Jesuits and the Book of Nature

Science and Education in Modern Portugal


Jesuits and the Book of Nature: Science and Education in Modern Portugal offers an account of the Jesuits’ contributions to science and education after the restoration of the Society of Jesus in Portugal in 1858. As well as promoting an education grounded on an “alliance between religion and science,” the Portuguese Jesuits founded a scientific journal that played a significant role in the consolidation of taxonomy, plant breeding, biochemistry, and molecular genetics. In this book, Francisco Malta Romeiras argues that the priority the Jesuits placed on the teaching and practice of science was not only a way of continuing a centennial tradition but should also be seen as response to the adverse anticlerical milieu in which the restoration of the Society of Jesus took place.

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Francisco Malta Romeiras, PhD (2014), is a research fellow at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Lisbon. He has published widely on Jesuit science and education, including Jesuítas em Portugal depois de Pombal: História ilustrada (Cascais: Lucerna, 2018).
"Francisco Malta Romeiras offers a worthy contribution to the vast and still growing body of scholarship on Jesuit science from a rather original standpoint: modern Portugal [...] The book is a very informative, if rather descriptive, contribution to the history of Catholic science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries [...] Jesuits and the Book of Nature thus offers an engaging collective portrait of four generations of men of science and faith, shedding light on a myriad of better- and lesser-known figures and facts and bringing them to the attention of a wide international scholarly audience; it is certainly a very welcome contribution to a thriving field of investigation."

Maria Pia Donato, CNRS Paris, in Isis, 112.2 (2021)
(full review:
List of Abbreviations
List of Figures and Tables

1 Jesuit Science and Education: A Brief History
2 The Pombaline Expulsion and the Building of Anti-Jesuitism
3 Carlos Rademaker and the Restoration of the Society of Jesus in Portugal
4 For the Greater Credibility: Science and Education in Modern Portugal
5 The Republican Exile and the Confiscation of the Natural History Collections
6 The Journal Brotéria, the Book of Nature, and the Greater Glory of God
7 The Journal Brotéria: Vulgarização científica and the Popularization of Science, Technology, and Medicine
8 Taxonomy, Cytogenetics, and Plant Breeding in the Early Years of Estado Novo
9 New Lenses to Read the Book of Nature: Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, and Bioethics

All interested in Jesuit science and education, anti-Jesuitism, history of science, and the history of modern Portugal.
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