The Jesuits: A Thematic History

(1 review) Write a Review
Claudio Ferlan
Publication Date:
IJS Studies - Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus
Adding to cart… The item has been added

Product Overview

In this volume, Claudio Ferlan provides an exploration of the tradition of the Society of Jesus. Instead of focusing solely on the Society’s historical milestones and changes, Ferlan traces the continuity of key Jesuit themes over time—covering education, mission, social engagement, and more. The book moves between different periods and places, emphasizing how core Jesuit themes have retained their essence despite profound transformations in the Society and the world. Whether the reader is a scholar in Jesuit studies or simply interested in the Society’s history, the book offers an analysis of one of the enduring religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church. 

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


Editorial Reviews

"From its inception to Pope Bergoglio's tenure, Ferlan immerses himself in the annals of the Ignatian Order, traversing its journey from the sixteenth century to the contemporary era, accentuating both disruptions and enduring threads. Departing from a Eurocentric viewpoint, he presents a portrayal of the Society that sheds the veneer of apologetic interpretations and dispels the biases of ideological anti-Jesuitism. What emerges is a revitalized historiographical depiction of one of the Church of Rome's most significant and enduring paradoxes"

     -Flavio Rurale, University of Udine


"Ferlan offers an important refresh for scholars of Jesuit history by fundamentally reordering the way we look at it. This book may well be the theoretical Monumenta for our own time. Future scholars will need this road map to explain the significance of Jesuit history to others."

    -Ryan W. Booth, Washington State University


"The more the historiography of the Society of Jesus expands in time and space, and the more this expansion shakes the walls of a compact, even autarchic institutional history, the more important it is to recall, with competence, concision and distance, what remains the exceptionality of this congregation in the history of the modern and contemporary worlds. Claudio Ferlán has set himself this goal, and achieved it. This book can be recommended to all those who, today, wonder why so many historians are still interested in the "Jesuits"."

  - Pierre Antoine Fabre, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris


"Claudio Ferlan has written a wonderfully synoptic account of Jesuit history from the foundations of the Society of Jesus in the sixteenth century to the present day. The Jesuits: a Thematic History furnishes a valuable brief introduction to the institutional fortunes of the Society and the activities of its members across the globe. The book offers an overview of the general contours of the Society’s history spiked with up-close examples illustrating the dynamic realities of Jesuit life."

  - Dr. Paul Nelles, Associate Professor, Department of History, Carleton University, Canada 


"A real tour de force providing the reader a thematic overview on the Society of Jesus. An indispensable tool for those who want to dive into the multisecular history of the Jesuits".

  - Dr. Hélène Vu Thanh, Université Bretagne-Sud/Institut universitaire de France


Ferlan presents familiar moments of Jesuit history in a fresh way by focusing on the continuity of four themes across the centuries.  With his crisp and well-paced narrative, he enlivens the Jesuit tradition for readers today and makes enlightening connections across ages and continents, which can be easy to miss in the usual chronology of events and people.  Reading Ferlan’s thematic history of the Jesuits is time very well spent for anyone wishing to know more about a 500-year-old religious order that has had such a significant impact on the Church and the world.

  - Kevin O’Brien, S.J., author of The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life


(1 review) Write a Review

1 Review Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    The Jesuits, A thematic History

    Posted by Fr. Jim LaCasse, S.J. on Apr 11th 2024

    I am greatly enjoying this book. It is easy to read, but clearly reflects extensive research.