International Symposium on Jesuit Studies - Engaging the World: The Jesuits and their Presence in Global History
The 2020 International Symposium on Jesuit Studies is co-organized by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College and Brotéria in Lisbon, in partnership with the Catholic University of Portugal.
It was from Portugal that the first Jesuit missionary left to evangelize. It was in Portugal that the Jesuits founded their first regional province. From this geographically small country, thousands of Jesuits departed to engage with people and environments on a global scale. Portugal, therefore, assumes a highly symbolic position in the history of the Jesuits’ engagement with the world.
Scattered around the globe for nearly five centuries of evangelization, Jesuit missionaries adopted different strategies to communicate with local communities. They were pivotal cultural mediators, serving as cartographers, astronomers, ethnographers, and anthropologists. But they were also artists capable of adapting to local styles, translators and grammarians of native languages, and correspondents who conveyed images of societies previously unknown to European audiences. They managed diplomatic affairs, fostered commerce, and accompanied scientific voyages. They published journals, treatises, biographies, travel logs, and maps, and they participated in worldwide networks circulating literature and art.
This symposium will investigate how such a global engagement developed over time, how it varied from place to place, and how it was similar in different environments. Proposals are welcomed from across thematic, chronological, and disciplinary boundaries that address methods or instruments the Jesuits used to engage the world and its natural or societal environs.
Wednesday, June 17 to 12:00am
Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon