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The Jesuits: A History from Ignatius to the Present
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The Jesuits: A History from Ignatius to the Present

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
As Pope Francis continues to make his mark on the church, there is increased interest in his Jesuit background—what is the Society of Jesus, how is it different from other religious orders, and how has it shaped the world? In The Jesuits acclaimed historian John W. O’Malley, SJ, provides essential historical background from the founder Ignatius of Loyola through the ...more
Hardcover, 150 pages
Published October 16th 2014 by Rowman & Littlefield
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Apr 25, 2015 Louise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church-history
This book was just what I was looking for since the election of Pope Francis. It provides a brief history of the Jesuits, an order with a long and complex history.

John O'Malley shows how the ideals of the founders continue to guide Jesuits today. Traditional vows of poverty, obedience and chastity were supplemented by a missionary zeal. The monastic life of 1540 (praying, chanting and self flagellation) was not for them. Jesuits would be in the world.

Members worked towards their goals by buildin
Feb 18, 2016 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, lent-read
Ok, really loved this book.

Confession time: I am not a Catholic, I am one of those dreaded Protestants, but I went to a Jesuit college. What can I say, I'm open minded like that. I met some SUPER kick butt priests who were teachers there and I developed a very healthy respect for them and Jesuits as a whole. I'm kind of partial to education and everyone getting one and they are on the same page, so it was a relationship that was meant to be.

This was a very brief history of the Jesuits, but it
Peter Davids
Jan 13, 2015 Peter Davids rated it it was amazing
If one wants a detailed history of the Jesuits, then go to the bibliography of this book and you will find plenty of them. If you want an informed, briefer history of the Jesuits, this is a great book. It narrates the ups and downs. It shows how the society changed over the years. It corrects some major misunderstandings. Yes, it often only alludes to issues or summarizes, but that is the nature of a brief history. One gets the big picture. Later one may wish to pick up the tomes noted in this ...more
Jul 21, 2015 John rated it it was ok
I decided that since I attend a Jesuit institution, maybe I should read a book about the history of the Jesuits. I feel a little bad about giving this a low rating, since I checked it out specifically because it was a short history of the Jesuits, but I really ended up thinking it was a bit too short. I mean, 500 years of history in about 115's not that I didn't learn anything, but it felt like the author was just rocketing through the material. And I still feel confused about some ...more
Maria Beltrami
Brief historical essay on the religious order of the moment, that to which belongs Pope Francis. Written in a simple style, that can not hide the personal pride of those who write against his own Company, extols the merits of the Jesuits and attributes much of the shadows cast on the order to the human envy, lust for power and poor understanding of the world in general.
I'm obviously not able to operate any form of criticism about what is told, so I will only say that the book is well-written, in
Italo Italophiles
Oct 08, 2014 Italo Italophiles rated it it was amazing
A History from Ignatius to the Present is the subtitle of this book, a brief but entertaining and informative history of the Roman Catholic religious order most people know via their schools, retreats, lectures and scholarly works, and now via Pope Francis: The Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.

Here is the book's Table of Contents, to give you an idea of what's covered:
1. Important Dates in the History of the Society of Jesus
2. Foundations
3. The First Hundred Years
4. Consolidation, controversy, Cal
Sep 16, 2016 Angie rated it liked it
This book covers the history of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) from its inception to the present day pope. The history of the Jesuits is an interesting and controversial one. They were disbanded by the Catholic Church at one time and made many enemies throughout history. They also did a lot of good as their missions spread throughout the world and they opened thousands of schools and universities. The book is written by a Jesuit priest and his bias does show through. The Jesuits are never shown ...more
Pam Cipkowski
Mar 01, 2015 Pam Cipkowski rated it really liked it
Shelves: catholicism
A lot of interest has been shown in the Jesuits over the past few years, since Pope Francis is a member of this Catholic religious order. This book provides a short, concise history for those who are interested in learning a little more about the Jesuits, but by no means is it a comprehensive account. Its brevity is enough to keep a casual reader's interest, but it also means topics such as the murders of the Jesuit priests and their housekeepers in El Salvador in 1989 are glossed over in just ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Mandy rated it liked it
A concise and readable account of the Jesuits from their beginnings to the present day. Accessible and succinctly written, I found it both enlightening and informative. As it’s written by a Jesuit priest, the reader must bear in mind that it might be an unbalanced view of the activities of the Jesuits over the centuries, but I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on that aspect of the book. For an overview, though, I recommend it, and I certainly have a much better understanding now of the ...more
Jun 19, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A readable, concise history of the Jesuits. It focused on the society, not on individual people, which was interesting. I was a bit worried it would be rather preachy or overly positive, but it was neither.

Received from NetGalley.
Brad Melius
Dec 29, 2014 Brad Melius rated it really liked it
This is a very concise, readable history of the Jesuits and their tradition. I have a few Jesuit themed books, and this is the best of the bunch.
Nov 19, 2016 Henk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Een goede basis inleiding
Zeb Kantrowitz
Jun 24, 2014 Zeb Kantrowitz rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-read
I found to my disappointment that Father O’Malley wasn’t going to go into anything but that which put the Jesuits in the best light. Even when he writes about the two times that the Society of Jesus was proscribed, they still come out shining in the end. Beginning with St. Ignatius and his original five companions, the story is told in a very offhanded way. Things come and go, they prosper and are then disbanded, but rise again, better and stronger.

There’s nothing wrong with the structure of the
Dec 23, 2014 MeriBeth rated it liked it
While The Jesuits is a very readable history of one of the most famous of the Roman Catholic Religious Orders, it is also extremely biased right from the beginning more than likely due to the fact that the author is a member of the Jesuits himself. Thus, he always portrays his religious order in the best possible light and glosses over any potential controversial topics or avoids them completely rather than confront the actions which the Jesuits took at the time. Thus, the Jesuits are written as ...more
Philip Palios
Aug 18, 2016 Philip Palios rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Writing a concise history, especially of such a large, complex and widespread order, is no small task. I am very impressed with how effectively Fr. O'Malley has outlined the history of the Jesuits in just over 100 pages. I don't think there is any better book out there for those seeking an introduction and basic understanding of who the Jesuits are and what they've been doing for the past 450+ years.
Aug 08, 2016 Jos rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
a rather dry overview of the history. advantage is that it is a short read. all facts are in there. it gave me at least a better insights why these men are "special" and why they focussen so much on education. i was most impressed with their "reductions" in Latin America.
Feb 03, 2015 Yolanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: dove
I learned quite a bit from this book, but it is really more of an overview like the jacket states. I did get a good list of subjects to read about from it, so that is always a plus.
Thomas Flowers
Thomas Flowers rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2015
Dan rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2015
Sean Duffy
Sean Duffy rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2014
Sean rated it liked it
Jan 11, 2016
Greg Gaffney
Greg Gaffney rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2015
Nicole rated it liked it
May 15, 2016
Jul 07, 2015 Peter added it
Shelves: history
A very accessible introduction to the history of the Society of Jesus. Would make a great gift.
Ann Busbey
Dec 04, 2014 Ann Busbey rated it liked it
Some interesting stuff here although tedious at times. I would give it 2.5 stars if possible.
Alec Hufford
Alec Hufford rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2016
Katie rated it really liked it
Jun 06, 2015
Stephanie Celustka
Stephanie Celustka rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2016
Nicholas Carbone
Nicholas Carbone rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2014
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“ lead an individual along a spiritual path consonant with the person's gifts and personality...[The Jesuit training of novitiates and lay students]” 1 likes
“ become a Christian one did not have to become a European. [Jesuit mission philosophy]” 0 likes
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