For those interested...

Robert Peter Burns rburns at chaph.usc.edu
Sun Nov 5 23:46:59 MST 1995


 
 Okay, in a Proyectian mode, I shall declare this
 as my last post of 1995 on the subject of Jesuitica.
 
 Also in the National Jesuit News <see my "Quarks"
 post> there is a review of a new book called THE JESUIT
 MYSTIQUE <I agree, it's a pretentious title> by
 Douglas Letson and Michael Higgins, published by Loyola
 University Press, Chicago, 276 pages, $24.95.

 Some excerpts from the review:
 
 	This is a book to end all books on the Jesuit mystique,
 at least for the next few decades.  Written by the president
 and dean of the University of St Jerome's College in Waterloo,
 Ontario, it is beautifully designed, profusely illustrated,
 and fast-paced.  Almost everything good that can be said about
 the Society <of Jesus> in the late 20th century is said here,
 although the authors do not back away from the weaknesses now
 present in the Society and the threats that lie in the future.
 	After an opening chapter on Jesuit history concentrating
 on the first and the last half-century of the Society's existence
 they devote five chapters to Jesuits as spiritual directors, 
 liberationists, educators, wordsmiths and scholars.  Their account
 is enlivened throughout by excerpts from interviews with Jesuits
 in Canada, California, New York, England, St. Louis, Poland, 
 Jamaica, Ireland and Central America among other places
 <snip>
 A few years back an English peer, Lord Rawlinson, a devout Catholic
 and a distinguished jurist, did a show for the British Broadcasting
 Corporation, which later became a book, THE JESUIT FACTOR, A PERSONAL
 INVESTIGATION.  He saw the Jesuits as failing in their purpose and 
 untrue to their founder.  For this he blamed Pedro Arrupe <the 
 Superior General of the Jesuits from 1965-1982> and the famous
 Decree Four of the 32nd General Congregation on the service of
 faith and the promotion of justice <the decree said that
 challenging structural injustice and transforming social
 structures in the direction of justice was central to the Jesuit
 mission--PB>.  Letson and Higgins could not disagree more.  They
 see Arrupe and Decree Four as the source of Jesuit renewal in the
 modern world, though they also value the Society's educational 
 and scholarly work.  They even allow Joseph Fessio his say <an
 archconservative Jesuit based in San Francisco--he's never
 been allowed to take his final vows as a Jesuit--PB>
 <end>

 Peter Burns SJ
 rburns at scf.usc.edu


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