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Jesuits: History and Legend of the Society of Jesus

by Manfred Barthel

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1141201,240 (4)None
"In the first complete and balanced history of the most powerful and controversial Catholic order, the Society of Jesus, Manfred Barthel traces the Order from its sixteenth-century origins to its perilous present, examining both its achievements and the frequent criticisms leveled against it. Begun in 1540 by a Basque whose pre-Jesuit life was most notable for gambling and philandering, the Society of Jesus has been both the most revered and the most reviled of religious orders. Carrying out the belief that the Church should go to the people rather than the people to the Church, Jesuits have traveled the world from China to the Holy Land, spreading the messages of Christ and making significant contributions in education and religious reform. Today, the Jesuits are in trouble. Membership has been falling, and the Order is again embroiled in controversy: some members, like Father Daniel Berrigan, have made headlines because of their political beliefs, and the papal mandate against birth control has put some members of the Order in the uncomfortable position of having to preach against birth control while in fact supporting it in Third World countries. Will the Society of Jesus survive? Will the order continue to figure heavily in the religious and secular events of the world? This colorful history of the Jesuits and their social and political concerns makes fascinating and relevant reading."--Jacket.… (more)
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This book is a history of the Society of Jesus of the Roman Catholic Church commonly known as the Jesuits. The book is short, easy to read and scholarly. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Jesuits and/or a history of the world in the age of exploration and beyond.
  xenchu | Jan 23, 2010 |
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"In the first complete and balanced history of the most powerful and controversial Catholic order, the Society of Jesus, Manfred Barthel traces the Order from its sixteenth-century origins to its perilous present, examining both its achievements and the frequent criticisms leveled against it. Begun in 1540 by a Basque whose pre-Jesuit life was most notable for gambling and philandering, the Society of Jesus has been both the most revered and the most reviled of religious orders. Carrying out the belief that the Church should go to the people rather than the people to the Church, Jesuits have traveled the world from China to the Holy Land, spreading the messages of Christ and making significant contributions in education and religious reform. Today, the Jesuits are in trouble. Membership has been falling, and the Order is again embroiled in controversy: some members, like Father Daniel Berrigan, have made headlines because of their political beliefs, and the papal mandate against birth control has put some members of the Order in the uncomfortable position of having to preach against birth control while in fact supporting it in Third World countries. Will the Society of Jesus survive? Will the order continue to figure heavily in the religious and secular events of the world? This colorful history of the Jesuits and their social and political concerns makes fascinating and relevant reading."--Jacket.

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