Pedro Arrupe: Witness of the Twentieth Century, Prophet of the Twenty-First

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Pedro Miguel Lamet
495 pp, bibl., index
Publication Date:
IJS Studies - Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus
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Product Overview

The renown of few contemporary church figures has grown as much over time as that of the charismatic General of the Jesuits, Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991). Born into a bourgeois family in the industrial city of Bilbao, he studied medicine in Madrid, but after several years of study he left medical school to join the Society of Jesus, where decisive events awaited him. Expelled from Spain during the Republic, Arrupe was a citizen of the world by vocation and formation. During World War II he worked as a missionary in Japan, where he was accused of being a spy and imprisoned. He directly witnessed the explosion of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and he used his medical knowledge to attend to the victims.

In his position as Superior General he became one of the most captivating agents of change in the Church of the 20th century. At the same time he was a prophet for the 21st century, which he anticipated with many of his brilliant intuitions regarding justice, education, racism, globalization, the marginalization of women, and the plight of refugees and drug addicts. In the last fifty years, nearly one hundred Jesuits, inspired by Arrupe’s insistence on both service of faith and promotion of justice, have given their lives for defending the poor.

Pedro Miguel Lamet researched Arrupe’s life for five years in Rome, Japan, and the Basque Country, and he had the privilege of spending many hours conversing with Arrupe after he had suffered a debilitating stroke. Drawing on a vast variety of sources, Lamet has written this entertaining and captivating biography, which has been revised several times and is already a classic, available now for the first time in English. Fr. Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., the 30th Superior General of the Society of Jesus states in the prologue, "this biography has the merit of being the very first to trace with fidelity [Pedro Arrupe's] human and spiritual profile and to make it available to a larger public."

This book is part of the Jesuit Sources imprint, IJS Studies: Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus.


Editorial Reviews

"A magisterial biography of one of the great Christians of our time."  
     - James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything



Prologue: The Magis of Father Arrupe, by Adolfo Nicolás, S.J.

Introduction to the New Edition: The Twenty-Five Years of a Book

1. The Hourless Day

2. The Adventures of “Peru”

3. From Doctor to Jesuit

4. Rebirth in Loyola

5. All Is Horizon

6. From Cleveland to Yokohama

7. That Incredible Japan

8. An Exceptional Pastor

9. Light in the Prison

10. The Novice Master

11. The Bomb

12. Condemned to Live

13. Leader of a World in Miniature

14. General for a Council

15. The Contentious Sixties

16. In the Crater of a Volcano

17. The Great Option

18. Profile of an Eagle

19. The Resignation

20. Silence Speaks

Epilogue: Prophet of the Twenty-First Century

Appendix 1: Genealogical Tree of Father Arrupe (SP 541)

Appendix 2: Letter of Father Arrupe, January 3, 1983 (SP 542)

Appendix 3: Be Good




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  • 5
    Pedro Arrupe: Witness of the Twentieth Century

    Posted by Dennis Felicetta on Mar 1st 2021

    Delighted to now own the book

  • 5
    Fr Pedro Arrupe

    Posted by Eric Nubla on Feb 27th 2021

    He was General when I entered the Society. The book is full of meaningful insights and information that has helped me know and love Fr Arrupe in a new way. A most relevant model for all during our challengingly context

  • 5
    pedro arrupe

    Posted by Brian McInerney on Feb 26th 2021

    a wonderful book and great ordering and arrival from jesuit resources thanks

  • 5
    Pedro Arrupe: Witness of...........

    Posted by Charles Tommasulo on Feb 26th 2021

    Outstanding read - great history lesson Nd reflection. We are missing such a person in the American church with few exceptions!