The conference, "The Jesuits: Culture, Learning and the Arts, 1540-1773," drew more than 150 scholars from around the world to campus, where they offered new perspectives on the Society of Jesus' historic contributions to culture and the arts. Assoc. Prof. T. Frank Kennedy, SJ (Music), who co-organized the event and co-edited the conference papers, said the book, The Jesuits: Cultures, Sciences and the Arts, 1540-1773 , will likely be available around the summer of 1999.
The conference offered a more wide-ranging study of Jesuitana with a multidisciplinary focus, Fr. Kennedy said. Its itinerary ranged from presentations on Jesuit ballet in 18th century Paris to the influence of the Chinese on Jesuit corporate culture.
"We felt the conference charted a new path," Fr. Kennedy said. "Most of the people involved were laypeople, and brought a number of different perspectives and backgrounds with them. We were seeking to address new questions of historiography in relation to the Jesuits, looking at aspects of the society's history from other vantage points. The hope is that the publication of The Jesuits will help build interest in similar endeavors.
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