Western Jesuit Scholars in India: Tracing Their Paths, Reassessing Their Goals
Francis X Clooney SJ
Parkman Professor of Divinity, Harvard University
January 21, 2021
9:20-10:00 EST | 15:20-16:00 CET | 19:50-20:30 IST | 22:20-23:00 CST
Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies
Boston College, Massachusetts
Francis X Clooney SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, is a scholar of classical theological texts in the Sanskrit and Tamil traditions of Hinduism, and a pioneer in the field of Catholic comparative theology. But in the course of his nearly 50 years of visits to India for teaching, study, and research, he has explored instances of the work of Jesuit scholars from the West — from Roberto de Nobili to the famed Calcutta Indologists of the early 20th century — who encountered Hindu traditions in some depth.
As both a Jesuit and an Indologist, his goal has been to look deeply into these Jesuit accomplishments, but also into the Hindu materials studied, to assess the successes and limitations of this distinctive Jesuit scholarship. In 2020 he published in the Brill Jesuit Studies series the volume entitled Western Jesuit Scholars in India, which collects in one place 15 of his pertinent essays and book chapters, from the 1980s to 2016. In this Café, he will propose several main insights he has gleaned in his decades of study, with an eye also to what this tells us about the nature of Jesuit scholarship more generally in today’s increasingly pluralistic world.
The Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies and its collaborating partners at the University of Lisbon and the Italian German Historical Institute, invite you to join informal conversations with the world’s preeminent scholars working on the history, spirituality, and educational heritage of the Society of Jesus. These discussions – hosted by the Institute over coffee and available via Zoom videoconference on the third Thursday of the month – are unique opportunities to learn more about the newest and most interesting scholarship in Jesuit Studies.