2025 - Lima


The Societal Engagements of the Jesuits: Historical Perspectives           

Lima, Peru | May 27–29, 2025

International Symposium on Jesuit Studies 2025

Social engagements are foundational to the Society of Jesus. The Formula of the Institute (1550) states that Jesuits were to be “ready to reconcile the estranged, compassionately assist and serve those in prisons or hospitals, and indeed to perform any other works of charity, according to what will seem expedient for the glory of God and the common good.”

The International Symposium on Jesuit Studies, organized by the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College
and Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya in Lima, Peru, aims to widen the historical understanding and appreciation
of the Society’s social endeavors over the course of its history. In order to overcome the idea that the social apostolate had its origins in the social and cultural upheavals of the second half of the twentieth century, the Symposium seeks to track and map the continuity of the Jesuits’ social and cultural exchanges as they flowed from the Order’s historical origins to the present moment.

Presentations might address questions such as these: What are examples and strategies that Jesuits implemented through works of mercy in different contexts (prisons, hospitals, orphanages, for example)? How did Jesuits manage the encounter with cultures perceived as “other” (reductions, reservations, rural areas)? How did Jesuits reflect upon their social endeavors through publications, translations, and their official documents? How did the social engagements of the Society develop through the various apostolates (like peacemaking and reconciliation)? Are there overlooked, unknown, understudied examples (individual or institutional) that have been neglected that exemplify in history the social commitment of Jesuits that are worthy of further consideration? What are strategies and examples of Jesuit interactions with different layers of society (the elite, the working class, the learned) and how did those interactions impact their way of proceeding? What was the social impact of the Society’s educational initiatives? How did educational works impact society and the conversion of the populations’ consciousness of the needs of the poor? How did the concept of “the common good” develop over time within Jesuit contexts? Were socially-related initiatives mostly ad hoc or were stable institutions established? If the latter, what were the structures and successes of those put into a kind of institutional form?

Proposals and a narrative CV are due before the end of Monday, December 2, 2024. Selected papers may be peer-reviewed and published in open access following the event. More details are available at bc.edu/iajs. Submissions should be made through this form. Contact the Institute with questions (iajs@bc.edu). 





Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies