 of the Veridicus Chris-
tianus: the pictura incorporates the image of an emblem booksymbol on the
left folio, motto on the rightas if to emphasize that the Veridicus Christianus,
if properly consulted, shall function as a source of wisdom and a hinge be-
tween the God-fearing faith it counsels us to embrace (positively exemplified

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by Moses) and the obstinate passions it admonishes us to eschew (negatively

exemplified by the purblind ass and fearful Israelites) [Fig.1]. This is why it
makes sense to think about David, who also wrote a defense of the Catholic
cult of images, Vry-gheleydt tot ontlastinghe van conscientie om de Catholiicke
kercken beelden, ende Godtsdients te gaen bekiicken (Free Conduct for the Unbur-
dening of Conscience in Observation of the Catholic Churchs Images and Liturgy,
Antwerp: Ioachim Trognesius, 1609), as one of the orders most original and
inventive image-theorists [Fig.2]. His prolific output, theoretical sophistica-
tion, and exploration of the emblems mulitfarious functionscatechetical,
pedagogical, performative, exegetical, and spiritualwould easily justify more
extensive treatment in Daly and Dimlers chapters The Jesuit Theory of Sym-
bology, The Major Jesuit Emblematic Books, and Purposes Served by Jesuits
Using Emblematic Forms.
Nadal and David aside, the authors summaries of the state of the question
with regard to Jesuit symbology are consistently thorough and often acute, es-
pecially the digests of the scholarship on Silvestro Pietrasanta, Nicolas Causs-
in, Jacob Masen, and Claude-Franois Mnestrier. Although Daly and Dimler
often simply rehearse, rather than attempting to reconcile, differences of opin-
ion, they never fail expertly to distill the emblematists theoretical positions
and to examine them in light of the major conclusions reached by the various
scholars consulted. On Caussins De symbolica Aegyptiorum sapientia (Paris:
Romain de Beauvais, 1618), in addition to sorting out the vagaries of the books
various editions, they cite Ralph Dekonincks important insight that Causs-
in construes the symbolic image as a rhetorical figure, and conversely, treats
image-based rhetorical figures as if they were fully emblematic in form and
function. The moral value of emblems thus resides in the truths they encode
visually by means of figurative images. On Pietrasantas De symbolis heroicis
libri ix (Antwerp: Balthasar Moretus, 1634), they rightly point out that he ac-
centuates the importance of the visual component and underplays that of the
inscriptiones: the image, in both emblems and impresae, produces a plethora
of meanings which the inscriptions serve primarily to delimit and clarify; the
similitudovisual analogygenerative of the emblematic argument may uti-
lize a lemma, motto, or more extensive subscription to elaborate upon this
fundamental analogy, usually by means of comparative figures such as simile
and metaphor, but the burden of moral instruction is mainly carried by the
pleasing depiction of a real or imaginary subject (63). Daly and Dimler also
usefully observe that Pietrasanta tends to conflate his analyses of the emblem
and the impresa, and that this conflation of the two species of symbolic im-
age informs other Jesuit theoretical works written in the wake of De symbolis

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Figure1 Antoon ii Wierix after Bernardino Passeri, Sunday before Ash Wednesday: Christ
Prophesies his Cross to the Apostles, Chapter xviii, Imago 80, in Jernimo Nadal,
Adnotationes et meditationes in Evangelia (Antwerp: Martinus Nutius, 1595).
Engraving, in-folio. Leiden, University Library, Special Collections.

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Figure2 Theodoor Galle (engraver), Emblem 1, Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini, in Jan
David, Veridicus christianus (Antwerp: Officina Plantiniana apud Ioannem
Moretum, 1601). Engraving, in-4. Chicago, The Newberry Library.

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On Masens Speculum imaginum veritatis occultae (Cologne: Widow and

Heirs of Johann Anton Kinchius, 1650), the fullest survey of renaissance and
baroque symbol theory (65), their account mostly derives from Dimlers clas-
sic article, Jacob Masens Critique of the Imago primi saeculi, in his Studies in
the Jesuit Emblem (New York: ams Press, 2007). Masens anthropology of the
emblem derives from his conviction that the emblematic res pictapictorial
imageposits an implicitly dialogic relation between two res intelligentes, that
is, two intelligent beings or actions whose characteristics are referred to one
another. Unlike other kinds of imagines figuratae, such as the hieroglyph, enig-
ma, or symbol, the emblem requires that its protagonists be both intelligent
and intelligible, and that their mutual relation be articulated syllogistically or,
more precisely, in the form of an enthymeme: by this Masen means that the
res picta or res significans, in bodying forth or enacting an intelligent relation,
often functions as the pictorial premise or, better, protasis to a corollary textual
apodosis or conclusion, which Masen designates the res significativa. Citing
selected emblems from the Imago primi saeculi (Antwerp: Provincia Flandro-
Belgica, 1640), the centenary volume published by the Flemish-Belgian prov-
ince, Masen, as Daly and Dimler demonstrate, explores four types of possible
connection between the pictorial protasis and textual apodosis, each of which
he further identifies as sources of invention. (Saint Joseph University Presss
splendid facsimile edition of the emblems from the Imago primi saeculi con-
stitutes vol. 12 of the series Early Modern Catholicism and the Visual Arts, in
which Daly and Dimlers monograph is vol. 14.) When the thing signified is in
a proportional relation to the signifying picture, the emblem is said to issue ex
proportione. When the relation is oppositional, the emblem arises ex repugna-
tione; when reductive, ex alienatione; when anagrammatic, ex allusione. The
Speculum imaginum is not only subtle, but also categorically precise, and Daly
and Dimler supply a commendable summary of its main symbological points.
Their summary should be read alongside Dekonincks thoughts on Masen in
his key article, Ars symbolica et ars meditandi. La pense symbolique dans la
spiritualit jsuite, Littrature 145 (2007): 10518.
Likewise admirably clear is the subsection on Mnestrier, for the most part
based on the significant corpus of articles by Judi Loach, especially her studies
of the 1662 and 1684 editions of his Lart des emblmes (Lyons: Benot Coral,
1662; Paris: R.J.B. de la Caille, 1684). Although Mnestrier designates the textual
components of the emblem as the prime conveyors of its signification or sens
moral, his image-theory, to the extent it derives from the faculty psychology
of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, privileges the pictorial image as the matter
of the emblem (75), the principal source of the moral instruction it strives
to purvey. Indeed, elsewhere in Lart des emblmes Mnestrier insists that the

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picture needs to be expounded textually only under certain circumstances: if

it is a figure naturelle that seems to operate descriptively, rather than allud-
ing explicitly to something beyond itself, or conversely, if it is a recognizably
symbolic figure, such as an eagle lion, or rock (76), overly freighted with mul-
tiple meanings. In most other cases, the picture can stand alone, especially if
it consists of a poetic fiction or fable, or illustrates a well-known story suscep-
tible to allegorical interpretation. Moreover, Mnestrier defines the emblem
as a species of symbolic image virtually indistinguishable from the material
and performative forms it takes when fashioned in wood, copper, marble, or
pigments, or enacted rhetorically on stage. The pithy formulation, Emblema
est aliquid ab ingeniosis ingeniose excogitatum (The emblem is something
ingeniously fashioned by ingenious men), attests his embrace of the emblem
in all its contingent applications; above all, he endorses the emblematic orna-
ments central to civic, courtly, and ecclesiastical pageants and festivals. Daly
and Dimler justly conclude that Mnestriers understanding of the emblem
may be characterized as exegetical, in that he marshals Romans 1:20 to jus-
tify the emblematists reliance upon the images of visible things: For since
the creation of the world, the invisible qualities of God are seen to be known
through those [material] things he has made. This reference to the Book of
Nature as the discernible trace of divine agency and intention, serves to justify
Mnestriers emblematic project and to license his hermeneutics of the image.
As such, he may be situated in a lineage from Pietrasanta and Masen (as well as
Caussin and Maximilianus Sandaeus), whose symbology places a premium on
the hermeneutic functions of the emblems pictorial elements.
The subsection on Andrs Mendos Prncipe perfecto y ministros ajustados,
documentos polticos y morales (Salamanca: Diego de Cossio, 1657; illustrated
ed., Lyons: Horace Boissat-George Remeus, 1662), part of the chapter on the
major Jesuit emblem books, is nothing short of marvelous, with close atten-
tion paid to the manner and meaning of Mendos imitation of his crucial
source text, Solrzano Pereiras Emblemata regio politica (Madrid: Dominico
Garca Morras, 1651). Basing their account on comparative studies of Mendo
and Pereira by Karl-Ludwig Selig, Karl-Otto Mhleisen, and, most importantly,
Ana Mara Rey Sierra, Daly and Dimler examine the format of the eighty docu-
mentos into which Mendo re-ordered and distilled Pereiras hundred Emblema-
ta. Mendo aimed to convert Pereiras learned treatise into a practical hand-
bookan emblematic Mirror of Princescomprised by concrete norms and
applications (101), extending from the education of the Prince, his virtuous
qualities, and his exemplary relation to his subjects, to issues of finance, the
conduct of war, and ministerial governance. The final documento concerns the
royal art of dying well. The shift in terminologyPereiras emblema becomes

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Mendos d ocumentomakes all the more emphatic the didactic function of

the Principe perfecto, since the Latin term documentum, from which the Span-
ish documento derives, signifies an admonitory exemplum capable of elicit-
ing praise or blame. Mendo simplified Pereiras copious and erudite apparatus,
keeping his picturae but deleting many of his textual exempla; when Mendo
added additional epitomes, as in the case of Documento xx on princely elo-
quence, where he inserted references to the learning of Franois i, Charles v,
and Alfonso v, comparing them to Alexander the Great, Constantine, and Tra-
jan, this was done to update his documentos and make them more topical and
relevant to the putative princes he was addressing. Daly and Dimlers discus-
sion of Mendo amply demonstrates what it meant to produce an abstract of
an earlier emblem book, recognizably retaining key features even while chang-
ing its method, disposition, and style (102). The Principe perfecto, in its rela-
tion to the Emblemata regio politica, reveals, as they put it, how complicated
is the question of originality (106) and the mutual interaction of emblematic
Much more could be added about this books many virtues, but it must be
said that the editing of chapters one to six (pages 23175) is quite slapdash.
There are numerous spelling errorsprodosis for protasis, on page 66, to cite
just one exampleand large blocks of text are repeated verbatim: the six pag-
es on Mnestrier that first appear in Chapter 3, The Jesuit Theory of Symbol-
ogy, reoccur virtually unchanged in Chapter 4, The Major Jesuit Emblematic
Books. By contrast, the appendices are by and large free of mistakes. Such er-
rors are uncharacteristic of the series Early Modern Catholicism and the Visual
Arts, as witness the recently published magnum opus Art, Controversy, and the
Jesuits: The Imago primi saeculi (1640), which like most of its companion vol-
umes has been fastidiously edited.

Walter S. Melion
Emory University
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403006-01

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484 Book Review Essays

Adriano Prosperi
La vocazione: Storie di gesuiti tra Cinquecento e Seicento. Turin: Einaudi, 2016.
Pp. xix+250. Hb, 30.

All history is contemporary history wrote the Italian idealist philosopher

Benedetto Croce (18661952). Much of the long career of Adriano Prosperi,
doyen of Italian early modernists, has been concerned with explaining to his
readers (and himself) how Roman Catholicism not only resisted the ideas of
Protestantism in the sixteenth century but also colonised the consciences of
the inhabitants of the Italian peninsula and thereby shaped the destiny of a na-
tion. The cost of this unifying victory was nothing less than the defeat of the
Italian people, who allowed themselves to be persuaded that acquiescence to
the hegemonic power of the church was a price worth paying for the avoidance
of religious war; a conclusion that was shared, incidentally, by Croce. Prosperis
argument is expressed in the full title to his opus magnum: Tribunali della co-
scienza: Inquisitori, confessori e missionari (Turin: Einaudi, 1996; reprinted with
a new preface in 2009), which identifies the three principal architects of this
victory/defeat: the network of holy tribunals of the Roman Inquisition (which
Prosperi considered to be Italys first national institution); the sacrament of
confession (which was now conducted in the privacy of the confession box
by priests equipped with manuals for confessors of unprecedented detail and
thoroughness) and the work of missionaries (working in small teams and mak-
ing dramatically theatrical use of spectacle) mainly to the rural hinterlands of
the Italian peninsula, referred to evocatively at the time as the other Indies.
Since members of the Society of Jesus were leading protagonists in two out
of the three processes: as confessors and as missionaries, it is only logical that
the Jesuits should be an abiding concern of this son of Tuscan farmers and for-
mer altar boy, who as a very small child (b.1939) was direct beneficiary of the
vital role played by the church in attending to the physical needs of a starving
and broken people, who from 194345 had effectively been abandoned and
betrayed by their political masters; their country host to an army of Nazi oc-
cupation which was fighting a brutal rearguard action against an American-
British invasion force and its citizens engaged in a bitter civil war. As Prosperi
noted in the moving preface to the first edition of Tribunali della coscienza, it is
thus not to be wondered that at such subsequent times of crisis as the kidnap
and murder of the Christian Democrat prime minister of Italy Aldo Moro by
Red Brigade terrorists in 1978, the country turned in its grief and shock not to
the other members of the Italian governing cabinet of ministers or even to
the president of the republic as head of state, but to Moros friend, Pope Paul

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Book Review Essays 485

vi, who led the mourning at the funeral Mass which was conducted in Romes
cathedral, St. John Lateran.
Readers familiar with Prosperis brilliant portrait of The Missionary, one
of the regrettably few of his writings available in English translation (in Rosa-
rio Villari ed., Baroque personae [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995],
16094), whose picture of the apostolic [Jesuit new] man is compared with
the enthusiasm and method displayed by members of the Italian Communist
Youth Federation (fgci), whose heyday coincided with Prosperis own ado-
lescence, will not be surprised to find explicit comparisons being made in the
proemio of his latest book between the education strategies deployed by the
Jesuits and by the Communists (xivxvi). The specific focus in this most recent
volume of Prosperis autopsy of victory/defeat is provided by the autobiogra-
phies that individual Jesuits were ordered to write by their superior. Prosperi
explicitly credits the study of the uses of autobiography in the cultural forma-
tion of militant communists by Mauro Boarelli (La fabbrica del passato: Auto-
biografie di militanti comunisti (194556) [Milan: Feltrinelli, 2007]) for having
reawakened and given shape to the long-standing interests of he who writes
[this book] (xvi). Boarelli focuses on the similarities between the self-criticism
demanded of Jesuits by regular confession and that demanded of communist
militants by the party hierarchy. In another striking parallel, both groups de-
manded of their members unquestioning, absolute obedience as well as the
desirability that they give written as well as oral expression to their autobio-
graphical narratives. But where Boarelli merely makes a suggestive compari-
son, Prosperi, building on his long familiarity with the Jesuit archives in Rome
as well as the classic account by Lorenzo Gilardi (Autobiografie di gesuiti in
Italia (15401640). Storia e interpretazione Archivum historicum Societatis
Iesu 127 [1995]: 337) together with the recent article by Miriam Turrini (Poco
oltre la soglia. Racconti autobiografici di aspiranti gesuiti a met Seicento,
Studi storici 55 [2014]: 585614), whose expertise he generously acknowledges,
analyses the series of volumes Vocationes illustres containing autobiographi-
cal writings of Jesuits 15401640, in Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, Hist.
Soc. 17677, together with the autobiographical writings of such early, leading
protagonists as Juan Alfonso de Polanco, Francisco de Borja, Jernimo Nadal as
well as, of course, those of Ignatius Loyola himself.
The book is divided into three sections. The first is devoted to the role such
autobiographical writings of vocation/conversion played in the construction
of the collective memory of the Jesuits; the second, to the fundamental role
played by Jesuit colleges in enabling vocations and the third, with the vari-
ous kinds of vocation including a brief section on those who subsequently

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lost their vocations. Section one begins with the autobiography of perhaps
the most prominent of the second [generation of] Jesuits, Robert Bellarm-
ine (15421621), which Prosperi analyses with a view to making the important
point from the outset: that such autobiographies were not autobiographical
in any conventional sense of the word, but were rather documents written at
the behest of the Father General for future use by those charged with writ-
ing the history of the Society. As such the resulting narratives smoothed out
any uncertainties and hesitations in order to emphasise the precocity and
decisiveness of their subjects vocation. The next chapter takes the reader to
the prototype for all the other autobiographical narratives: that of Loyola him-
self, in which Ignatius is referred to throughout in the third personas the
pilgrim. Indeed, movement was to be such a feature of the career of members
of the Society that these writings, together with the system of communications
they both presupposed and developed, were central to the identity of every
Jesuit, as Markus Friedrich has shown in numerous articles (culminating in his
monograph: Der Lange arm Roms? Globale Verwaltung und Kommunikation im
Jesuitenordern, 15401773 [Frankfurt: Piper, 2011]). The rest of part one includes
discussion of that fishing net for catching vocations that was the Spiritual
Exercises (to borrow the phrase of the seventeenth-century Jesuit historian
Daniello Bartoli). Given their importance not only for ascertaining the voca-
tion of so many of the most talented men of early modern Catholic Europe,
but also for their continuing (at least annual) role in structuring the spiritual
lives of the members of the Society, it is frustrating that their precise geneal-
ogy is still elusive, as readers of Prosperis article The Two Standards in this
journal (2015/2, 36186) will already know. The final chapter of part one (vi)
considers the decision taken by the third superior general, the Belgian Everard
Mercurian in 1575 to instruct all provincials to collect and send to Rome in a
systematic fashion not only autobiographical accounts of conversion but also
of the latters antitype: accounts of those who lost their vocation and left the
Society. This forms a bridge to the second section, which shifts focus onto the
role played by Jesuit colleges in forming of the vocation of those who wished
to enter the Society. One of the distinctive features of Jesuit educational strat-
egy was to provide not only pre-university (high school) training, but also
tertiary-level teaching, so that the Society had its own universities where its
members could complete their education without having recourse to institu-
tions such as Pariss Sorbonne, which jealously guarded its pre-eminence and
whose sustained hostility to the Jesuits contributed in no small measure to
their expulsion from France in 1594. The first edition of Pedro de Ribadeneyras
list of works authored by his fellow Jesuits, the Catalogus scriptorum religionis
(Antwerp: Plantin, 1603) is testimony to the very breadth of their intellectual

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Book Review Essays 487

curiosity and accomplishments: encompassing not only biblical commentary,

patristics, moral theology and hagiography, but also mathematics, logic, ora-
tory, geography, history, and politics.
Beginning with Chapter ix, more than half of Prosperis book is given over
to consideration of individual case studies of vocation/conversion. Their very
variety should guard us against the tendency in some quarters to essentialise
the Jesuits and view them in monolithic terms. That said, some stock figures
do emerge from such narratives: in particular, the hostile father or mother for
whom their sons decision to enter the Society threatened the continued in-
tegrity of the family patrimony. Such was the case, for example, not only with
Robert Bellarmines and Luigi Gonzagas fathersthough in the former case
his mother was of a contrary opinion. The admittedly rarer opposition of the
mother can also be seen in the unusual example of the Jewish convert, who
took the name Giovanni Battista Eliano, whose actions were regarded as a be-
trayal of his duty and destiny as a future potential leader of the Jewish com-
munity in Venice. Prosperi also includes reference to the one that got away
Federico Borromeowhose plans to join the Society in Bologna were brought
to an abrupt end owing to the decisive intervention of his older cousin, Carlo.
In the case of Ren Ayrault, his fathera learned juristpublished a treatise
denouncing the Jesuits for what he considered was their undermining of that
pillar of political order: paternal authority. This work was repeatedly reprinted
and translated into not only French but also Italian. Of particular interest is
Prosperis all too brief discussion of those who were dismissed (Ch. xv). Evi-
dently, of those who entered the Society in Italy between 154065, no fewer
than 35% subsequently left: 25% of these left (or were dismissed) as novices;
46% during the first seven years and 29% after at least ten years in the Society:
a breakdown which gives some idea of the variety of motives and circumstanc-
es that came into play. A slightly later, particularly striking example of why
one candidate decided to leave was the Saxon-born Christian Francken, who
entered the Society in Vienna in 1568 at the age of sixteen. In his Colloquium
iesuiticum (Leipzig: Hans Steinmann, 1579), which was published after he left
the Jesuits, Francken explained how his reading about Japanese religious cus-
toms led him not to desire martyrdom in the Indies, but to the conclusion that
all religions might merely be human constructs and that Christians were no
better than idolaters and pagans.
So this is a book essentially about conversion narratives, which in recent
years have undergone something of a historiographical renaissance; as reflect-
ed in such projects as Conversion narratives in Early Modern Europe at the
University of York in the United Kingdom and the major Early Modern Con-
versions initiative based at McGill University in Canada together with their re-

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488 Book Review Essays

lated conferences, workshops, and publications. Central to all these initiatives

has been the belief that we need to move beyond the clich that has tradition-
ally identified the advent of autobiography with Protestantism; specifically
the first-person narratives authored by radical Protestants in the seventeenth
century. Prosperi might perhaps have taken a few paragraphs in either his in-
troduction or conclusion to locate explicitly his own contribution in relation
to this wider historiographical revisionism. In this way, the significance of
his demonstration that narratives of conversion/vocationand, more rarely,
reconversionwere also central to the esprit de corps of the religious order
that remains identified more than another other with Protestantisms spiritual
other: the Counter-Reformation, would have been more apparent. However,
as I have argued at the start of this review, by viewing this book in its specifi-
cally Italian historiographical context we can better understand the authors
personal agenda for writing it. All history is contemporary history.

Simon Ditchfield
University of York
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403006-02

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journal of jesuit studies 4 (2017) 489-555


Book Reviews

Mark Inglot, S.J.
How the Jesuits Survived Their Suppression: The Society of Jesus in the Russian Em-
pire (17731814). Edited and translated by Daniel L. Schlafly. Philadelphia:
St. Josephs University Press, 2015. Pp. xviii+305. Hb, $55.

The era of the Jesuit suppression spanned from 1773, the year Pope Clement xiv
(r.176974) issued his suppression brief, until 1814, when Pius vii (r.180023)
undid his predecessors act by issuing his own brief of restoration. For the most
part, the activity of former Jesuits during the suppression has received relative-
ly little scholarly attention. Perhaps understandably, few historians anticipated
discovering much of interest by exploring the remnants of a religious order that
had been so thoroughly eviscerated by its enemies. In the wake of Clements
murdering brief, as some distraught Jesuits termed it, almost the whole of
the Societys institutional infrastructureits global network of missions and
schoolscame crashing to the ground. Yet despite the destruction the suppres-
sion wrought, a substantial number of former Jesuits and lay supporters of the
Jesuit order refused to accept that papal act as the last word on the Society St.
Ignatius had founded. During the suppression era, a number of these Jesuit
loyalists (to borrow a phrase from Philip Gleasons The Main Sheet Anchor:
John Carroll and Higher Education, Review of Politics 38, no. 4 [1976]: 576613,
here 603) helped plant the seeds that would eventually bring forth the restored
Society. The history of these loyalists and their rebuilding efforts should be of
great interest to historians as it reveals much about the political, social and cul-
tural forces that reshaped the Catholic world in the age of revolutions.
No group of Jesuit loyalists did more to realize the restoration than the
Russian Jesuits that are at the center of Mark Inglots important study La
Compagnia di Ges nellImpero Russo (17721820) et la sua parte nella res-
taurazione generale della Compagnia (Rome: Editrice Pontificia Universit
Gregoriana, 1997). Thanks to the efforts of translator Daniel L. Schlafly, this
work is now available in English under the title How the Jesuits Survived Their
S uppression. Due largely to caprice and happenstance, roughly two hundred
the author(s), 2017|doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial 4.0 Unported (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
490 Book Reviews

Jesuits residing in Belarus, most of whom were Polish or Lithuanian, found

themselves sheltered from the full effects of Clements brief. In 1772, following
the first partition of Poland, these Jesuits became subjects of Imperial Russia.
The Russian empress, Catherine the Great (r.176296), valued the Society as
an instrument for educating as well as pacifying her newly acquired Catholic
subjects. Because she believed the Jesuits useful, she saw no reason to accept
Clements brief and refused to promulgate it in her realm. What is more, she
forbade the Jesuits in Belarus from abandoning the rules of the Jesuit Institute.
Inglots book chronicles the gradual transformation of these Jesuits in Rus-
sia from a hastily organized Polish-Lithuanian province into the nucleus of a
restored Society with global reach. The author divides his study into two parts
of roughly equal length. The first focuses on Jesuit survival in Belarus. Inglot
investigates why Catherine and her ministers chose to protect the Society, how
the Russian Jesuits managed to reorganize their orders governance, and the
nature of the schools and missions they built under that patronage of Cath-
erine and her two immediate successors, Czars Paul i (r.17961801) and Al-
exander i (r.180125). The second part of the study explores how the Russian
Jesuits helped effect the Societys restoration. The author examines Pius viis
1801 decision to recognize formally the Jesuits in Russia, the Russian Societys
active efforts to restore their order in such places as Italy, the Netherlands, Bel-
gium, Great Britain, and the United States, and finally the Russian bodys role
in bringing about the popes restoration brief.
Drawing on his extensive research in Jesuit and Vatican archives, Inglot has
produced a work that wonderfully illuminates the complex and often tortured
diplomacy that established the boundaries within which the Jesuits in Russia
had to function. Because of the anti-Jesuit sentiment of the Bourbon courts and
later the French revolutionary state, Pope Pius vi (177599) never spoke openly
in favor of the Russian Jesuits, whom he always treated in public statements
as the union of the refractory (132). Lacking canonical standing, the Russian
Jesuits put themselves in an awkward position by beginning their orders insti-
tutional reconstructionthe opening of a novitiate (1779) and the election of a
general (1782)with no more authorization than the approval of a non-Cath-
olic court and a report of the popes verbal approval. By providing extensive
extracts from the correspondence of various diplomats and leading Russian Je-
suits, Inglot allows his readers to appreciate the intense scruples of conscience
experienced by members of the Russian group as they sought reassurance that
the Holy Father indeed approved and confirmed all they had done.
While Inglot has written an excellent history of the diplomacy surrounding
the Russian Jesuits survival and the institution building they undertook, there
are several important aspects of the Russian groups story that he touches upon
only lightly or not at all. One such aspect is the issue of authority. As Inglot

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mentions repeatedly in his narrative, the Russian Jesuits were often plagued
with doubt over the authenticity of the popes secret approval. In addition, they
had to manage dramatic shifts in their own composition. Shortly after the open-
ing of the novitiate, the Jesuits of Russia began once more to pronounce final
vows, and large numbers of former Jesuits from throughout Europe requested
permission to be readmitted into the Society. In a very short time, the initial
Polish-Lithuanian group was joined by former Jesuits from places such as the
Italian Peninsula, Austria, and Hungary. By the 1790s, not only was there an in-
flux of former Jesuits but also a steady stream of young men with no ties to the
old Society who wished to become Jesuits. It is not hard to imagine that the ir-
regularity of the Jesuits canonical situation together with the growing diversity
of their membership could have created difficulties for governance. Indeed, In-
glots treatment of the career of Gaetano Angolini (17481816), a former Italian
Jesuit who rose to prominence in the Russian group, suggests that such difficul-
ties did occur. Angolini eventually denied the authority of the Jesuit general in
Russia once he found the generals decisions unpalatable. Inglots study would
have been enriched by more attention to internal challenges such as Angolinis.
Another aspect of the Russian Jesuits survival that Inglot chose not to explore
greatly was its connection to an informal and worldwide network of Jesuit sup-
porters that Dale Van Kley has described as an ex-Jesuit International (Catho-
lic Conciliar Reform in an Age of Anti-Catholic Revolution, in James E. Bradley
and Van Kley, eds., Religion and Politics in Enlightenment Europe [Notre Dame,
in: University of Notre Dame Press, 2001], 46118, esp. 7374). The participants
in this network included former Jesuits as well as others, both clerical and lay,
who were devoted to the old Society and committed to its restoration. The let-
ters and writings that circulated within this network, many of which survive in
Jesuit archives, reveal that the success of the Russian Jesuits owed much to the
sea-change in Catholic sensibilities brought about by the ecclesiastical and po-
litical upheavals of the late eighteenth century. In the minds of many, the return
of the Society seemed the only reliable defense against the apparent machina-
tions of the philosophes, freemasons, and other enemies of the Catholic Church.
A comprehensive history of the Jesuit restoration has yet to be written.
Inglots valuable work on the Russian Jesuits together with other recent and
innovative studies into the suppression era, such as those appearing in Jesuit
Survival and Restoration: A Global History, 17731900 (Leiden: Brill, 2015), help
ensure that one eventually will.

Ronald A. Binzley
independent scholar
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-01

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Patrick Goujon
Les jsuites aujourdhui: Depuis leur rtablissement (1814). Paris: Facults jsuites,
2015. Pp. 121. Pb, 10.

This is an informative and thoughtful book, a collection of essays, as the title

and subtitle say, on Jesuits today, since the restoration in 1814. The occasion
was a meeting held in 2014 at the Centre Svres, the site of the Jesuit Facul-
ties in Paris. The seven presentations begin from the suppression and restora-
tion themselves, to the paradoxes of the history of the Jesuits in France in the
nineteenth century, the social, spiritual, and intellectual engagement of the
French Jesuits in the twentieth century, apostolic issues of Jesuit education,
the missionary challenges of the Jesuits in India today, and Teilhard de Chardin
in China.
In the essay on suppression and restoration, Patrick Goujon, S.J., professor
of theology at Centre Svres, not only tells the story of the worldwide suppres-
sion and restoration, he also raises important questions: How did an esprit de
corps survive among so many of the former Jesuits when they were without an
exterior corporate structure or specific apostolates, in the midst of the upheav-
als of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic empire? What happened in
the places that made possible the restoration? What patient background proj-
ects were indeed going on so that the restoration could eventually take place?
In the course of dealing with the paradoxes of the Jesuits in France in the
nineteenth century, Claude Langlois, emeritus professor of history at the cole
Pratique des Hautes tudes, treats three major topics: the great difficulty in
even speaking of the Society of Jesus in the nineteenth century; the difficulty in
the search for identity of the Jesuits in the nineteenth century; and the changes
in the Society, quiet but decisive, in the years before wwi. In each of those
sections, there are remarks on such questions as the burdens of anti-Jesuitism,
the growth in membership, in schools, in apostolic works; the political world
in which the Society lived and worked. Each part of the essay is illuminating,
but the last one is especially so. This involved the return to the sources of the
Society, the initiatives toward serious scholarship in theology, history, and bib-
lical sources, and the popular and scholarly openings toward social concerns.
Philippe Lcrivain, S.J., emeritus professor of the history of Christianity at
Centre Svres, presents a further understanding of the engagements, social,
spiritual, and intellectual, of the French Jesuits from the 1920s to our present
day. In broad strokes and with multiple specific examples, his presentation
traces the social, spiritual, and intellectual engagements of the French Jesuits
in the course of the past century. After the Vichy years and the calls to con-
science that it provoked, came several post-war crises, such as the case of

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eilhard, the Roman crackdown on the nouvelle thologie, and the priest-work-
er apostolate. And then finally the new hopes brought on by Vatican ii and the
Jesuit generalate of Pedro Arrupe. All of this is dealt with in the context of one
underlying reality, how the French Jesuits were faithful to the spirit of their
The paper by Michael Amaladoss, S.J., moves from Europe to Asia, and to
the missionary challenge of the Jesuits in India today. This chapter of the
book contains first, a brief historical survey of Jesuit India, with some special
reference to the French Jesuits who first arrived there in 1689. It then goes on
to examine several major challenges such as the option for the poor and the
dialogue with culture and with religions in the context of the current political
realities of India, especially the rise of Hindutva, Hindu nationalism.
Benot Vermander, S.J., professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, shares
his reflections on Teilhard de Chardin in China, reflections that arose out of
a traveling scholarly seminar that took place in 2013 in Mongolia. Out of that
seminar came a documentary film entitled Teilhard in China, shown for the
first time after this meeting at Centre Svres. The result is an informative but
primarily a moving tribute to Teilhard and his life and work.
The final essay in this book lays out what it means to be at the heart of the
human, and at the frontiers of the world, the mission of the Jesuit yesterday
and today. Such is the title of that essay by Pedro Rubens, S.J., the rector of
the Catholic University of Pernambuco, Recife in Brazil and the president of
the International Federation of Catholic Universities. The material is both uni-
versal in its scope and particular in its details. It is also dense in its style and
rather lengthy.
The author wishes to speak of the strategic options in the mission of the So-
ciety in three distinct perspectives, the option for the universal Society, for the
Latin American Jesuits in general and for the Brazilian Jesuits in particular. He
takes as his particular sources development documents of the general congre-
gations thirty-one through thirty-five on faith and justice and on dialogue with
culture and cultures and with religions, and the global apostolic preferences
established by General Kolvenbach and taken up again by gc 35. Toward the
end of the essay, the author proposes certain openings for the future. First
is the mission of reconciliation. Second is the reality of Jesuits working in an
apostolic network where they do not occupy the center of a particular mis-
sion because by its very nature a network is polycentric. Finally the third such
opening is to think with the Church in ways other than in the past, in the
openings made possible by the new context of the pontificate of Pope Francis.
Each of these essays presupposes to some extent a background knowledge
of French Catholic nineteenth-century history. The more such background, the

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better. But whatever the case, the essays present original insights and ask per-
tinent questions that will not only enlighten the reader but will also stimulate
that reader to learn more of nineteenth-century French Jesuit history and to
ask questions that turn out to be relevant not only to that place and time but
also to place and time today.

John W. Padberg, S.J.

Jesuit Community at Saint Louis University
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-02

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John W. OMalley, S.J.

The Jesuits and the Popes: A Historical Sketch of Their Relationship. Philadelphia:
Saint Josephs University Press, 2016. Pp. 149. Hb, $40.

When in March of 2013 the Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio came
to occupy the Chair of St. Peter and for the first time a Jesuit would be elected
popean event seemingly unlikely to manythe question of how the Society
of Jesus has interacted with the papacy in the almost five centuries of its exis-
tence suddenly emerged with even more relevance than perhaps it had before.
According to the historian John W. OMalley, a comprehensive approach to the
question has never been done. In his latest book, The Jesuits and the Popes:
A Historical Sketch of Their Relationship, OMalley addresses the question by
providing an accessible and eloquent overview of the most significant mo-
ments in that still unfolding story. He begins by describing the relationship as
a partnership between two institutions both tending to the spiritual health of
people, but also reminds his readers that while the papacy could exist without
the Jesuits, the opposite is not true (34). OMalleys brief sketch therefore con-
centrates on those moments when the relationship between the two has been
at its best, and strained to its worst.
OMalleys overview is divided into eleven concise chapters. The first is a
helpful introduction to the relationship that developed between the papacy
and the most important religious orders that emerged in the centuries before
the Society of Jesus was founded in 1540. The next six chapters concentrate on
the pre-suppression Society and form, as is to be expected, much of the books
content, from the Societys foundation under Pope Paul iii to its missionary
activities overseas, and include several crisessome of which stretched on
for decades. Chapter eight gives an account of the Societys suppression under
Pope Clement xiv, while Chapter nine explains its restoration under Pope Pius
vii. Chapter ten focuses on how the Jesuits and the papacy came for the most
part to form a most congenial relationship in the century following the French
Revolution. The final chapter explains the election of Pedro Arrupe as the So-
cietys superior general and the events that unfolded in the wake of Vatican
Council ii, including John Paul iis appointment of Paolo Dezza to govern the
Society in 1981, and concludes with some brief observations on the significance
of Pope Francis, the Jesuit pope.
The Jesuits and the Popes is a helpful approach to the question because it
introduces readers to the context of papal authority in light of Societys own
structure of governance. For example, the issue of how the superior general of
the Jesuit order is elected, the significance of a general congregation, and the
most important interventions different popes have made in them are laid out.

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The book also offers clarification to certain issues concerning the Society of Je-
sus and the uniqueness of its relationship to the papacy. One regards the fourth
vow Jesuits profess and their obedience to the pope to be sent forth on apostolic
mission. Another concerns the bond the Society has to the institutional church
in the light of civil, royal, and national interests that have come to play. Here,
OMalley gives special attention to the case of sixteenth-century Spain, where
personages of rank, both Jesuit and non-Jesuit, have tried to sway the Society
in its governance. For example, while the Jesuit Jos de Acosta is often remem-
bered as a missionary to Peru and for his contribution to the study of natural
philosophy, here he is signaled for his connection to King Philip ii and the at-
tempts made to oust Claudio Acquaviva as the Societys fifth superior general.
The book is also helpful for the coherent way in which it brings together some
highlights and difficulties that have arisen in the Societys history. For example,
OMalley explains how the Jesuits came to run the Roman College (todays Gre-
gorian University) and how special papal permissions were given to them in
overseas missions. But he also makes note of the main polemics in which the
Society became entangled, namely the de auxiliis controversy, the Chinese Rites
debate, the issue of philosophical probabilism and the emergence of proba-
biliorism. He even calls attention to the Jesuitical way in which the Society at
times dealt with these controversies (64). Not surprisingly, OMalley also gives
context to the way in which the Society was suppressed by a pope who came
to be the pawn of other religious and civil authorities, and the events that un-
folded in Portugal and France in the decade before King Charles iii would expel
the Jesuits from the vast territories of the Spanish crown.
In his final section OMalley treats Pedro Arrupes tenure as superior gen-
eral and the challenges he faced in adapting the Society to a changing church
in a faster changing world. The Jesuits and the Popes is a welcome resource in
that it brings together many issues of Jesuit history related to papal authority,
and is convincing in its appeal that a more comprehensive study be under-
taken. Since the book is a sketch without notes, a section for further reading
is included. OMalley ends by making special mention of the visit Pope Francis
made to St. Josephs University in Philadelphia during his official trip to the
United States in 2015. While it certainly was the first time a pope would specifi-
cally request dropping in on an American Jesuit school, unscheduled at that,
readers can also recall how during the World Youth Day events in 1993 Pope
John Paul ii was greeted by then President Bill Clinton on the campus of Regis
University in Denver.
Published by St. Josephs University Press in the high quality customary of
this editorial, the book contains only a very few minor errors in copyediting,

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such as missing punctuation. Nineteen illustrations and color photos add to

the edition and pair nicely with the eloquence characteristic of OMalley.

D. Scott Hendrickson, S.J.

Loyola University Chicago
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-03

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Mara Lara and Laura Lara

Ignacio y la Compaa: Del castillo a la misin. Madrid: Edaf, 2015. Pp. 373. Pb, 28.

Although the title, Ignacio y la Compaa: Del castillo a la misin (Ignatius and
the Society: From the Castle to the Mission) suggests a narrow focus on the ear-
ly years of the Jesuit community, this book offers an overview of the Society
of Jesus from Ignatius of Loyolas birth into the twenty-first-century, includ-
ing the election of Jorge Bergoglio as pope. The concept of missionary work is
interpreted broadly to detail Jesuit scientific expeditions as well as the Jesuits
role in the media, specifically as content producers, as influencers in the film
industry in the United States via Daniel Lords roles as consultant to Hollywood
films in the 1920s and 30s and his eventual participation in the development of
the Hays Code governing film production in the United States, and as the sub-
jects of contemporary popular films. From time to time, however, the authors
state as facts points about the Societys significance that can be debated; for
example, the first sentence affirms that Ignatius of Loyola founded the most
important Catholic religious order in history (11, translation mine).
The initial chapters provide detailed information not only about Ignatius of
Loyola, but also about his milieu. These chapters also offer biographical details
about several prominent Spanish members of the Society of Jesus, including
Francis Xavier, Francisco de Borja, and Juan Alfonso de Polanco. Although the
foundation of the Society of Jesus is briefly contextualized as part of a broader
reform of Catholic practices, much of Chapter 2 focuses on the Jesuit order
itself. The role of women in the order, particularly the negotiations concerning
Isabel Roser and Juana de Austrias desires to become Jesuits, receives detailed
attention. After Chapter 3, which studies the orders educational and preach-
ing efforts against a backdrop of growing tensions with the Spanish monarchy
and Protestant sovereigns policies against Catholicism, the volume becomes
less panoramic and instead focuses on specific facets of the history of the reli-
gious order. Chapter 4 concentrates on the orders missionary efforts in Egypt
and the Far East and Chapter 5 on the Societys work in the Americas. The orga-
nization of Chapter 6 is chronological; it examines the eighteenth-century So-
ciety in Iberia and its colonies, including reductions and Jesuits scientific con-
tributions. This chapter concludes with the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain
and its empire. On occasion, the narrative oversimplifies complicated issues,
as in its treatment of the suppression of the order. If the volume had footnotes,
these would give the authors space to clarify such complexities. Although the
authors list several works relating to the motives for the expulsion from Spain
in their bibliography, student readers might not realize that titles that do not
contain the word expulsion treat this topic without a footnote to bring these

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texts to their attention. Chapter 7 briefly treats the orders survival in Prussia
and Russia before studying Jesuits in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Chapters 8 through 10 respectively discuss the papacy and the Jesuits, the place
of pedagogy, and, in the final chapter, the very name of the Society, tensions
with the Dominican order, and film.
This text is part of a series oriented toward general readers published by
Edaf and the mbito Cultural (Cultural circle) of the Spanish department
store El Corte Ingls. Because the volume does not have scholarly apparatus
like references to page numbers and editions for direct quotations, footnotes,
an extensive bibliography or an index, I would not use this volume as the pri-
mary textbook in a university course. Perhaps in the future the authors could
produce an on-line or printed supplement with documentation since this
would make the text much more useful for classroom and scholarly use. As
is, Ignacio could be used in conjunction with other texts at the undergraduate
level or potentially in a religion course at the secondary level in the Spanish-
speaking world.
The volumes format is very much indebted to textbooks; the chapters are
broken up by supplementary material in text boxes. These text boxes offer
brief biographies of notable figures in the Jesuit order, such as Aloysius Gon-
zaga, and those indebted to Ignatian spirituality such as Mary Ward, as well as
descriptions of concepts and sites significant to the Jesuit community, such as
reductions and the church of Saint Pierre in Montmartre. Beyond the Society
of Jesus, a number of historical and religious topics, such as changes in prac-
tices surrounding the sacrament of penance, are defined in one or two page
explanations, which are often illustrated. Such ancillary material will prove
helpful to readers unfamiliar with the Jesuits and their historical context.
For scholars, the text offers tantalizing bits of information that they will
need to source themselves. Personally, I was interested in the statement that
a seller of penitential devices earned significant profits at a mission led by Je-
suit Pedro [de] Calatayud (101), and I will start my search for the origin of this
anecdote with Cecilio Gmez Rodeless Vida del clebre misionero P. Pedro Ca-
latayud (Madrid: Sucesores de Rivadeneyra, 1882). Other tidbits unattributed
by the authors that have passed into the popular imaginary, like the assertion
that Ferdinand of Aragon died as a result of overdosing on an aphrodisiac (18),
are easier to trace to particular chroniclers via newspaper articles and blogs.
Apart from engaging anecdotes, it must be noted that this volume contains
a wealth of illustrations, many of them in color. Photographs of buildings
significant to the Society of Jesus, including the Ges, Santa Mara la Mayor in
Alcal de Henares, and the Iglesia de la Compaa in Puebla, Mexico to name
only a few of the churches and schools pictured from Spain and its former

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colonies, is one of the volumes visual leitmotifs. Portraits of European mon-

archs, several popes and notable Jesuits also abound. Since the book also con-
tains photographs of manuscripts, maps, frontispieces of rare books, paintings
and engravings related to the Society of Jesus, scholars of Jesuit visual or book
culture will be interested in looking through the volume for this purpose.

Patricia W. Manning
University of Kansas
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-04

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Vincenzo Lavenia and Sabina Pavone, eds.

Missioni, saperi e adattamento tra Europa e imperi non cristiani: Atti del seminario.
Macerata: Eum Edizioni Universit di Macerata, 2015. Pp. 218. Pb, 14.

This excellent book collects the papers presented at a conference in Macerata

marking the publication of the Italian translation of A Jesuit in the Forbidden
City (New York: Oxford, 2010), Ronnie Po-chia Hsias biography of the great
Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci (15521610). Ricci, who was born and raised
in Macerata, was one of the pioneers of the China mission and the first
Jesuit to gain admission to the imperial court in Beijing. His accommodation
of Chinese traditionsespecially elements of the Confucian tradition that he
believed were compatible with Catholicisminfluenced the development of
Jesuit pastoral ideals and practices throughout the early modern period and
has received sustained attention from scholars in recent decades.
The contributors focus on the theory and practice of accommodation
adattamento, or, less frequently, accomodamentoby the Jesuits and their col-
laborators in China before the suppression. Although the point of departure is
Ricci, the contributors analyze many other participants in the China missions.
Lavenia and Pavones introduction provides an invaluable survey of recent
scholarship on Ricci and on the Jesuit enterprise in Asia in general. Accom-
modation, they argue, consisted not only of an intellectual dialogue based on
written texts (although these were fundamental), but also of continuous dia-
logue between real people (12).
In Apostolato attraverso i libri, Ronnie Po-chia Hsia analyzes Riccis dedi-
cation to writing and publication in its Chinese context. He underscores the
low cost of printing Jesuit books and the low cost to the Ming elite of creating
substantial personal libraries. Some members of this elite seamlessly incor-
porated Riccis texts into the existing canon. [Riccis] four principal religious
works [in Chinese] were published in editions that included prefaces by fa-
mous literati and mandarins. In a brief time Ricci had completely assimilated
as an author into the editorial world and into late-Ming book culture (23).
Ricci wrote that his publications were vital to the success of his ministries in
China, drawing the interest and eventual admiration of even his most skeptical
interlocutors. At the end of his life he affirmed that I do everything possible to
ensure that all our [Jesuit] fathers study well the books of China and learn to
write [in Chinese]; becauseand it is something that is not easy to believe
more is accomplished in China with books than with words (32).
Girolamo Imbruglia, in Matteo Ricci e la strategia di evangelizzazione ge-
suita, provides a wide-ranging and exceptionally perceptive survey of accom-
modation and of other issues that Jesuits addressed throughout their global

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network of missions. Imbruglia devotes particular attention to the conflict

between Fr. Alonso Snchez and his Jesuit colleagues (especially Fr. Jos de
Acosta) concerning Snchezs proposal that Philip ii invade China for the pur-
pose of evangelization. Acosta, who produced two memorials in response to
Snchezs proposal, argued, according to Imbruglia, that war in odium fidei
may be waged against the Muslims, against the Lutherans, and against other
infidels, but this did not constitute a just reason for conflict with the Chinese
[]. In China it was necessary to renew the original model of evangelization
[i.e., that of the primitive church] because the politics, culture and religion
of that society were at the same level as those of Mediterranean societies
(46). Alessandro Valignano, visitor of the missions in Asia, agreed, and warned
Father General Claudio Acquaviva about Snchezs dangerous and new spir-
it, a spirit that was at odds with that of the Society. At the same time, Ricci
underscored the monotheistic foundations of Chinese religion. In both Ricci
and Acosta, Imbruglia concludes, there was emerging a new understanding
of the religious phenomenon, based on the encounter between diverse reli-
gions and gods [] in the missions there was affirmed a different way of un-
derstanding non-European societies, even if religious conquest remained the
objective (51).
Like Imbruglia, Ana Carolina Hosne, in Gateways to China: Jesuit Geo-
strategy in East Asia in the Late Sixteenth Century, underscores the im-
portance of Snchezs proposal to invade China. Her analysis of accommo-
dation, however, calls attention to the Societys commitment to mastering
Asian languages and to the increasingly damaging divisions that international
rivalriesespecially rivalries between Italians and Spaniardswere generat-
ing within the Society.
The essays by Elisabetta Corsi and Xie Mingguang both underscore the
contributions of Chinese collaborators to the Jesuits publications in China.
In Percezioni sensoriali e conoscenza secondo il Xingxue cushu (Introduzi-
one generale allo studio della fisica, 1623) di Giulio Aleni, S.I., Corsi argues
that these publications occupied a distinctive place within the Societys global
editorial production. Again the emphasis is on accommodation. What distin-
guishes the textual production of the Catholic missionaries in China [] is the
fact that the works that they composed there were written in a complex and
sophisticated language []. Years of intensive study did not necessarily guar-
antee to the missionaries the certainty of mastering that language []. This
explains their recourse to a network of Chinese converts (78). Corsi draws
effectively on inventories of the Societys libraries in China, and on the Jesuits
extensive correspondence, to provide an illuminating view of book production
and circulation in pre-suppression China.

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Xie provides the books most sustained portrait of the Jesuits Chinese col-
laborators. Wang Zheng, who became a Christian but never completely aban-
doned his Confucian beliefs, was the most important of a group of Chinese
literati who made possible the composition and publication of Fr. Nicolas
Trigaults Xi Ru Er Mu Zi (Shaanxi, 1626), a handbook for the study of the Chi-
nese language. Xie underscores the contribution to Jesuit ministries of con-
verts in the provincial missions, far from the metropolitan centers where Ricci
worked. Chinese literati made it possible for the Jesuits to minister to poor and
uneducated people in the provinces and to preach in an indirect manner (i.e.,
through auxiliaries) in local dialects that they had not mastered (127). Xie con-
cludes that Riccis strategy of accommodation in the cities laid the foundation
for his successors work in the provinces.
The books last two chapters are the only contributions that do not focus
on the Jesuits in China before the suppression. In Ricostruire la Compagnia
partendo da Oriente? La comunit gesuita franco-cinese dopo la soppressio-
ne, Pavone argues that the Jesuit community in Peking survived because it
was composed of French Jesuits and their Chinese companions. Drawing on
previously unexplored documents in the archive of the Holy Office in Rome,
Pavone provides a superb account of the origins and growth of the French
mission and its survival under the leadership of Franois Bourgeois, who was
appointed superior of the Franco-Chinese community in 1775. Bourgeois led
a faction of former Jesuits who felt bound primarily to their country of birth
and defended the interests of France in China. In contrast, the others [i.e.,
former Jesuits who opposed the Bourgeois faction] [] chose to remain loyal
to Rome, that is, to the Propaganda Fide (143). Pavone concludes that in post-
suppression China, unlike in Russia, one can speak of the emergence of a
proto-national consciousness, nourished, albeit at a distance, by the French
government (162).
In I libri, le armi e le missioni: Conversione e guerra antiottomana in un
testo di Lazzaro Soranzo, Lavenia analyzes LOttomanno (Ferrara, 1598), which
Soranzo dedicated to Pope Clement viii, in whose court he served. The book
was banned by the Venetian authorities upon publication because it addressed
matters of State that it is prohibited to reveal (165). Soranzo, however, af-
firmed that he sought to contribute to the papal project with a treatise about
the State of the Turks that would explain the true way of defeating them (172).
Lavenia provides a richly layered analysis of LOttomanno, in which Soranzo
enlisted millenarian prophecies in support of his call for a naval war against
the Ottomans. Lavenias contribution effectively addresses the larger themes
of this book by linking Soranzos text to those of contemporary anti-Muslim
polemicists, including the Italian Jesuit Antonio Possevino.

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This is an indispensable book for readers interested in the overseas missions

of the early modern Society in general and in the pre-suppression missions in
China in particular.

Thomas M. Cohen
The Catholic University of America
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-05

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Book Reviews 505

Heider, Daniel, ed.

Cognitive Psychology in Early Jesuit Scholasticism. Neunkirchen-Seelscheid:
Editiones Scholasticae, 2016. Pp. 197. Hb, 89.

Until the beginning of the twentieth century, early modern Jesuit philosophy
was considered little more than the last breath of late Scholasticism. Studies
of Jesuit philosophy were conducted mostly by Catholic historians, who fo-
cused on individual Jesuit philosophers to inquire about their impacts within
the Scholastic tradition. Only in 1927 did a significant shift occur, as Martin
Heidegger taught a class on Francisco Surezs thought as a crucial milestone
in the history of metaphysics.
Three years later, tienne Gilson published his major work on the Scholastic
sources of Descartess thought, in which he sought to demonstrate Descartess
debt to his Jesuit teachers. Gilsons work deeply impacted the historiography
of philosophy by generating many additional studies critical of the notion
that all early modern philosophy rejected Scholastic thought. In the following
years, a plethora of articles appeared in renowned philosophical journals such
as tudes and Revista portuguesa de filosofa, which in revealed the complex
framework of medieval authorities that early Jesuit philosophers followed. At
the same time, Paul Oskar Kristellers reconstruction of the vitality of Aristo-
telian thought in the Renaissance (Studies in Renaissance Thought [Rome: Ed-
izioni di storia e letteratura, 1950]) paved the way for Charles Schmitt (Aristotle
in the Renaissance, Cambridge, ma: Published for Oberlin College by Harvard
University Press, 1983) and Luce Giards (Les jsuites la Renaissance: Systme
ducatif et production du savoir [Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1995])
elaborations of Aristotelian thought in the Society itself.
This multifaceted scenario emerged over the course of a century of histori-
ography, sketched in detail by Charles Lohr, S.J., in several papers starting in
the 1970s. Like Heidegger, Lohr thought of Surez as the apex of early Jesuit
philosophy. However, more recent studies in the creativity of Jesuit thought
(before Surez and after him, up to the orders suppression) have complicated
this picture. Daniel Heiders Cognitive Psychology in Early Jesuit Scholasticism
is a prime example. Heiders volume, the result of an international meeting or-
ganized by the University of Southern Bohemia, contains six essays on rational
psychology by some of the leading scholars of Jesuit early modern philosophy
that he assembles to show the vitality of Jesuit thought in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries.
Paul Richard Blum brilliantly traces a concept ubiquitous in early Jesuit
thoughtthat of ingenium (talent)back to Ignatius of Loyolas spiritu-
ality, as outlined in the Spiritual Exercises. By giving an account of Antonio

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Possevinos De cultura ingeniorum (1610), the introductory chapter to Posse-

vinos masterpiece Bibliotheca selecta (Rome, 1593), Blum provides evidence
for the impact of Ignatian spiritual tenets on Jesuit philosophy of mind, includ-
ing indifference, discernment, and self-control. This philosophy was meant to
have practical consequences, as well as leading the Jesuit towards prudent
applications of psychological insights. Therefore, it should not be surprising
that writings addressing this issue were often published outside the university
environment. Possevinos De cultura ingeniorum and Antonio Zaras Anatomia
ingeniorum (1615) are the works of Jesuits who did not teach at any college or
In his own contribution, Heider presents a detailed comparative study of Je-
suit philosophers dealing with a hot topic of the sixteenth century: the nature
of external senses as either active or passive. In particular, Heider delves into
the psychological dynamics of the act of perception, finding a distinctive trait
of early Jesuit philosophers in what he suggestively terms cognitive activism.
Mrio Santiago de Carvalho provides a survey of how the Conimbricenses
he Jesuit philosophers of the renowned college of Coimbradealt with cogni-
tive psychology, solidly basing his argument on examples found in the seven-
volume masterpiece of the Jesuit philosophers of Coimbra.
Leen Spruit, whose Species intelligibilis: From Perception to Knowledge
(Leiden: Brill, 1993, 1995) is a standard reference work in the field of late Scho-
lastic cognitive psychology, offers keen insight into early modern debates on
the issue of separated souls. Spruit, with his typically clear style, deals in par-
ticular with the ontological modalities that characterize the cognitive activ-
ity of souls separated from the body. Interestingly, Spruits account of Baltasar
lvaress treatise De anima separata (1598) (which was included in Manuel de
Goss commentary on Aristotles De anima) points out some of the less com-
mon sources for contemporary Scholastic commentaries, such as Francesco
Zorzis De harmonia mundi (1525). Thus he demonstrates the wide range of
readings with which the Jesuit philosophers in Coimbra were acquainted.
In his contribution, Bernd Roling focuses on the modalities of cognition that
characterize people (and souls) after the resurrection of the body. A specialist
in sacred physics, Roling compares psychological theories of resurrection by
Surez, Adam Tanner, and Rodrigo Arriaga, extending the volumes timeframe
into the seventeenth century. Rolings accounts of Tanner and Arriaga are par-
ticularly worthy of mention as they offer the reader insights on several excep-
tional Jesuit scholars whose impact has not yet been fully assessed.
Ulrich Leinsle provides a wonderful fresco of Jesuit theories on species intel-
ligibiles, tracking the presence (or absence) of this concept in the treatment
of cognitive psychology in major Jesuit philosophers and theologians between

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the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Crucial to Leinsles paper are his pre-
sentation of Gabriel Vzquezs commentary on the Summa theologiae, whose
philosophical importance had been earlier highlighted by Sven K. Knebel, and
the detailed survey of the disputations and public acts held at the University
of Dillingen. By going through the titles of these disputationsoften very long
and detailedLeinsle tracks the impact and influence of Benet Pereras con-
troversial Averroism. Averroism was apparently brought to Dillingen by one
of Pereras former students in Rome, Antonio Balduino, whose popular teach-
ings were immediately criticized by the German superiors.
If the goals of such a volume are to show distinctive traits of early Jesuit psy-
chology and the vitality of Jesuit philosophy beyond Surez (the most popular
in contemporary historiography), then Heider succeeds. Today, this volume
stands at the vanguard of studies on early Jesuit philosophy, along with Marco
Lamannas and Marco Forlivesis Benet Perera (Pererius, 15351610): A Renais-
sance Jesuit at the Crossroad of Modernity (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014). Readers of
Heiders volume will pass over a few minor typos to enjoy a learned and well-
planned survey of Jesuit psychologies on the eve of modernity.

Cristiano Casalini
Boston College University of Parma
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-06

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R.J. Matava
Divine Causality and Human Free Choice. Domingo Bez, Physical Premotion and
the Controversy De Auxiliis Revisited. Leiden: Brill, 2016. Pp. 365. Hb, $194.

By far the most vexing problem of late Scholastic philosophy and theology in
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was the issue of the reconciliation
of divine causation of any created reality, on the one hand, and free human
choice, on the other. Matavas book cuts right through the famous de auxiliis
debate, on the operation of actual (as opposed to habitual) grace and the na-
ture of human freedom (Chapter 1).
Among other things, the book is an excellent reconstruction of the thought
of the Dominican Domingo Bez and the Jesuit Luis de Molina, the two main
proponents of the controversy and their mutual criticism of each others theol-
ogy (Chapters 24).
Favoring the Dominican position, in his study Matava looks for an ade-
quate interpretation of the term motio in Aquinas (also called application).
According to the latter, God moves each agents active potency to produce its
effect. As this applies to any agent, it is true also in relation to human will pro-
ducing particular volitions. So the crucial issue at stake can be put thus: what
does motio mean and how does God move the will to preserve its freedom?
For Domingo Bez this divine causation or motion is realized through a
special entity, called premotio physica, which predetermines the will to act in
a specific way. The transition from being able to will to willing something im-
plies a kind of increment in being, an added perfection, and thus cannot oc-
cur without divine intervention. Consequently, the premotion is efficient and
infallible by its nature. The willing of this or that cannot not occur under its
For the Jesuit Luis de Molina, this, in effect, destroyed libertarian human
freedom which is inconsistent with any sufficient causal antecedents. Hence
he rejected the predetermining impulse from God, the premotion of Bez
(as does Matava). The will acts on its own, determines itself, but God concurs
with it in its action by conserving it and creating the being of its act (general si-
multaneous concurrence). God infallibly knows the future and providentially
governs reality because he has infallible middle knowledge of what any pos-
sible free agent would freely do in any possible circumstances as well as the
knowledge of his own decrees.
According to Bez, Molina abandons the universal scope of divine cau-
sation. He also criticizes the concept of middle knowledge as ungrounded.
Matava briefly surveys major contemporary objections to middle knowledge
and finds them persuasive. So it seems that the de auxiliis debate ended in a

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Book Reviews 509

kind of impasse: either one safeguards libertarian freedom to the detriment of

universal divine causation or vice versa.
For Matava, the way through the impasse of the de auxiliis debate is to be
sought in abandoning some of the presuppositions of the debate. The chief vil-
lain is the idea that divine causality, divine motio of the human will, is realized
through the created entity (premotion) within the physical order causally (not
temporally) antecedent to the human choice. There are two problems with this
account of motio: first, divine causation is modeled as a kind of change rather
than creation ex nihilo. Thus Gods causation is dragged into the physical order,
resulting in a univocal concept of cause. Second, the intrinsically efficient
and infallible nature of premotion implies that there is sufficient anteced-
ent to make the choice follow necessarily. The attempt of Bernard Lonergan
to reinterpret the concept of motio in Aquinass texts on divine concurrence
with human free acts is treated with sympathy, but ultimately found wanting
(Chapter 5). In a nutshell, it solves the first problem; however, the second re-
mains. Motio does not mean that God acts on the secondary cause to elicit
causal action (premotio), but that he is responsible for changing the second-
ary cause in some way so it can act itself (for instance, fire has to be brought
into proximity with water in order for it to heat the water up). Consequently,
the effect of the divine causation is not the particular choice, as in Bez, but
some other real change brought about in the secondary cause in order to ex-
plain why it transitions from not acting causally to acting. For Lonergan, God
directly or indirectly brings about the antecedent external and internal factors
necessary for free human choice to be able to occur: the willing of the end, the
awareness and existence of the objective possibilities of choice, etc. While the
factors required for choice are not necessitating, their intricate global arrange-
ment or pattern (called fate by Lonergan) is sufficient for the particular choice
to take place. Thus the interpretation is as odds with libertarian freedom.
Matavas own attempt (Chapter 7) is rooted in a fresh interpretation of
Aquinass texts (especially Summa theologica i, q 45, a 3) and yet another
understanding of motio (Chapter 6). Recall that there were two problems with
understanding motio as intrinsically efficient infallible physical premotion:
first, that divine causation is not sufficiently different from the action of cre-
ated agents. As in Bez and Molina, and in contrast to Lonergan, for Matava
the divine and human agencies extend to the same effect but are not of the
same order. In contrast to Molina, they do not act as partial causes because the
effect does not have two distinct parts. In contrast to Bez, for Matava divine
motio (application) is like creation de novo and conservation (continual cre-
ation), essentially a type of creation: creation of the agent as acting, in general,
and a human as freely choosing, in particular. The latter distinctions are made

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only from within the temporal order. From the point of view of the eternal God
there is but creation.
The second problem concerned the existence of a sufficient temporal or
natural antecedent of free choice. The solution, in a nutshell, is divine simplic-
ity: Matava relies on Aquinass understanding of creation as a real relation in
the effect but only logical relation in God. Thus divine causation is not some
tertium quid between God and free human choice; rather, divine action is iden-
tical with the divine essence, which remains the same in different modal con-
texts regardless of whether the effect obtains or not. Thus there is no anteced-
ent of free choice in God threatening libertarian freedom.
All in all, the reviewed monograph presents a superb and most thorough
historically grounded systematic philosophical defense of the Thomist line
in the divine causationhuman freedom debate to date. Its greatest merit
lies in clear systematic expositions of the theses, arguments and objections.
The work of the Jesuit giants, Molina and Lonergan, receives an extensive
and fair assessment even though a Molinist might not always agree with the
conclusions reached. The 350-plus-page tome is a true landmark for future re-
search in the area.

Petr Dvorak
Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-07

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Dieuwke van der Poel, Louis Peter Grijp, and Wim van Anrooij, eds.
Identity, Intertextuality, and Performance in Early Modern Song Culture. Leiden:
Brill, 2016. Pp. xx+378. Hb, $181.

This book, which consists of an introduction and thirteen chapters, derives

from papers read at a conference held in Amsterdam in 2012 under the aus-
pices of the project Dutch Songs On Line / Dutch Song Database (http://www.
liederenbank.nl/index.php?lan=en). As the editors state in the introduction,
the main aim of the book is to inaugurate and foster a new, comparative ap-
proach in early modern song scholarship. Song is understood here as what
ordinary people sing (1) without the need of any special skill or education in
music, including such different genres as religious hymns performed by con-
gregations, drinking songs intoned in taverns, love songs, lullabies, political
songs, and broadside ballads. The repertory of art song is thus basically ex-
cluded although a certain degree of permeability between these domains must
be taken into account.
Scholarship on this immense and heterogeneous corpus is still sparse (with
the exception of certain geographical areas) and fragmented (both chrono-
logically and geographically) for various reasons. On the one hand, only in the
last decades have we come to contemplate the early modern era in its longue-
dure dynamics. On the other hand, until very recently, everyday songs have
interested historians and literary scholars more often than musicologists.
Therefore, local traditions and linguistically homogeneous corpora have at-
tracted more attention than transnational and trans-linguistic phenomena.
This state of affairs is still evident in the composition of the team of contribu-
tors to the present book: most are professors of Dutch, English, and German
literature or historians (at times cultural historians with a focus on music),
whereas only one is an ethnomusicologist and there is not a single historical
musicologist in the group.
As noted, the concept of the book is to gather together a series of studies
regarding various song traditions in different regions and periods (from late
medieval Germany to Romantic-era Wales), aiming to show how a comparison
between these cases may help us recognize and define a pan-European song
culture in the early modern era. The proposed areas studied are those spot-
lighted in the books title: issues of identity, intertextuality, and performance.
Song was (and still is) an eminently versatile medium. As we learn in read-
ing the chapters, songs travel and are disseminated in many different ways,
including written medias and oral transmission. Song texts are altered or re-
purposed, song tunes are re-used, and all sort of contrafacta can derive from

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different operations over time. Songs are performed in a wide variety of oc-
casions but also presented as gifts and collected. They may have different in-
tended publics and convey cultural, social, religious, and political meanings.
Ordinary people use and experience songs in their private or social spheres,
but special brokers of songs also enter into play: from schoolmasters to mis-
sionaries and priests, and from political figures to Romantic reinventors of
traditions (274).
A fresh theme that emerges from the book is the role that songs had in early
modern social networking as important elements in the self-fashioning and
self-representation of individual and collective identities. As demonstrated
in the investigation of alba amicorum (handwritten notebooks used to share
poems, lyrics, pictures, emblems, paintings and other types of inscriptions
[160]), songs were particularly important in early modern youth culture and
womens culture, notably in building and displaying identity and negotiating
social relationships in the years before marriage.
Early modern Jesuits were active brokers of songs in many European coun-
tries (from Italy to France, Germany, and Bohemia) as well as in the overseas
missions. They used songs to teach the catechism, to disseminate their reli-
gious message, and to help the faithful pray and express their interior life. Even
though the repertory of Jesuit songs is not specifically discussed in this book,
the essays gathered here nevertheless provide useful context and food for
thought to those interested in this subject. Various chapters show how songs
were ubiquitously used as vehicles of religious content, be it for Pietism in ru-
ral Holland, Lutheranism in Sweden, or Catholicism in Flanders. The study of
hymn singing by Ingrid kesson demonstrates how this activity reflected the
complex and sometimes conflicting interaction between individual, local, and
religious identities. Guilielmus Bolognino (15901669) was a diocesan priest and
catechist in Antwerp; as we learn from the chapter by Hubert Meeus and Tine
de Koninck, he used dialogic songs embedded in didactic plays as catechetical
tools. His way of proceeding with songs is therefore intriguingly similar to that
of contemporary Jesuits in neighboring French and Belgian provinces.
Among the ingredients of songs (including literary text, melody, and as-
pects related to performance), melody is certainly, and somewhat paradoxi-
cally, the most neglected in this book. This is partially explained by the loss
of many early modern melodies, but is surely also the result of the predomi-
nantly historical-literary approach of the contributors, as discussed above. An
outstanding exception is the chapter by Christopher Marsh, who provides a
monographic treatment of an individual tune. Fortune my Foe was probably
the best-known secular melody in early modern England: in detailing how
the tune moved around, connecting all sorts of people and all sorts of lyrics

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Book Reviews 513

(308), Marsh offers thought-provoking considerations on the mediating role

of melody (309).
Identity, Intertextuality, and Performance in Early Modern Song Culture is a
welcome addition to our knowledge of the arena of communication in early
modern Europe. The book is a groundbreaking foray into a very promising field:
a field which will surely benefit, on the one hand, from the powerful scholarly
infrastructures currently under construction (from the Dutch Song Database
to the English Broadside Ballad Archive, https://ebba.english.ucsb.edu/), and
on the other from a progressively more intensive interchange between musi-
cologists and other scholars of the early modern era.

Daniele V. Filippi
University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland, Academy
of Music, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-08

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Teresa Bela, Clarinda Calma, Jolanta Rzegocka, eds.

Publishing Subversive Texts in Elizabethan England and the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth, Leiden: Brill, 2016. Pp. xvi+300. Hb, $144.

Drawn from a conference held in Krakw, Poland in 2014, Publishing Subversive

Texts is a timely essay collection. Its title alone emphasises the current schol-
arly need to, if not reposition, at least consider early modern English Catholi-
cism in relation to mainland Europe rather than just to a repressive national
regime. Indeed, as the editors point out in a brief preface, English and Scottish
Jesuits attended the first of the Societys colleges to be founded in the Polish-
Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Although purporting to be an introduction, the book actually jumps straight
into the fray. Justyna Kiliaczyk-Ziba provides a diverting essay on Polish
state bibliographies, pointing out the frequently neglected fact that the Polish-
Lithuanian Commonwealth was fully part of the early modern European eco-
nomic and cultural system.
The first group of essays is clustered round the theme of English Recus-
ant Presence in the Print Culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Mirosawa Hanusiewicz-Lavallee opens proceedings, arguing that after the
Council of Trent, English Catholic works of controversial theology and marty-
rology had a significant impact on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In
particular, she ventures that the areas Jesuits used the English Catholic experi-
ence to warn against the dangers of tolerating Protestants and to mobilize the
indigenous Catholic conscience. Next, Martin Murphy examines the activities
of the Scottish Jesuit Robert Abercromby (15361613), who became the nov-
ice master of the Societys first Polish recruits. Jolanta Rzegocka follows with
a consideration of English topics in the plays performed at Jesuit schools in
the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. She suggests these performances were
designed to give moral guidance as opposed to drawing lessons from the per-
secution. A chapter by Magdalena Komorowska examines the University of
Krakws resistance to the Jesuits in the seventeenth century before Clarinda
Calma closes the section with an overview of the Jesuit press founded at Vil-
nius, again with the intention of strengthening Catholic orthodoxy in a reli-
giously heterodox environment.
The second section is grouped under the theme of Subversive Publishing
during the Elizabethan Settlement. Acknowledging that writing and publish-
ing were key to the early Jesuit mission to England, Thomas M. McCoog, S.J.,
places this in the wider context, saying it would have been a surprise to the
orders superiors because of the Societys lack of interest if not aversion to

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this sort of approach. He notes that translations of Jesuit works circulated in

England before any actual member of the Society, though Edmund Campion
(154081) and Robert Persons (15461610) quickly and famously embraced
William Allens (153294) printing strategy. Hannah Thomas outlines the Jesuit
missionary library of the Cwm in Wales, finding this remote location well
connected to European reading trends; controversial works as well as Jesuit
spirituality and asceticism made up the largest parts of the collection. Alex-
andra Walshams stimulating chapter also records these European intercon-
nections, describing translations of Luis de Granada (150588) as best sellers
amongst Englands Catholics and Protestants. Even English Jesuits were willing
to exploit the works of this Spanish Dominican in their missionary endeavors.
Victor Houliston takes as a case study Leicesters Commonwealth, unpicking the
contributions made by Robert Persons, and finding the Jesuit able to adapt
his writing styles for different circumstances, before the section closes with
Teresa Bauk-Ulewicz on an English Protestant adaptation of a Polish Catholic
Reformation work.
The final grouping concentrates on Crossing National Borders of Censor-
ship and opens with another example of Gerard Kilroys ground-breaking
work on Edmund Campion, S.J. Taking the famous Jesuits Rationes decem, Kil-
roys chapter is an excellent investigation into the writing, printing, and after-
life of a book published on a secret press but with a far from secret and quiet
intent. Next, Earle Havens explores lay Catholic book ownership in England,
finding a number of the collectors plugged into developments in the European
heartlands of the Catholic Reformation. Havens judges that several of the Cath-
olic book collectors he profiles had little investment in texts written as part of
the English Mission. One wonders whether they were the intended audience:
were the mission books written for already convinced Catholics or as tools of
conversion? The final essay, by Marcin Polkowski, looks at Richard Verstegan
(c.15501640) and raises an interesting point that, whereas clandestine litera-
ture is already an established research field in central and eastern Europe, such
an approach is generally lacking as far as early modern England is concerned.
Aside from some irritating slips, e.g. James I is described as acceding to the
throne in 1604 (34) rather than 1603, Thomas More (14781535) is repeatedly
but wrongly described as the Henrician protomartyr of the English Reforma-
tion (245, 248, 259), there are a couple of issues not so much with the books
content but more its structure. The books title does a disservice to the content,
making it seem narrower than it actually is: a significant number of the con-
tributors focus outside of the Elizabethan time period, or deal with Britain as
opposed to England. Though nobody expects contributions to be of exactly

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the same length, it also seems strange to include chapters ranging from ten to
twenty pages alongside, at its longest, one of nearly fifty pages in length. Con-
secutive chapters, e.g. those by McCoog and Thomas even directly contradict
each other.
None of this is necessarily problematic but, significantly, the book lacks a
proper introduction that could have explained this unevenness and explored
these contradictions, bringing the essays together, giving the reader something
to take away with him, comparing the English and Polish-Lithuanian experi-
ence rather than leaving them as parallel events in separate chapters. As it is,
much of the material contained within Publishing Subversive Texts is timely,
necessary and stimulating, though how it hangs together as a collection is a
question that is left unanswered.

James E. Kelly
Durham University
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-09

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Piotr Wilczek
Polonia Reformata: Essays on the Polish Reformation(s). Gttingen: Vandenhoek &
Ruprecht Academic, 2016. Pp. 145. Hb, $100.

Until October 2016, Piotr Wilczek was an active scholar and researcher in
Poland, directing the Center for the Study of the Reformation and Intel-
lectual Culture in Early Modern Europe and teaching the humanities at the
University of Warsaw. His specialty is early modern Polish religious history.
However, on October 21, 2016, the president of Poland appointed Wilczek
as ambassador to the United States and the Bahamas. One presumes that
he will have less time in the next few years to devote to scholarly research:
all the more reason to highlight his recent collection of essays on the Polish
The history of the Polish Reformation, like that of the Reformation in Hun-
gary, Bohemia, or Transylvania has struggled to gain attention in the broader
field of Reformation studies for a number of reasons, many of which are out-
lined in Wilczeks work. One major hurdle has been the language. Although
there are numerous careful studies of the Reformation in Poland, many of
these are only available in Polish, and the lack of knowledge of eastern Euro-
pean languages among western Europeans and North Americans has proved
to be a persistent barrier. A second challenge, at least up until the 1990s, was
the lack of accessibility of eastern European archives to those coming from
elsewhere. Furthermore, the impact of Communism on Reformation studies
meant that certain interpretations were clearly favored over others, thus shap-
ing the field over many decades in specific directions.
Those hoping to turn to Wilczeks book for a general overview of the his-
tory of the Reformation in Poland should look elsewhere. What this work of-
fers is a series of vignettes on different aspects of the Reformation in Poland,
with a particular emphasis on the anti-Trinitarian community, known as the
Polish Brethren or the Minor Church. No overall narrative or central thesis is
provided. Many of the individual studies were originally given as conference
presentations and/or have previously been published, either in Polish or in
English. Wilczeks introduction, focusing on the historiography of early mod-
ern Poland, offers a helpful entry-point into how the Reformation in Poland
has been portrayed in both older and more recent works of scholarship. Wilc-
zek pleads eloquently for more attention to be paid to Polands experience in
the early modern era, pointing out that Poland and Central Europes experi-
ence of the Reformation needs to be understood as an equal and integral part
of European history (12).

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In the main body of the work, Wilczek offers essays on the changing at-
titudes towards the role of religion in Polands various Reformations. The
resurgence of Catholicism in Poland from the seventeenth century onwards
largely obscured the significant impact of various forms of Protestantism in
Poland in the previous century. Yet, as Wilczek notes, the Reformation re-
mained only an episode (22) in Polish religious history, largely due to the
failure of Protestant communities to put down more permanent social and
theological roots. He analyzes John Calvins impact in Poland through the
reception of the Genevan Reformers writings, and points out that no full
translation of Calvins Institutes is yet available in Polish. In his analysis of
writings on the Polish Reformation, he argues that new scholars and new
research are needed, and particularly laments the assessments of the Polish
Reformation done by scholars without access to primary sources or a strong
knowledge of Polish. He carefully disentangles the trends in Polish-language
research on the anti-Trinitarians, noting the ways in which that research in
the mid-twentieth century was shaped by communisms interest in the anti-
Trinitarians history in Poland as a foil to the ongoing influence of the Catho-
lic Church.
Among the strongest sections of the work is the essay on anti-Trinitarian
theology, providing a succinct summary of the key Socinian doctrines. Wilc-
zeks presentation of other aspects of Polish anti-Trinitarian activity, including
the Racovian Catechism and polemics with the Jesuits, helps flesh out English-
language readers understanding of the impact of the Polish Brethren in the
early modern era.
Those with an interest in early modern Jesuits may be most interested in
the section that discusses sixteenth-century debates between Jesuits and
Protestants. Wilczek carefully explains the characteristics of early modern po-
lemic and notes the importance of stepping away from twenty-first-century
norms of theological discourse to understand the forceful language of these de-
bates within the context of the time. He surveys in particular the polemical works
of Polish Jesuits Marcin aszcz and Piotr Skarga. aszcz wrote tracts against the
Polish Brethren and against Luther, suggesting that Luther was in fact in league
with the devil. For his part, Skarga engaged in polemic with Socinians over the
authority of the Bible in establishing and interpreting true doctrine.
In his last section, Wilczek offers a few case studies of poets and writers
from the Polish Brethren, analyzing in particular their religious trajectories
and the content of their writings.
Given the relative dearth of current publications in English on the Reforma-
tion in Poland, Wilczeks collection of essays serves as a helpful foretaste of

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what could be achieved by Polish or international scholars invested in con-

necting the history of the Reformation in Poland more effectively to the wider
field of Reformation studies.

Karin Maag
Calvin College
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Rebecca Messbarger, Christopher M.S. Johns, and Philip Gavitt, eds.

Benedict xiv and the Enlightenment: Art, Science and Spirituality. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 2016. Pp. xxx+505. Hb, $85.

Much of twentieth-century historiography has viewed the institution of the

papacy as retrograde and anti-progressive. Pius ixs Syllabus errorum (1864)
and the anti-modernist encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis (1907) have led his-
torians to believe that the institution has uncompromisingly resisted change,
especially the types of change that the eighteenth-century Enlightenment
initiated. This interdisciplinary collection of eighteen original essays from
specialistsaround the globe seeks to remedy this historiographical misconcep-
tion by presenting the case of the moderately modern (4) Pope Benedict xiv
(r.174058). Derived from an academic conference held in St. Louis in 2012, the
volume positions Benedict as an important contributor to the Enlightenment.
The arrival of this volume is timely considering the recent attention that
historians have paid to the Catholic Enlightenment. Although the term was
coined in the early twentieth century, in the work of Sebastian Merkle among
others, the Catholic Enlightenment has become one of the most fertile sub-
fields of Enlightenment studies. Most work on the Catholic Enlightenment fo-
cuses on theologians and Catholic writers scattered throughout the European
continent; there has been a distinct need to investigate the seat of the Catholic
Church itself, the Vatican and the institution of the papacy. By focusing on a
pope, therefore, this volume puts to the test just how far enlightened Catholi-
cism extended and how much of an impact it made on not only the Catholic
Church but also the broader culture of eighteenth-century Europe.
The case for Benedict xivs connections with the Catholic Enlightenment
comprises many parts, and it is easiest to trace these themes as they appear
across the various essays. The clearest piece of this puzzle is Benedicts spon-
sorship and promotion of empirical science, including his patronage of the In-
stitute of Sciences and Arts in Bologna, in which he invested considerable time
and resources. Benedict himself clearly consumed and utilized scientific re-
search. Nowhere is this more evident than in his De servorum Dei beatificatione,
Benedicts transformational treatise on the process of beatification and canon-
ization. Benedicts work as patron and promoter of science demonstrates his
connections with a fundamental aspect of the Enlightenmentnamely, the
central role it placed on empiricism and scientific knowledge. It also illustrat-
ed how the Enlightenment could interact with and contribute to the Catholic
Church in powerful ways.
Many of the volumes essays also make the case that Benedict was com-
mitted to the pedagogical project of the Enlightenment. The studies in the

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volumesfirst section, Benedict xiv, Women, and Progressive Catholicism,

for example, show how committed Benedict was to fostering the scholarly ca-
reers of talented women, including Laura Bassi, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, and
Anna Morandi. His willingness to acknowledge their erudition and help them
acquire academic positions provides a striking example of his egalitarian ap-
proach to education. Benedict also fostered the growth of institutions whose
missions were, at least in part, to educate and enlighten the public. According
to Paola Giuli, he participated in and promoted Arcadian academies, or egali-
tarian conversation groups, throughout Italy. Christopher M.S. Johns revealed
how he attempted to create a sort of coffeehouse within the papal palace
in the Vatican and use it to demonstrate his embrace of enlightened ideals.
Perhaps the best examples of his commitment to public education, however,
involve his sponsorship of the arts. Carole Paul uncovered the pivotal role that
Benedict played in the establishment of the Capitoline Museum and its mis-
sion to present art to the public. It seems clear that Benedict saw art as not
only a point of civic and even national pridea crucial piece in his broader
celebration and revitalization of Italian culturebut also a useful tool for
teaching both specialists and the wider masses. Jeffrey Collinss depiction of
the battle that was the founding of the gipsoteca in the Bologna Institute color-
fully demonstrates this point. Benedict dedicated himself to the mission of en-
lightening the world through the sponsorship of new learning and institutions
that broadcast that learning to a broader public.
Finally, Benedict was firmly committed to practical, rational reform within
the church. He clearly desired to purify the church of excesses and point Cath-
olics in the direction of a reasonable faith. His longest lasting reforms were
in the aforementioned procedures for canonization and beatification. His em-
phasis on the careful diagnoses of miracles directed attention away from the
ostentatious manifestations of baroque Catholicism toward a more rationally
based religious culture.
To its great credit, the volume avoids painting an overly simplistic picture of
a pope unquestionably committed to the ideals of the Enlightenment. Many
essays point out the complicated nature of Benedicts connection with the
Enlightenment. Censorship provides the best context for this discussion. Al-
though Benedict was committed to softening the censorial apparatus in the
church in numerous waysfor example, he loosened regulations on the cen-
sorship and control of vernacular Bibleshe still maintained the Index of Pro-
hibited Books and supported the work of the Holy Office in regulating Catho-
lic language and thought. The best example of how conflicted Benedict could
be with the ideals of the Enlightenment was in his dealings with the case of
Galileo. Although Benedict recognized the victory of the heliocentric model

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of the universe and pushed the Index to remove the universal ban on all works
promoting heliocentrism, he nevertheless failed to remove the controversial
Galileos works from the Index itself. This less-than-enlightened decision drew
criticism from figures inside and outside the church, exposing the complexity
within the Catholic Enlightenment. As Benedict aptly demonstrates, the Cath-
olic Enlightenment had dual goals: the promotion of Enlightenment and the
promotion of Catholicism; often these two goals aligned, but sometimes they
conflicted. That the contributors were willing to recognize these tensions indi-
cates the nuanced approach that this study brings to Benedict and the Catholic
Enlightenment in general.
On the whole, this is a well-researched and tightly focused volume that
makes a significant contribution to the historiography. It will surely be of inter-
est to specialists and, perhaps, to committed readers curious to see another
side to the narrative of a retrograde and anti-modern papacy. The reader
should be aware that there is a fair amount of overlap in the essays. Themes
run across the contributions and sometimes lead to authors recapping details
established in earlier essays. Perhaps the one thing that readers of the Journal
of Jesuit Studies might find wanting in the volume is a thorough analysis of how
Benedict xiv interacted with the Society of Jesus. Kristina Kleutghens essay on
Jesuit artists in China briefly touches on the Chinese rites controversyan epi-
sode of immense importance to the eighteenth-century Catholic Churchbut
there was more to be said about Benedicts perspective on the Jesuits and on
their activities in Europe. This is a question of some significance, moreover, for
the study of the Catholic Enlightenment. Many historians have viewed resis-
tance to the Jesuits (and even participation in the campaign to expel and sup-
press the Jesuits) as a hallmark of enlightened Catholicism. While a number of
the essays touch on this subject obliquely, the volume might have benefitted
from a more thorough and direct engagement of the topic. These are, however,
very minor critiques of what is otherwise an excellent, useful, and indeed pio-
neering work.

Daniel J. Watkins
University of North Florida
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San Alexander Smith

Fealty and Fidelity: The Lazarists of Bourbon France, 16601736. New York:
Routledge, 2015. Pp. xii+227. Hb, $124.95.

Distilled from a doctoral dissertation supervised by Alison Forrestal, this book

examines the efforts of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists), founded
by Vincent de Paul (15811660), to remain faithful to his vision in the years from
his death to the year before his canonization. San Smith does an excellent job
of showing how appeals for fidelity to the esprit primitif of the Lazarists and
their founder were in no small tension with pressure for fealty to the Bourbon
monarchs, Louis xiv in particular.
Readers of the Journal of Jesuit Studies will find very interesting the way
Smith contrasts Lazarists and Jesuits. While the former were of French origin
and continued to be based in Paris even as they spread elsewhere, the Jesuits
struggled in France with being perceived as foreign and thus perhaps not re-
ally trustworthy or loyal subjects of the French kings. Though Jesuits served as
royal confessors in France, in many other ways the Lazarists enjoyed greater
favor than the sons of Ignatius, and were also subject to greater expectations
and control from the French state. In 1697, Louis xiv vetoed a possible s uperior
general for the Lazarists because he was Savoyard rather than French. If the
Jesuits tended to focus on cities and towns, the Lazarists were supposed to
emphasize ministry to the rural poor. The Lazarists, in their preaching, often
chose a very simple style, while the Jesuits relied on songs, mnemonic devices,
or costume processions (30). Yet readers should be cautious in accepting ev-
erything Smith says about the Jesuits as he mistakenly attributes to Louis xvi
(r.177492) the dissolution of the Society in France (13) that was decreed and
carried out under Louis xv in the 1760s.
It was out of fealty to the monarchy, Smith implies, that the Lazarists ac-
cepted royal appointments in places such as Fontainebleau and Versailles. In
1661, they took on responsibility for the Fontainebleau parish that included
the royal palace; this was the first major test of the Congregations ability to
remain faithful to its core values in the post-de Paul era (43). And more tests
would follow. In 1672, Lazarists were made parish priests in Versailles, and in
1682 they began to staff the private chapel in the royal palace at Versailles as
well. Yet Smith argues, persuasively, that they did not abandon their original
ethos, despite working at times seemingly far from the rural poor, in part be-
cause charity for the poor remained a key part of their work, charity supported
by the monarch and his court.
Smith also points out that after 1660 the running of French seminaries for
the training of priests took a large portion of Lazarist energy. But he gives

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relatively little attention to this topic and instead examines at length some
examples of Lazarist missions outside Europe, in Madagascar and in the Mas-
careigne islands. In these missionary endeavors, Smith finds very large gaps
between Lazarist ideals and what they actually did or achieved. In Madagascar
from 1648, the Lazarists were auxiliaries of empire (51) and employees of the
Compagnie des Indes orientales at least as much as they were priests among
the poor; engaged in various conflicts with both the native populations and
with French colonists, the Lazarists pulled out in 1674 after a quarter century
of failures. In the early eighteenth century, Lazarists went to the islands now
known as Runion and Mauritius; there they became wealthy slave owners,
not unlike Jesuits in Martinique and Dominicans in Guadeloupe. Not surpris-
ingly, the Lazarists soon found that the slaves were little interested in convert-
ing to Christianity. As Smith rightly suggests, the gap between Lazarist rhetoric
and reality had become very large indeed. He finds a similar gap operative in
Lazarist chaplaincies for the kings galleys, in the late seventeenth and early
eighteenth centuries, though Vincent de Paul himself had earlier served for
a time as such a chaplain. After 1685, among those forced into rowing on the
galleys were Huguenots that refused to convert to Catholicism. Commenting
on the cruelty involved in this, Smith asserts that the judgement that the Laz-
arists had lost their charity was not extravagant (148).
Some matters could use more attention than Smith gives to them. He men-
tions several times, but only in passing, the Daughters of Charity, founded by
Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac in 1634. It would be helpful to know if
the Daughters also had to struggle with tensions between an esprit primitif and
the expectations and temptations of the post-1660 era. Smith states that the
Congregation of the Mission was designed by Vincent de Paul not as a religious
order but a congregation of secular priests with vows: poverty, chastity, obedi-
ence, and a fourth vow which bound its members to service of the poor (31).
It would be pertinent to the topic of this book to include discussion of whether
or not this unusual arrangement was itself under stress in the decades after
the death of the founder. Smith explains that one reason why the monarchy
remained so favorable to the Lazarists is that they avoided any taint of Jansen-
ism, even as they followed a policy of non-belligerence when it came to doc-
trinal disputes (89). Just how such a policy was possible in the midst of very
heated debates between Jesuits and Jansenists, throughout the period Smith
examines, he does not explain. Was there a kind of third way? Perhaps more
research could tell us.
This volume engages a broad range of questions concerning the complex
interaction of religious ideals and political and human realities in the era of

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Louis xiv and Louis xv. It merits a wide readership, including specialists in
Jesuit history.

Thomas Worcester, S.J.

College of the Holy Cross
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Nicole Reinhard
Voices of Conscience: Royal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century
Spain and France. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. 480. Hb, $110.

This is a challenging, wonderfully learned but difficult book. Its first goal is to
show that ideas of conscience and politics and their interrelation never remain
the same but undergo change regularly. The seventeenth century stands out as
a pivotal moment of this change, and the book is a comparative history of the
institutions of the royal confessor and council of conscience during this period
in Spain and in France. The general movement of the conscience of the ruler is
from a public to a private one, from a persona publica to a persona privata. The
sources are richer for Spain than for France because in the former careful ar-
chives were kept and the government more structured. Confessors to the king
of Spain throughout this period were Dominicans; in France they were Jesuits.
The author develops her theme in five steps. The first she devotes to the
explanation of the institutions and ideologies of council. The confessor was
a councillor sui generis who dealt with a more secret area than the other
councillors and was an expert in moral theology and the science of conscience.
The author considers the chapter on the confessor in Robert Bellarmines De
officio principis christiani (Duties of a Christian prince, 1619) to be the most
influential treatment of the topic. Bellarmine insisted on the sins of the pu-
blica persona. Starting in the 1570s, probabilism became influential with royal
Normative frameworks is the topic of the second step. Here the author
stresses the importance of the classic Manual de confessores et penitentes (sic)
of the Augustinian friar Martn de Azpilcueta which first appeared in 1552 and
saw many editions up to 1603.
Drawing upon the long Scholastic tradition, Azpilcueta drew up an exten-
sive list of questions to be put to monarchs in confession that included their
public sins. Reinhardt discusses at length three of the public sins that were
committed in the area of just war, taxation, and appointment to office. These
three categories of public sin gradually faded from the concerns of the royal
confessor by the middle of the seventeenth century.
In the third step, the author turns to the practice of the council of con-
science. This section is dominated by Luis de Aliaga, the confessor of King
Philip iii from 1608 to 1621, who was the most active of the Spanish confessors
and who receives the most attention in the book after Nicolas CaussinJesuit
confessor to King Louis xiii. Reinhardt sees him as a regalist, as were many
royal confessors, and she looks first at his role in the distribution of offices. He
did not see the crisis of 1618/19 that initiated the Thirty Years War in central

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Europe as the outbreak of a religious war. The author then turns to a long case
study on Aliagas role in the decision to expel the Moriscos in 1612. The section
ends with a discussion of the relationship between favorites and confessors
who often were rivals and with a look at the relationship between Cardinal
Richelieu and the Jesuit Caussin who at the instance of Richelieu became con-
fessor of Louis xiii in early 1637 but was then dismissed by the cardinal in
December of that year. This leads into the fourth section that takes up the self-
reflection of confessors on their role and features Caussin.
Caussin had published in 1624 a mammoth volume entitled La cour saincte
(The holy court) which attempted to show how an individual could live a full
Christian life at court and which went through numerous editions and transla-
tions during the next forty years. He reverted to an older style of confessor and
challenged the king on two major policies: the support of Protestant states in
the Thirty Years War and the oppression of the peasants by the taxes levied on
them to pay for the the war. This came to an attack on Richelieu who then saw
to his exile to Quimper, a town on the coast of Brittany. He was a throwback
to the Scholastic authors of the previous century. After the death of Riche-
lieu and Louis xiii, he returned to Paris. There in 1646 and 1647, he published
revised editions of the La cour saincte in which he represented the confessor
as a prophet in the style of Isaiah and Ezekiel and then as Seneca in his role as
councillor to Nero. The confessor was called to be a prophet. Toms Carbonell,
a Spanish Carmelite, twice met a similar fate in Madrid when he invoked the
example of Caussin.
The final step in the evolution of the royal confessor began in the 1640s in
France. It was led by the various long-time enemies of the Jesuits: the early
Jansenists, parlement, and the assembly of the clergy all of whom claimed to
exercise the role of councilor of conscience. There now set in a turn away from
the probabilism generally associated with the Jesuits toward a more rigorous
moral theology. Pascals Provincial Letters of 1656 proved to be an effective
weapon against the Jesuits. The long-time Jesuit confessors of Louis xiv, Pre
Franois Annat and Pre Franois La Chaise were widely thought to be laxists
who failed to restrain the kings sexual appetite and especially his desire for
glory on the battlefield and his pursuit of conquest. Gradually there eroded
the influence of the confessor in France and his function deconstructed. In an
absolute monarchy, the king, it was believed, provided he had a well formed
conscience, could make political decisions on his own without the assistance
of a confessor. The confessor came to be restricted to the kings private life and
to ecclesiastical affairs; his brief did not reach to political sins. So there opened
up a divide between the public and the private persona of the king which
pointed toward the secularization of politics. In Spain, the role of the confessor

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was challenged theologically and by popular opinion if not to the same degree;
the adequacy of theological opinion for issues of politics was questioned.
This is clearly a significant volume that initiates the study of the institution
of the royal confessor and council of conscience in the long seventeenth cen-
tury. Not surprisingly, its importance was at its height during the Thirty Years
War, a fact that the author might have brought out more clearly as well as its
part in the Catholic Reform. The author exaggerates the influence of Bellarm-
ines remarks about the royal confessor in his Duties of a Christian Prince. More
important for the role of the confessor was the Instruction on the Confessors of
Princes (1608) of Claudio Acquaviva, the Jesuit superior general even though
it was somewhat ambiguous and was never published. One might also have
expected some treatment of the efforts of the French confessors to reconcile
Louis xiii and his mother, Marie de Medici before and during the ministry of

Robert Bireley, S.J.

Loyola University Chicago
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-13

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Jorge Flores
The Mughal Padshah: A Jesuit Treatise on Emperor Jahangirs Court and Household.
Leiden: Brill, 2015, Pp. 200. Hb, $128.

In The Mughal Padshah, Jorge Flores offers an excellent edition and transla-
tion of a Jesuit treatise on the court and household of the Mughal emperor
Jahangir (r.160527), the Tratado da Corte e Caza de Iamguir Pach Rey dos
Mogores; em que brevemente se trata dos Reinos que tem; e de seos tizouros, e o
grande estado e preheminencia com que se serve de suas portas para dentro; suas
mulheres, filhos, e seos grandes capitais (Treatise of the court and household of
Jahangir Padshah king of the Mughals, briefly addressing his kingdoms, and
his treasures, and the great majesty and preeminence by which he is served in
his court; his wives, children, and his chief captains). Written around 1610, this
document exists today in four known versions in two languages but its author-
ship is not completely clear. The treatise survived the passage of time in four
different versions: a Portuguese manuscript located at the Arquivo Nacional
da Torre do Tombo (Portugal), a Spanish manuscript located at the Biblioteca
Nacional de Espaa (Spain), and two different Portuguese and Spanish manu-
scripts at the Real Academia de Historia (Spain).
The Tratado is not a typical missionary report, but a detailed survey of Ja-
hangirs imperial court and household that could be easily written by a diplo-
mat or a merchant. Its contents offered important information on the emperor
and his family, the organization of the court, the political rituals surrounding
the figure of Jahangir, the economic organization of the empire, as well as its
military power. The fact that the Tratado predates the correspondence and
accounts of Sir Thomas Roes embassy to Jahangirs court (161519)which
played a crucial role on the early modern European perceptions of Mughal
Indiamakes this Jesuit document particularly relevant to understanding
how Europeans constructed their images of the Timurid polity.
Jorge Flores provides an extensive introduction that situates the treatise in
the early modern European literature on Mughal India, and highlights the con-
ditions of production and reception of the Tratado based on a brief, but rather
complete, survey of the evolution of Luso-Mughal relations up to 1615. Indeed,
one cannot dissociate the production of a document such as the Tratado from
the Mughal embassy to Goa led by Muqarah Khan of 161011, an event that the
Portuguese authorities had desired for some time. Consequently such a de-
tailed account on the Mughal polity as the Jesuit treatise was a valuable source
of information for the viceroy at Goa.
While two versions of the treatise ignore the question of authorship, the
other existing versions suggest that one of Jernimo Xavier or Manuel Pinheiro

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was behind the text. The two men played a crucial role in the third Jesuit mis-
sion and their reports and correspondence were widely known in Europe.
Xavier could be easily described as the prototype of the court missionary. His
literary production at the Mughal court, his collaboration with different court-
iers and scholars and, above all, his proximity to the emperor, made him strong
candidate for the authorship of the treatise. Indeed, the contents of the trea-
tise are in line with the information provided by Xavier in his correspondence
to Europe and Goa.
Although Pinheiro lacked the intellectual sophistication of Xavier, he wrote
several richly informed reports on the Mughal empire. If Xavier was the court
missionary, Pinheiro was the field missionary. As the responsible for the La-
hore mission field, the Jesuit from the Azores was in permanent contact with
several Timurid political agents that made him a valuable intermediary be-
tween the Mughals and the Portuguese. In fact, Pinheiro accompanied Muqa-
rah Khans embassy. It is therefore possible that Pinheiro wrote the treatise
during his time in Goa, or that he carried Xaviers text. Flores also explores the
possibility of the Tratado as a composite text, a collective text supervised by
Xavier that counted with the collaboration of other members of the mission
such as Manuel Pinheiro, Antnio Machado, a Francesco Corsi, and Giuseppe
di Castro.
Flores convincingly argues that the author (or authors) of the treatise is
not a mere casual observer, but someone who actively participated in the
court and had the capacity to theorize on Mughal politics and sovereignty in
a dialogue with the emperor or other Mughal political actors. Indeed, some
of the contents of the Tratado are very similar to topics covered by Abul
Fazls Ain-i Akbari (c.1595) such as the emperors household, the treasuries,
the harem, the imperial menagerie, the mansabdars, or the imperial finances
and administration. This does not mean that the author copied Fazls work,
but that they had access to a specific type of information that circulated
through the channels of the Mughal bureaucratic apparatus and was ac-
cessible to those who were at the imperial court, either in written form or
through oral accounts provided by other courtiers or officials. This role of
the missionary as an active courtier and political observer is particularly
relevant to understand how the author or authors of the treatise collected
their information.
One of the most interesting aspects of the treatise is its effort to provide
a systematic quantification of Jahangirs court and household. Such concern
in enumerating and describing the Mughal polity, as Flores notes, was typical
among Iberian colonial officials in the Americas and Asia that links the treatise
to the evolution the European colonial bureaucratic apparatus.

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The fact that there are four versions of the Tratado and the definitive ver-
sion is now lost poses interesting questions on the production, circulation and
transmission of texts in the early modern period. Although it is not possible to
know the exact conditions in which the treatise travelled from India to Europe,
Flores explores the networks formed by different agents such as missionaries,
colonial officials, merchants, scholars or aristocrats to give an example of how
manuscripts and other documents produced in South Asia could reach Lisbon
or Madrid.
The translation of the Portuguese manuscript into English is excellent and it
will allow many scholars and students of Mughal India or the Jesuit missions in
south Asia to explore a unique source. Together with the well-researched and
stimulating introduction provided by Jorge Flores, this work will find a promi-
nent place in the study of the Jesuit missions in the Mughal empire.

Joo Vicente Melo

University of Liverpool
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-14

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Shenwen Li, Frederic Laugrand and Nansheng Peng

Rencontres et mdiations entre la Chine, lOccident, et les Amriques, missionnaires,
chamanes et intermdiaires culturels. Qubec City: Presses de lUniversit Laval,
2015. Pp. 464. Hb, $49.95 (can).

The articles collected in this book are written in three different languages:
four in English, five in Chinese (each with a French summary), (and fifteen
in French). The articles were originally delivered as papers at a symposium
in October, 2012 in Canada. As the three editors, Shenwen Li, Frederic Lau-
grand, both from Laval University, and Nansheng Peng from Huazhong Normal
University in China, explain in the introduction, the objective is a better un-
derstanding of the interaction among China, Siberia, Europe, and the Ameri-
cas (1). In other words, they are investigating what the French anthropologist
Bruno Latour calls diplomatic action (cf. Bruno Latour, Le rappel de la mo-
dernit: Approches anthropologiques, Ethnographiques.org 6 [2004]) specifi-
cally interactions between different symbolic systems with common features.
In fact, several symposia have already focused on a comparison of symbolic
resources such as mythologies, ritual practices and imaginary systems, but very
few have concentrated on China and the Americas with a stress on shamanism
and indigenous cultural interaction with Christianity. As missionaries were the
principal agents of the encounter, several contributions focus on them.
The book is divided into four parts with different themes. The first part,
Shamanism and inter-ethnic and inter-cultural encounters in the Chinese
peripheries, is anthropological. The first article of the seven on this theme,
written by Zhizhong Zhao, gives an account of Shamanism in China and con-
cludes by highlighting the relation of Shamanism with ethnicity and the sig-
nificant decline of this religion nowadays as ethnic minorities in North Chi-
na are assimilated into the Han culture (25). In the second article, Jean-Luc
Lambert analyses songs from ethnic minorities from Siberia, written after the
evangelization ordered by Peter the Great at the beginning of the 18th century.
Lamberts article demonstrates how local people integrated historical facts in
their songs. This movement operated a shift about the interpretation of filial-
ity from an ethnic lineage to a Christian lineage. It also gave them words to
denounce state violence at several phases of their history by transferring into
the songs, elements of the political violence caused by colonization. The third
article compares shamanic practices in Kazakhstan and Ladakh. The fourth
article by Benoit Vermander narrates the authors experience of encounter,
which by definition crosses boundaries and implies redefine identities. A con-
sequence of this is the realization that what we share in the exchange, what
we somehow recognize as universal cannot be substantially defined (97). The

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fifth article brings the reader to a totally different place: the Amazonian part of
Peru. Franoise Morin shows how three waves of religious visitors (Catholic
missionaries, Protestant missionaries, spiritual tourists) have interacted with
local shamanism. She shows how shamanism has both offered and is offer-
ing new opportunities in a globalized world: symbolic traditions that ignored
one each other before, are now brought together. The sixth article by Bernard
Saladin Danglure, provides a nice counterpoint to Vermanders narrative as
it also details an experience with the Inuit people. The author concludes by
stating the proximity of shamanism with pre-Taoist religion (for example the
Qi in Taoism could be related with the Sila in Inuit philosophy, and the Yin and
Yang with the Arnaq and Angst notions). The seventh article, from Frederic
Laugrand, continues Saladin DAnglures perspective and elaborates on this
proximity. Then Laugrand uses Francois Julliens analogical thinking concept
to describe what these religions have in common (137).
The second group of articles analyzes Chinese culture from the perspective
of foreign missionaries. This part is about the History of representations. The
first article, by Pierre-Etienne Will, highlights that missionaries were foreign-
ers in China and that they understood Chinese culture, through the filter of
their personal experience (cf. difference between Gabriel de Magalhaes and
Matteo Ricci: for example, the evaluation of Chinese institutions by both is
radically different: when Ricci does not evoke the limits of imperial examina-
tion system, Magalhaes is much more critical and criticize the hypocrisy and
corruption). Another article, by Daniel Yvan, presents Paul Claudels percep-
tion of Confucian rites as Claudel had the opportunity to get in touch with
both living Confucianism and its bookish counterpart. The fifth article, from
Martine Raibaud, details how missionaries understood social changes during
the rise of Communism. The sixth article, by Olivier Servais, makes a precise
analysis of representations of Chinese and Amerindian cultures in the Belgian
review Vivant univers.
The third group of articles centers on strategies of evangelization. The first
article by Artur Wardega, presents Tomas Pereira (16451708), a not very well
known figure. This Portuguese Jesuit was indeed an intimate friend of Emperor
Kangxi. The second and third articles both by authors from Huazhong Nor-
mal University, describe nineteenth century Christian missions to Muslims in
China. Cui Wei Yang and Micheline Lessard, in the fourth article, explain Timo-
thy Richards theology and its impact on Late Qing Chinas Reforms. The fifth
article presents the life of John Ross. The sixth depicts the apostolate of French
Canadian Jesuits through their schools. In the seventh article, Diana Lary gives
a complete overview of the different options taken by the Canadian Christians
during the Japanese invasion.

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The fourth part focuses on the role played by literature and arts in ex-
changes between China and other parts of the world. The first article, by Angel
Pino, highlights the paradoxical dialogue between the Jesuit Jean Monsterleet
and Ba Jin, a Chinese anarchist poet, after the Second World War. As the poet
writes to Monsterleet, between them there is a difference not of objective but
of method. The first one believes in conversion, whereas the second one in
revolution (397). The second article offers a classical analysis of the work of
Giuseppe Castiglione, and the third article the artistic interactions of the
Jesuitswith Kangxis court. The last article tries to comprehend the work of
translation in the light of Han dynasty interactions with foreigners.
This book offers more of a patchwork of studies without a clear dialogue
among them instead of a coherent, fully articulated whole because it traverses
so many lands, academic perspectives, and historical periods. The perspective
of this book which is to put China, Shamanism and History of western mis-
sionaries together, provides some interesting insights in understanding the
circulation of ideas between the three continents even though regarding Jesuits
history it is much more a resumption than the presentation of new discoveries.

Yves Vend
Sun Yat-sen University
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-15

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Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu and Ning Ding, eds.

Qing Encounters: Artistic Exchanges between China and the West. Los Angeles: Getty
Research Institute, 2015. Pp. xxii+297. Pb, $55.

The sixteen essays in this collection deal with Sino-Western encounters during
the years 16801830 by focusing on the exchanges of a wide range of visual cul-
ture (images, prints, plant specimens, porcelain, and textiles). The essays were
originally presented in a symposium in Beijing in the fall of 2012 sponsored by
the Getty Foundation (Los Angeles).
Historians and art historians have generally resisted crossing the disciplinary
lines that separate their fields. Art images in most works of history tend to be
merely supplementary and not essential to the argument while art historians
make passing reference to historical factors as general background rather than
as crucial parts of their texts. Consequently, it is rare to find works like Qing
Encounters which attempt to reveal the complicated relationships between the
meaningful patterns of the past and the role visual culture played in shaping
those patterns. With the development of a world history consciousness and
the study of the interactions between different cultures, scholars have increas-
ingly adopted words like encounters and exchanges as rubrics to describe
such phenomena. But there is a need to go beyond treating the encounter of
different cultures and deal with the integration of the different components of
those encounters.
A notable attempt to reveal the complex relationships between art and a
political-religious dispute is found in the essay by Yue Zhuang which analyzes
one of the thirty-six copperplates made in 171113 by the Catholic missionary
Matteo Ripa at the command of the Kangxi emperor. The scenes are based
on a garden pavilion in the imperial summer palace at Chengde, formerly Je-
hol, in the Manchu territory northeast of Beijing. After constructing the Bishu
Shanzhuang (Mountain Retreat from the Summer Heat) in 1711, the Kangxi
emperor chose thirty-six landscape views and wrote poems on them. These
were illustrated by the leading court painter Shen Yu (d. c.1727) and rendered
as woodcut images by court engravers and published in 1712. The Kangxi em-
peror then ordered Ripa to use European techniques in making copper engrav-
ings of these thirty-six scenes. These were engraved on thin Chinese paper as
a collection entitled Thirty-six Views of Jehol. Zhuangs essay focuses on one
of those thirty-six scenes (Clouds over the Western Mountain at Dawn) and
compares the two different versions of that scene in the painting by Shen Yu
with the copperplate by Ripa.
Zhuang goes beyond pointing out the technical differences between these
two works to interpret Ripas linear perspective and hatchings (parallel lines

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used to darken an area) as reflections of his theological position in the Rites

Controversy. Ripa was sent to China as a missionary by Propaganda (Sacred
Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith). The rival China Jesuits had de-
veloped an accommodating interpretation of the practice of obligatory rites
to Confucius and ancestors which would allow their precarious mission to
continue in China. However, most of the Vatican establishment in far-distant
Rome regarded the veneration of Confucius and ancestors as idolatrous and
incompatible with Christianity. Although Pope Alexander vii in 1656 had sup-
ported the Jesuit interpretation, Pope Clement xi in 1715 ruled against them.
This ruling put the China Jesuits and Propaganda missionaries like Ripa in
conflict because the Kangxi emperor insisted that the missionaries follow the
Jesuit interpretation.
Zhuang argues that Ripas resistance to the Jesuit accommodative inter-
pretation is reflected in his copperplate of the scene Clouds over the Western
Mountain at Dawn. Zhuangs argument is intriguing, but not convincing. If,
as Zhuang argues, Ripas linear perspective and hatchings in his copper plate
were an expression of Propagandas and Clement xis opposition to the Je-
suits interpretation of the Chinese rites, then Ripas techniques should have
differed from the techniques used by the Jesuit painters at the Chinese court.
However Zhuang makes no attempt to establish a distinction between them.
The Jesuits also used linear perspective in their paintings and if there is no
fundamental difference between the Jesuits painters techniques and Ripas
techniques, then it is likely that their use of linear perspective was, rather
than a reflection of their Rites Controversy dispute, simply a general expres-
sion of the Christian culture and of post-Renaissance painting techniques
that the Jesuits and Ripa had both absorbed and developed in Europe through
Another fascinating theme explored in this collection is the parallel hybrid
artistic forms characterized by chinoiserie and euroiserie. The term chinoiserie
dates from the eighteenth century when information and artefacts from China
were arriving in Europe. The European enthusiasm for Chinese things led to
the creation of imaginative exaggerations of Chinese art forms which resulted
in a style that was uniquely European. The artefacts produced by this style
were called chinoiserie. The opposite phenomenon developed on a lesser
scale, initially at the Chinese court which had the greatest exposure to Western
art and architecture through the Jesuit artists and architects. This led to a Chi-
nese imaginative exaggeration of European forms in the northeast corner of
the imperial garden Yuanming Yuan near Beijing when the Qianlong emperor
commissioned the Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione in 1757 to design the construc-
tion of a Western-style section of buildings. The style of these buildings was

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first named euroiserie by George N. Kates in his book The Years That Were Fat:
The Last of Old China (Cambridge, ma: mit Press, 1952), 199.
The Qing Encounters volume elaborates upon this theme in a section of
essays devoted to these hybrid art forms (chinoiserie and euroiserie). Yeewan
Koon uses this theme to frame her discussion of the images of the Chinese
export artist Pu Qua (late 1700s). She attributes the paintings that appeared in a
highly popular form in London c.1800 to Pu Qua c.178090 and reflect a hybrid
form in which Chinese and European pictorial systems converged.
In sum, Qing Encounters presents important new research and thoughtful
insights that would be of value for advanced students as well as scholars in his-
tory and art history to examine.

David E. Mungello
Baylor University
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-16

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Lisa J.M. Poirier

Religion, Gender, and Kinship in Colonial New France of Book. Syracuse, New York:
Syracuse University Press, 2016. Pp. ix+233. Pb, $29.95.

In Religion, Gender, and Kinship in Colonial New France, Lisa Poirier takes up
the life histories of four figuresFrench translator tienne Brl, Wendat
convert Joseph Chihoatenhwa, his daughter Thrse Oionhaton, and French
migrant Marie Rollet Hbertto illustrate the processes of transformation,
reorientation, and revaluation (6) wrought by the colonial encounter between
French and Wendat in the early decades of the seventeenth century. Poiriers
intention is to demonstrate how the intercultural complexities and opacities
(5) that marked these first few decades of encounter gave rise to new orienta-
tions [] that can only be called religious (5).
Poirier certainly succeeds in illuminating for her reader the various ways
in which cultural misunderstandings, miscalculations, and misinterpretations
confounded the first few decades of contact between the French and the Wen-
dat. She ably demonstrates how French explorer Samuel de Champlain, for
example, failed to appreciate the purpose of indigenous warfare, the function
of the ritual torture of captives, the dimensions of trade, and the practice of
fictive kinship; how native Christians valued baptism as a means of ritual alli-
ance and sought to incorporate Jesuit sacred power into traditional practices;
how Jesuit warnings about the fires of hell were lost on Wendat men who took
torture as an occasion for the display of courage; how Wendat women con-
verted to Christianity for reasons other than those anticipated by the Jesuits,
creatively respond[ing] to the cultural disequilibrium in which they found
themselves by drawing upon the traditional modalities of life (171).
Poirier also capably illuminates the ways in which figures like Brl, Chi-
hoatenhwa, Oionhaton, and Hbert were dislocated from their cultures of
originand crafted new identities for themselves on the contested boundar-
ies between culturesa point made most persuasively, perhaps, in Poiriers
account of the murdered Brls ultimate exclusion both from the Wendat
Feast of the Dead and the consecrated burial grounds of the French Jesuits.
Poiriers thorough treatment of Brl and Chihoatenhwa (which, unfortu-
nately, does not extend to Oionhaton and Hbert) deftly illustrates the ways
in which colonial encounters gave rise to hybrid identities as French and
Wendat alike navigated the early decades of colonial contact and negotiated
techniques of survival, sometimes with devastating personal consequences. It
seems to me that Homi Bhabhas richly-developed concept of hybridity would
have usefully supported Poiriers arguments here.

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Poiriers use of the term religious to describe the hybrid identities fash-
ioned by French and Wendat alike strikes me, however, as under-theorized.
For Poirier, figures like Brl, Chihoatenhwa, Oionhaton, and Hbert became
sites of religious contestation (121) in colonial New France, the practice of
fictive kinship was a religious modality of exchange (68), and Brls even-
tual murder by the Wendat is best understood as essentially a religious act
(68). But why? What, exactly, is religious about indigenous kinship practices
or the new orientations produced by the experience of colonial encounter?
Oddly, especially for a scholar who explicitly grounds her work in a history
of religions (13) approach, there is a glaring lack of critical engagement with
terms like religion and the sacred as categories of analysissave for a single
sentence in the introduction that teleologically justifies Poiriers description
of hybrid colonial identities as religious because they articulated value and
expressed relationship to the sacred[and] served as sites of religious contes-
tation (10).
In many ways, Poiriers central argument about the catastrophic conse-
quences of the misunderstandings inherent in contact between cultures
speaking different material and symbolic languages (4) is made most cogently
in the third chapter. In this chapter, Poirier offers a finely-tuned analysis of the
limits and liabilities of language in the colonial mission context, indicating the
ways in which a French Jesuit naivet about the capacity of language to com-
municate across cultures gave way, over time and experience, to the difficult
realization that linguistic mastery (90) did not necessarily mean theological
understanding. Initially confident in their ability to make use of indigenous
languages as a neutral medium for the translation of Christian theological con-
cepts, Jesuits like Paul LeJeune came to appreciate language itself as a heavily-
freighted cultural relic, one that could facilitate some kinds of understanding
and frustrate others. Because this chapter so sensitively treats what I think is
Poiriers principal concern in this bookthat is, that the cultural exchanges
wrought by the colonial encounter were never free, easy, or in any way equal
it might have been better positioned as part of the introduction.
Indeed, Poiriers claim in this chapter that by regarding [] Native lan-
guages as acquirable commodities with use value, the Jesuits engaged in a type
of mercantile activity they had otherwise rejected (9495) gestures neatly to
an uncompromising set of binaries that structures the analysis in the rest of
the book. For Poirier, principles of reciprocity, mutual benefit, and equilibrium
animated the Wendat system of exchange, while motivations of mercantil-
ism, individual gain, and inequality drove the French; the Wendat gave gifts
of value, while the French (Jesuits included) traded empty commodities; the

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Wendat were religious relativists, while the French were religious exclusivists;
the Wendat gave women power, while the French circumscribed that power;
the Wendat were good and beautiful, while the French were anything but. To
be fair, Poirier does not explicitly make this final point, but so stark are the
contrasts she draws between the Wendat and the French that she might as well
have. Few, at this point, would argue that the legacy of colonialism is without
its ugly features, and Poirier is right to call our attention to the cultural dislo-
cations, cataclysmic disruptions, and profound acts of material and symbolic
violence inflicted by the colonial enterprise. But our understanding of the
colonial encounter in seventeenth-century New France deserves a much more
finely-grained analysis than Poirier delivers and a much more nuanced treat-
ment of the French and Jesuit presence among the Wendat.

Mary Dunn
Saint Louis University
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-17

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Lon de Saint Moulin, S.J.

Histoire des jsuites en Afrique: Du XVIe sicle nos jours. Paris: ditions jsuites,
2016. Pp. 137. Pb, 12.

The presence of the Jesuits in Africa is as old as the Society of Jesus itself. Un-
fortunately, their history on the continent is also the least studied. This volume
is short, yet it is the first comprehensive history of the Jesuits in Africa. In its 137
pages, the author, himself a seasoned missionary, seeks to focus not on mission
history as such, but on the birth of local churches. The book is divided in three
parts corresponding to three periods of the history of the Jesuits in Africa.
The Portuguese or Padroado era covers the early missions in the kingdom of
Congo and Angola, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, the Zambesi, and Madagascar, from
the foundation of the Society of Jesus in 1540 to its suppression in 1773. Beyond
a clear chronological report of events, nothing substantial is said about this pe-
riod. Then follows the colonial era, from the restoration of the Society in 1814 to
the wave of African nations becoming independent in the 1960s. Characteristic
of this period was the emergence of most of the present Jesuit provinces and
sub-provinces in Africa. Here, de Saint Moulin provides a chronology of those
foundations, their most important achievements, and the most significant mis-
sionaries (including Africans) in Madagascar, the Zambesi, and Central, West-
ern, and Eastern Africa. Missions were dependent upon colonial powers for
their foundation and functioning. Yet, missionaries also took a stand against
colonial abuses. Last comes the African era that followed the Second Vatican
Council. Characteristic of this period is what the author calls Africanization
of the Jesuit leadership and membership. De Saint Moulin links the roots of
this process to the politics of authenticity in Mobutu Sese Sekos Congo and
to the figure of Cardinal Joseph Malula, archbishop of Kinshasa. But he also
warns about new challenges, as Africans come to the realization that the pro-
cess of Africanization, to bear fruit, has to go beyond the assumption of posi-
tions of ecclesiastical leadership. Even more, he fears that the current rise of
African Jesuits might align them with the political status quo rather than with
a history of liberation (12628).
According to de Saint Moulin, the concept of Africanization includes
four aspects. First, it means the expansion of Jesuit houses and apostolates,
as well as the creation of new Jesuit regions and provinces. Second, this ex-
pansion leads to the secularization (understood here as what I would call the
de-missionarization of the church), by building up a diocesan clergy and new
ecclesiastical jurisdictions, led by African bishops and priests. This was the
case for todays Congolese, Chadian, Zambian, and Malagasy dioceses. The
third aspect of Africanization is education. In addition to tens of primary and

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secondary schools, the Society of Jesus also helped create early African nation-
al universities in todays drc and Burundi. The Jesuits chose the location and
led the negotiations to acquire the land where the University of Lovanium, to-
day a state university in drc, was built. The first presidents of Lovanium were
Jesuits. Finally, through Africanization, the Jesuits affected social change. They
contributed to the areas of health, the economy (including the construction of
roads and bridges), culture, science, and agriculture.
De Saint Moulin applies the term missionaries to African Jesuits, sisters,
and lay catechists. Theologically, he argues, they too are called to evangelize
(169). As far as numbers are concerned, until 1920, there were never more than
fifty Jesuit missionaries living in the Congo territory. Net growth is observed
from 1920 to 1940, which accelerated exponentially after 1945 (170). Interesting-
ly, though, even after independence the number of non-African Jesuits, includ-
ing Spanish and Latin Americans, kept increasing, moving from two hundred
in 1949 to 334 in 1966.
De Saint Moulins book offers a case study for sociologists of religion. On
the one hand, the improvement in economic conditions coincided with the
growth in personnel rates in Congo (170). On the other, there is at least one ex-
ample where improved social conditions led to the erosion of African person-
nel. Looking closely at the data, the number of African personnel grew from
fifty in 1954 to ninety-four in 1960, but then fell to sixty-nine in 1966. De Saint
Moulin explains this decrease by the defections of young African Jesuits who
joined the administrations of newly independent states. This number went up
again in 1971, and fell back in 1975 during the debate on authenticity and its
anti-Catholic vitriol (171). A steady growth is observed from 1979 until this day.
Clerical identity also seems to be a factor for perseverance among African Je-
suits. For example, Jesuit brothers outnumbered scholastics being trained for
priesthood forty-eight to thirty-four in 1960. By 1966, this trend was reversing,
as the brothers were only thirty in 1966, twenty-five in 1980, and nineteen in
Through the development of fermes-chapelles, Fr. Emile van Hencxthoven
sought to spur local development with no foreign aid. The main purpose of
these catechetical schools was to instruct young boys to the Catholic reli-
gion, and train them to agricultural techniques for their own subsistence and
economic independence. But, according to de Saint Moulin, his project was
assimilationist, a reproduction of the paternalistic and exploitative
colonial system in the church (175). He also acknowledges the missionaries
stance against the exploitation of the colonial system, and the willingness of
Africansthemselves to integrate the new economy put in place by the colonial

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systemgoing so far as to suggest that their very conversion was linked to this
materialism (177).
This review focuses mostly on the work of the Jesuits in Central Africa be-
cause the author knows this province better. In fact, the book seems to be an
expansion of de Saint Moulins The mission of Kwango from 1945. There is
no mention of the Spanish mission in Fernando Po (185772). One might also
object that the books title is pretentious. Would it not have been more ap-
propriate to call it an introduction to the history of the Society in Africa? The
author, finally, claims in the introduction to write his story in a way African na-
tives themselves would. Yet, the first footnote and periodization, and the very
first sentence of the book repeat general assumptions and prejudices about
Africa held by outsiders: the very first sentence compares the population of
Africa, a continent, to that of China, and India respectively. Then the author
affirms, with no nuance, that Africans see Africa as a unity. Those claims are
questionable, reminding the challenge he still faces as a Belgian missionary to
talk effectively about Africa the way Africans themselves would.

Jean Luc Enyegue

Boston College
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-18

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Adam Kozowiecki, S.J.

Not und Bedrngnis: Als Jesuit in Auschwitz und Dachau; Lagertagebuch. Edited by
Manfred Deselaers and Bernhard Sill. Translated by Herbert Ulrich. Regensburg:
Friedrich Pustet, 2016. Pp. 687. Hb, 29.95.

In his June 1942 entry in his memoir, Suffering and Anguish: As a Jesuit in Aus-
chwitz and Dachau, Father Adam Kozowiecki, S.J., wrote: I spent two years of
my priesthood in freedom and almost three years in a prison or a concentration
camp. God has His own plans for me and surely knows why He allows all this.
I trust His plans and surrender to His will but in my heart I rebel against it all.
The question burns on my lips: And how much longer? (431).
Unfortunately, Kozowiecki had to endure this torturous odyssey for al-
most three more years. It all began, on November 10, 1939, when the Gestapo
arrested him and twenty-four of his fellow Jesuits in Krakw and impound-
ed them in a local prison without cause. Kozowiecki was only twenty-eight
years old at the time and ordained just over two years. Months later, fol-
lowing his arrest and imprisonment, a sympathetic police officer informed
him that his only crime was professing a worldview that did not please the
National Socialists (108). His agonizing journey would find him detained in
two former Polish prisons, Krakw Prison on Montelupi Street (November 10,
1939February 2, 1940) and Winicz Prison (February 3June 20, 1940) and
in two concentration camps, Auschwitz i (June 20December 10, 1940) and
Dachau (December 11, 1940April 29, 1945). Kozowiecki did not experience
freedom until precisely 5:27 pm on Sunday, April 29, 1945, a date and time he
marked for posterity, when American troops liberated Dachau. He survived
the Nazi subjugation, but one-fifth of his fellow priests from Poland, more
than 2,500 priests, did not (Jerzy Koczowski, A History of Polish Christian-
ity [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008], 301). The cruel treatment
Kozowiecki endured, left him with vivid memories. Though his captors did
not allow Kozowiecki to write while imprisoned, he recorded his experienc-
es in diary form after his liberation, while in Rome. The first edition of ten
thousand copies appeared in 1967, though Communist authorities censored
it. By this time, Kozowiecki had already worked many years as a missionary
in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), been ordained a bishop (1955), served fur-
ther as apostolic vicar (1955) and then was made archbishop of Lusaka (1959).
In 1969, Kozowiecki resigned as archbishop to return to parish ministry in
order to open the path for a native Zambian to be appointed. After the fall
of Communism, in 1995, Kozowiecki published a revision of his memoir, the
edition used for the German translation. In 1998, Pope John Paul ii honored

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Kozowiecki by creating him a cardinal, an honorary title, since he was past

the conclave voting age.
Kozowiecki divided his memoir into eight sections. In the first three briefer
sections, he offered an overview of the origins, organization, and life of prison-
ers in the concentration camps. These sections were clearly drawn from his
personal observations and experiences and, more than likely, enriched with
information from secondary sources. He never refrained from describing
the constant pangs of hunger prisoners endured due to insufficient nourish-
ment. He then recounted the German invasion of Poland and life before his
imprisonment as he and his fellow Jesuits sought safe haven from his countrys
subjugators. The remaining sections dealt with Kozowieckis four distinct ex-
periences of captivity in prisons and concentration camps. While his writing
is descriptive, it is also matter-of-fact, generally void of any literary prose that
one might find in other more widely read World War ii-era memoirs or dia-
ries. In addition, Kozowiecki often provides litanies of names of individual
priests but offers little or no background on them. During the worse years of
captivity in Dachau, generally before the autumn of 1943, such lists take on a
different meaning, this time recording priests death from torture, disease, or
exhaustion. The sheer number of such entries overwhelms and illustrates the
climate of death and destruction ever-present in the camps. Still, an English
translation, if and when one becomes available, will require significant editing
and annotating.
Striking are the different climates present in the four diverse experiences
of captivity that Kozowiecki encounters under the Germans. In Krakw and
Winicz, he faces both sadistic and sympathetic guards, the latter of whom
permit, at times, the celebration of the sacraments and preparation of pris-
oner meals by religious sisters. Regularly, Kozowiecki and his fellow priests
also enthusiastically serve in chaplaincy roles to their fellow prisoners, though
often improvising with dry Masses, celebrating Mass with no hosts or wine.
Auschwitz offers its own set of challenges throughout the ordeal. While
the SS men forbid prayer and anything that smacks of religious discourse,
Kozowiecki finds a few of them merciful. Likewise, the close quarters between
the priests and lay prisoners discourage anticlericalism and create the oppor-
tunity for bonding among them. Still, Kozowiecki describes his experience
at Auschwitz as a summer without sun, viewing his overall treatment there
much worse than at Dachau. At Auschwitz, he was allowed to bathe only two
to three times a month and to change his undergarments rarely. By contrast,
at Dachau cleanliness was emphasized more with prisoners permitted to take
baths every week, with regular changes of clothes. Work details also differed

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between the camps. At Auschwitz, prisoners worked harder and received less
nourishment and only a half-day off on Sunday while, after 1942, prisoners
at Dachau were allowed to stop work from Saturday afternoon through early
Monday morning.
Though the SS-men generally showed little sympathy to priests, they specifi-
cally created a climate in Dachau which promoted ostracization from lay pris-
oners and persecution. At times, the SS gave priests special privileges, including
larger rations, which only increased the ire of lay prisoners. Priests were also
separated from their fellow prisoners in special barracks (Blocks 26, 28, and 30).
Kozowiecki escaped some of the resentment for periods of his Dachau cap-
tivity by being sporadically assigned to barracks of mostly non-clerical pris-
oners. Likewise, he made friends and contacts through his work assignments.
No matter how much he thought he understood the nature of Dachau, the SS
seemed determined to thwart him by making decisions that had little rhyme or
reason other than to torture him and his fellow inmates. While SS guards per-
mitted Masses, only priests were allowed to attend and their length was lim-
ited. At times, the SS also separated priests of different nationalities, especially
keeping Poles away from Germans. There is scant evidence in the memoir of
sympathy between the German priests and their Polish confrres.
Kozowiecki also mentions Jews only a handful of times. In Dachau, he
eventually befriended a Jew whose name he recalls and whom he describes
as initially hostile toward priests. However, the majority of Jews he mentions
are left unnamed, whom he characterized as clever and wealthy with an ability
to purchase their freedom from prison while economically deprived Poles are
left to suffer (76, 122, 140, 594). Despite such anti-semitic rhetoric, Kozowiecki
shows awareness of the severe persecution that Jews endured by contrast to
what other groups sustained (89). Yet, the Holocaust of European Jews re-
ceives no mention in the memoir. At best, we learn in oblique references of the
disappearance of sick Dachau inmates and the construction of questionable
By the end of his almost six-year ordeal, Kozowiecki was nearly a broken
man whose nerves were, at best, on edge. Yet, somehow he endured. Unlike
many of his fellow priests, he remained healthy enough to avoid being carted
off for medical treatments and luckily escaped being chosen for medical
experiments. Regular beatings and abuse from the Kapos and guards did not
break him.
Kozowieckis memoir is an important one. It portrays prisoner life under
German captivity in significant detail. Similarly, it offers insight into prisoners
experience in the early months of Auschwitz Is existence. It also provides a
cohesive continuum of the life and captivity of one prisonera priestfrom

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the beginning of German occupation to the cessation of the war in four differ-
ent institutions of torture and imprisonment. It is a unique document for any-
one interested in the harrowing experiences of Polish Catholic clergy under
National Socialism.

Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C.

Stonehill College
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-19

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Michael M. Canaris
Francis A. Sullivan, S.J. and Ecclesiological Hermeneutics: An Exercise in Faithful
Creativity. Leiden: Brill, 2017. Pp. x+214. Hb, $124.

Francis A. Sullivan is surely one of the most underappreciated theologians of

the post-Vatican ii era. This monograph, a revision of the authors dissertation
(Fordham, 2013), therefore makes a much-needed contribution to contempo-
rary Catholic theology by highlighting Sullivans considerable contributions.
In 1989, the International Theological Commission promulgated an impor-
tant text entitled On the Interpretation of Dogma. This text provided a much
more historically conscious and hermeneutically sophisticated understanding
of the role of doctrine and dogma in the church. It also called for the recovery
and further development of the now forgotten tradition of theological notes
common to neo-Scholastic dogmatic manuals. These notes were theologi-
cal terms attached to particular doctrinal propositions, declaring the propo-
sitions precise degree of binding authority. Canariss fine study suggests that
Sullivans entire career, even prior to that documents publication, can be read
as an effort to respond to the commissions challenge. Sullivan offered a sophis-
ticated hermeneutic of magisterial statements and a perceptive theological
re-imagination of the theological notes tradition purged of its earlier rigorist,
integralist, and propositionalist approach to Church dogma (100). According
to Canaris, Sullivan advanced the theological notes tradition by drawing on
two important contemporary resources: the field of modern hermeneutics and
the theology of the Jesuit Karl Rahner.
Chapter One begins with a summary of the principal developments in the
history of modern hermeneutics. Canaris groups this material around three
distinct hermeneutical approaches: (1) a hermeneutics of authors; (2) a herme-
neutics of texts; and (3) a hermeneutics of audience/reception. Canaris associ-
ates the hermeneutics of authors with the contributions of Friedrich Schleier-
macher, Wilhelm Dilthey, and E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Text-centered approaches draw
more from the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur, and for au-
dience/reception theories, Canaris turns to the work of Robert Jauss and its
theological appropriation by the Australian theologian, Ormond Rush. Canaris
will hold that Sullivans own attention to magisterial pronouncements gives
evidence of all three approaches, thereby improving on the hermeneutically
unsophisticated stance of the dogmatic manuals.
In Chapters Two and Three Canaris demonstrates Sullivans considerable
dependence on the theological contributions of Karl Rahner. He identifies
profound continuities between the two figures around four topics: revelation,
the magisterium, dogmatic statements, and the development of doctrine (41).

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Both affirm a non-propositional theology of revelation that is universal in

scope; both insist on the necessity of the magisterium for the life of the church
but raise concerns about the need to honor the magisteriums proper limits.
Rahner and Sullivan share the conviction that dogmatic statements, display
all the characteristics of ordinary human propositions, including their limited
scope and function as symbols and liminal points of reference for realities to
which they relate or describe, but with which they do not coincide (56). This
emphasis on the human articulation of dogma helps explain, finally, why both
are convinced that authentic dogma must, by its nature, be open to change
and development. In the concluding section of Chapter Three Canaris demon-
strates how Sullivan proceeds from these shared foundations to develop cre-
atively his five-fold method for the interpretation of a doctrinal text: (1) attend
to the historical context out of which a doctrinal statement first emerged; (2)
undertake a careful exegetical analysis of the text itself, considering especial-
ly its inner coherence and intention; (3) consider the doctrinal statement in
the light of the biblical tradition; (4) consider the doctrinal statement in light
of post-biblical developments in the tradition; (5) attend to how best to ren-
der the meaning of the doctrinal statement intelligible within the horizon of
contemporary Christian faith. This third chapter concludes with a penetrating
exploration of Sullivans five-fold method in action as Canaris considers Sulli-
vans treatment of three practical cases of doctrinal interpretation: the infalli-
bility of the magisterium; the doctrinal authority of official church teaching on
artificial contraception; and the doctrinal authority of official church teaching
on the ordination of women.
The perceptive analysis of the three practical cases that concludes Chapter
Three is followed by a fourth, more extended, case study that opens Chapter
Four, namely the case of Catholicisms attitude toward the saving action of
God outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church. The author leads
the reader through Sullivans richly textured considerations of the history of
the interpretation of Cyprians axiom, extra ecclesiam nulla salus, and the
councils teaching of the relationship between the Church of Christ and
the Roman Catholic Church reflected in the famous subsistit in passage in
Lumen gentium, 8. The chapter concludes with a detailed analysis of Sullivans
theological engagement with his critics. Throughout this analysis Canaris con-
sistently draws attention to the richly hermeneutical character of Sullivans
work, emphasizing the employment of author-centered, text-centered, and
reception-centered modes of interpretation.
The monograph concludes with a brief but helpful critical assessment of
Sullivans work. While chapters three and four offered the reader an expert
guide through Sullivans corpus, Canariss insistence on seeing Sullivans work

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through the lens of the threefold hermeneutic at times felt a little heavy-
handed. Thus, it was good to read Canariss own admission that Sullivans
work relied far more on author and text-centered approaches. He also ac-
knowledges that Sullivan dealt little, if at all, with feminist and liberationist
hermeneutics of suspicion that have raised far more sweeping challenges to
the reliability of the received tradition. Finally, Canaris draws on the percep-
tive observations of Anthony Godzieba that Sullivans five-fold interpretive
method has been significantly problematized by contemporary communica-
tion technologies.
This fine volume suffers from a few minor shortcomings common to lightly
revised dissertations. The chapters that survey contemporary hermeneutics
and Rahners theology are dense and perhaps unnecessary to readers primar-
ily interested in learning more about Sullivans work. Moreover, while Sulli-
vans dependence on Rahner was well established, some readers may be less
persuaded that Sullivan was as directly influenced by contemporary herme-
neutical theory as the author suggests. In spite of these minor quibbles, Ca-
naris writes clearly and demonstrates an impressive mastery of Sullivans cor-
pus and the complex interpretive issues he engaged. As a representative of a
younger generation of scholars, Canaris gives hope that the important work of
expanding and creatively applying the theological notes tradition to the needs
of the church today will not end with the contributions of Francis Sullivan.

Richard R. Gaillardetz
Boston College
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-20

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Karl Rahner with Cornelius Ernst and Kevin Smyth, eds.

Sacramentum Mundi Online. Karen Kilby, Adviser. Leiden: Brill, 2016. Online,
$2,290. http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/browse/sacramentum-mundi.

Hardly shy about coining and employing odd phrases, Karl Rahner, S.J. used
the words gnoseological concupiscence as shorthand for the irreducible plu-
rality of ideas, interpretive frameworks, and sciences in his day. He spoke
of this gnoseological concupiscence as he reflected on the context of the
Christian theological task in the contemporary world. In contrast to the earlier
twentieth century, where so many deemed Catholic theologys principles and
protocols clearly established, the 1960s occasioned widespread recognition
among theologians that clarity was no longer forthcoming. The odd phrase
gnoseological concupiscence and the context to which it referred constitut-
ed the milieu out of which emerged Sacramentum Mundi (sm). This collab-
orative theological lexicon for praxis, as the original German subtitle put it,
served as a lengthy yet modest answer to the difficulty of the theological task
in the years surrounding Vatican ii. It set forth a Rahnerian theological vision
of sorts, given Rahners general editorship. But this vision was informed by an
international panel of theologians, among them numerous Jesuits (including
a handful of co-editors), who attempted to capture the pluralism of the cur-
rent theological-philosophical-sociological-political landscape, unified by the
capaciousness of the Catholic ethos.
Originally released roughly simultaneously in six languages (e.g., 196769
in German, 196870 in English), sm has recently been re-released in an online
format by Brill under the advisory eye of noted Rahner scholar Karen Kilby.
This online publication, in our new age of proliferating encyclopedias and
handbooks, is well timed and expertly executed. The online format suits sm
beautifully, and should be a much-appreciated aid to todays theologians as we
aim to address todays gnoseological concupiscence.
The home page promises easy navigation, and delivers. The main content,
the encyclopedia entries, are accessible alphabetically, through hyperlinked
letters, or through a tab labeled Content, under which the titles for all entries
appear in a running list on the home page. There are three other home-page
tabs: Preface to the print edition, which includes Rahners general preface
and the English translations preface by Cornelius Ernst, O.P.; Abbreviations,
which gives abbreviations for frequently referenced sources; and Background,
which presents a new, lucid introduction by Kilby.
Since sm is a massive work, spanning six volumes in English translation (four
in German), this new online version provides welcome, less weighty access to

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552 Book Reviews

its content. One can now peruse without heavy lifting, for example, the seventy-
four entries filed under the letter S. There are, though, more important ad-
vantages beyond the contrast between physical heft and virtual economy. For
readers interested in the relative scale of individual articles, word counts are
given as part of the preview for each entry and, once one selects an entry, the
word count appears at the top. I took interest in the fact that over 14,700 words
are devoted to introducing the Bible; this is by far the lengthiest entry. Cross-
references between related entries are hyperlinked at the bottom of each entry,
facilitating deeper research into certain topics. I would have relished this fea-
ture as a graduate student, when I first read widely in sm. My favorite feature
is this: one can click on the name of any entrys author, and a page appears list-
ing all of the articles by that author. This feature adds something substantial to
the experience of this text, as one can trace the contributions of noted thinkers
like Leo Scheffczyk, Heinrich Fries, Otto Semmelroth, Jrg Splett, (the young)
Walter Kasper, along with Rahner himself. The search feature also allows one
to look for names and topics that appear in the entries bibliographies. While
this reviewer remains partial to physical books, some of these navigational fea-
tures persuade me that computing technology has enhanced sm as a tool for
research, teaching, and theological learning more generally.
It must be noted, and Kilby suggests as much in her introduction (yet with
her characteristic generosity of spirit), that the particular utility of sm has
changed between 1970 and today. Given when the entries were composed
(starting in 1961), much has transpired to alter Christian theology and life, as
well as academic discourses more generally. While Rahner and his co-editors
aimed for a diverse slate of authors in terms of language and, in a few cases,
geographical location, the outlook of sm stays parochially European, almost
exclusively male, mainly clerical, and its social consciousness remarkably
stunted (the entry on poverty provides a palpable example, as does the ab-
sence of an entry on capitalism, though communism is represented). Properly
oriented readersthat is, readers who expect a snapshot of an exciting, fertile
time in Catholic thought and lifes recent pastwill be bountifully rewarded
with articles on saints, sacraments, Mariology, angels, various matters ecclesi-
astical, and a bevy of other topics that today could not be written nearly as well
as they could in the 1960s.
As Kilby rightly puts it in her new introduction, with this online platform
we can continue to benefit from the freshness, the intellectual power, and the
wisdom on display in this most fascinating of encyclopedias, coming from a
generation whose theological depth and vision has not been equaled since.
Kilby and all others involved in realizing this project have done theologians old
and, I suspect even more, young an essential service by offering a user-friendly

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means for engaging with a monument of (Jesuit) theological scholarship. Its

coherence in plurality almost five decades after its initial publication shines
brilliantly through our concupiscent conditionand, of all places, from a
computer screen.

Peter Joseph Fritz

College of the Holy Cross
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Daniel A. Robert
Recognizing the Gift: Toward a Renewed Theology of Nature and Grace. Minneapolis:
Fortress Press 2016. Pp. 278. Hb, $79.

In a recent addition to the Emerging Scholars dissertation series in theology,

Daniel Rober retraces a fault line debate about the relationship between na-
ture and grace in twentieth-century Catholic theology to renew its phenom-
enological import and uncover its political implications. Rober believes that
this classic debate has stalled in some ways and needs to be jumpstarted with
a phenomenological and political perspective. Rober takes the reader on an
impressive tour of theological and philosophical luminaries to light up a path
toward renewal in contemporary theological debates.
For Rober, the relationship between nature and grace remains just as rel-
evant today as it was in the twentieth century, however in a religiously diverse
age it is inevitably difficult to persuade people that their deepest desires are
ultimately for grace (216)especially people in situations of oppression. To
remedy this problem, Rober suggests that a new, politically focused herme-
neutic is required to make the proper connection between nature and grace.
To arrive at the details of this new hermeneutic, Rober takes the reader on a
tour of important thinkers over the past fifty years to show how discussions of
nature and grace have migrated back and forth across the boundaries of theol-
ogy and phenomenology.
Building upon the foundational insights of Henri de Lubac and Karl Rahner,
Rober turns to Hans Urs von Balthasar in search of an ontology to support an
adequate political theology of nature and grace. Rober finds an important clue
in Balthasars positive treatment of liberation theology and examines the lega-
cy of liberation theologians like Gustavo Gutirrez to connect their treatment
of gift with the previous discussion of de Lubac and Rahner, highlighting the
contours of continuity and development. Then Rober infuses a complemen-
tary account of gift and recognition from the phenomenological writings
of Jean-Luc Marion and Paul Ricoeur. This allows Rober to conclude this aerial
tour by introducing the work of Kathryn Tanner and John Milbank who are in
conversation with Marion and Ricoeur, for a more adequate turn toward the
political in contemporary debates about nature and grace.
Although the terrain covered in this book is vast and exciting, the landscape
of the book could have benefitted from a more focused and sustained reading
of the representative group of authors. Often Robers insightful stance on a giv-
en theme in an authors work risks being missed as a passing observation. For
example at the end of his chapter on Marion, Rober suggests that since Marion

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uses the word capax in his reflections on Descartes, there is a clear depen-
dence upon de Lubac (132). This is a remarkable observation that could have
appeared at the start of the chapter and the rest of the chapter could have been
dedicated to explaining why this is significant for the overall argument of the
book. At times, Robers thematic treatment of various thinkers stops abruptly
and it can leave the reader searching for how the central argument of the book
illuminates all the moving pieces in a coherent way. The closest one comes to
recognizing the books central argument is in its title; but this must be pointed
out to the reader: I will argue for a theology of nature and grace construed in
terms of recognizing the gift (xvi). Constant reference is made throughout to
an authors view of nature and grace, but Rober often does not explain what
specifically a given thinker contributes to the advancement of this debate, or
how the thinker specifically provides the missing political component. Perhaps
a sharper focus on a smaller group of representative thinkers could firm up
the concrete ressourcement connections between de Lubac, Gutirrez, Marion,
and Ricoeur (who individually get the terms grace, political, gift, and rec-
ognition out on the table). Then the reader could be shown how these treat-
ments can be used to advance contemporary discussions in political theology.
Nevertheless, readers interested in phenomenology and the topic of nature
and grace should find an illuminating companion with Robers unique book.

Joshua Furnal
Radboud University
doi 10.1163/22141332-00403007-22

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