Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu

A few years ago, over lunch in an Indian restaurant near Harvard Square, I learned that one of the best examples of organizational agility was founded in 1540 through a papal bull issued by Pope Paul III. My lunch companion was Father John W. O’Malley, (pictured left) a leading historian of the Renaissance church, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Jesuit priest.

O’Malley spent years researching the early decades of the Society of Jesus, often refered to as the Jesuits, poring over the Monumenta Historica Societatis Iesu, a 157 volume record of the early years of the Jesuit order including letters from the founding members, rules and directives, and quarterly reports on the state of the order. O’Malley’s research resulted in The First Jesuits, the definitive study of the first quarter century of the order, which won the American Philosophical Society’s prize for the best cultural history published that year. O’Malley’s book strips away many of the stereotypes and misconceptions that have surrounded the Jesuits over the centuries, and presents an unvarnished account of the foundation and early decades of the order.

Link (here) to Don Sull's blog at the Financial Times

No comments: