JESU/EDUC 7131 - Social Justice in Jesuit Contexts

This three-credit, graduate-level online course examines the way social justice has been understood in the Society of Jesus over the centuries. Students will learn how the Society has developed its mission in support of creating a “preferential option for the poor” and how they understood their core value of the “service of faith and promotion of justice.”

father pedro arrupe washing the feet of a boy

Course Summary

The Social Apostolate of the Society of Jesus has developed in a variety of ways over the centuries according to the diverse contexts where Jesuits have operated as agents of “social justice.” This class offers students both a broad and deep understanding of: 1) How the Society of Jesus developed its mission in support of creating a “preferential option for the poor”; 2) How the Society understood its role to promote liberation from oppression in diverse social environments; 3) What kind of services have been activated by the Society of Jesus in order to fulfill its core values of “the service of faith and promotion of justice”; and 4) How social justice is pursued through pedagogy and practices by Jesuit and Ignatian schools today, given the significant involvement of the Jesuits with formal education on a global scale. The course is designed to foster deep and meaningful conversation among students. It will include individual and collective readings and video-conferences with leaders and teachers of Jesuit schools around the world, deepening students’ knowledge of current practices and stimulating dialogue.


About the Instructor

Cristiano Casalini

Cristiano Casalini, Ph.D.
Research Scholar of the Institute

Cristiano Casalini, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Endowed Chair in Jesuit Pedagogy and Educational History, and a Research Scholar with the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College. He teaches History of Jesuit Pedagogy, Social Justice in Jesuit Contexts, and Philosophy of Education. Casalini’s field of research is mainly early modern education and especially Jesuit education. He has worked on critical texts and commentaries of 16th and 17th century classics of education, especially in and around the Jesuit order. He is currently working of editing educational writings and documents as produced by Jesuit during the early modern period. He recently edited a collective volume on Jesuit Philosophy on the Eve of Modernity (Leiden-Boston, 2019). He also provided with Claude Pavur the first volume of a series devoted to the history of Jesuit pedagogy, entitled Jesuit Pedagogy. A Reader (1540–1616) (Boston: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2016). He also wrote a book on the Cursus Conimbricensis and the education at the Jesuit college of Coimbra (Rome: Anicia, 2012; and, in Portuguese, Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, 2015; in English, New York: Routledge, 2017), which was awarded with the Prémio Joaquím de Carvalho, 2016. Casalini serves as editor-in-chief of a series published by Brill on History of Early Modern Educational Thought.

Course Offering

To see what courses are being offered this year, please visit the enrollment page.