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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Jesuits

Thomas Worcester (editor)

Founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has been praised as a saintly god-send and condemned as the work of Satan. With some 600 entries written by 110 authors – those inside and outside the order – this encyclopedia opens up the complexities of Jesuit history and explores the current life and work of this Catholic religious order and its global vocation. Approximately 230 entries are biographies, focusing on key people in Jesuit history, while the majority of the entries focus on Jesuit ideals, concepts, terminology, places, institutions, and events. With some 70 illustrations highlighting the centrality of visual images in Jesuit life, this encyclopedia is a comprehensive volume providing accessible and authoritative coverage of the Jesuits’ life and work across the continents during the last five centuries.


‘This book is a terrific introduction to one of the most consequential organizations in modern history. The range of topics and the insight of the contributors makes it an indispensable source for all things Jesuit but also useful for an understanding of global Catholicism.’
John McGreevy – University of Notre Dame, Indiana

‘A unique volume in the English-speaking world, and thus a very welcome contribution to scholarship, the Encyclopedia is an extremely useful guide with a careful and thoughtful selection of entries – including a variety of typical ‘Jesuit jargon’ – discussed by leading specialists in the field. The information provided in this reference work accurately reflects the way the Jesuits themselves conceive of the various aspects of their Order.’
Rob Fassen, SJ – Jesuit Chair, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

‘Finally, a one-stop, updated reference on Jesuits! If you come to consult ‘Ricci’, ‘universities’, ‘art’, or ‘Goa’, you may be surprised to also find ‘Voltaire’, ‘women’, ‘scandal’, and ‘anti-Semitism’. This work is as self-conscious as it is thorough, a credit to the many contributors, Jesuit and otherwise, who chose to forward the Society’s Achilles’ heels along with its best foot.’
Karin Vélez – Macalester College, Minnesota

‘This impressive compilation, the work of over 110 authors, is an indispensable resource for students and researchers of all things Jesuit. From history to spirituality to contemporary topics related to the Society of Jesus, its concise entries and helpful bibliographies are an essential starting point in learning more about the Jesuits.’
John Meehan, SJ – Campion College, Canada

‘This book serves as an valuable resource for those working in the burgeoning field of Jesuit History, as well as for those simply interested in learning about all things Jesuit.’
Robert Bireley, SJ – Professor Emeritus, Loyola University Chicago

‘The Encyclopedia provides those interested in Jesuit studies a helpful tool … The work is global in scope, academic in nature, and enjoyable to read.’
Michael W. Maher Source: Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu


Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: August 2017
ISBN: 9781139032780
Pages: 876 pp.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139032780


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