Review by Choice Review
Worcester has assembled an impressively eclectic and well-versed group of 17 essayists--Jesuits and non-Jesuits with diverse cultural perspectives and academic specialties. The book's 18 essays are divided into five sections, with four addressing the period from Ignatius of Loyola to the 18th-century Jesuit suppression and, somewhat disappointingly, only one covering the work of Jesuits from the suppression to today. Worcester attributes the imbalance to "relatively few good studies of the Jesuits since 1814." Throughout the volume, questions involving external and internal governance, cultural appropriation, and intellectual, artistic, and spiritual endeavor frame an engaging summary of the historically contextualized Jesuit struggle to meaningfully serve "for the greater glory of God." Contributors offer studies of general themes through illustrative cases in each of the five divisions, including Philip Endean on the central importance of Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises; Louis Caruana's delineation of Jesuit responses to the scientific revolution within the confines of Church restriction; and Gerald McKevitt's tracing of the development of Jesuit secondary and higher education institutions in the US. Articles, which serve as accessible glimpses into particular moments in the Jesuit record, can stand usefully on their own or merge into a greater mosaic of evolving and dynamic Jesuit life. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above. C. A. Montevecchio Mercyhurst College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.