The volume theme is the distinctiveness of Jesuits and their ministries that was discussed at the first International Symposium on Jesuit Studies held at Boston College’s Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies in June 2015. It explores the
quidditas Jesuitica, or the specifically Jesuit way(s) of proceeding in which Jesuits and their colleagues operated from historical, geographical, social, and cultural perspectives. The collection poses a question whether there was an essential core of distinctive elements that characterized the way in which Jesuits lived their religious vocation and conducted their various works and how these ways of proceeding were lived out in the various epochs and cultures in which Jesuits worked over four and a half centuries; what changed and adapted itself to different times and situations, and what remained constant, transcending time and place, infusing the apostolic works and lives of Jesuits with the charism at the source of the Society of Jesus’s foundation and development.
"Conversion" is a basic religious concept, which has manifold implications for our everyday lives. Ran Tene's
Changes in Ethical Worldviews of Spanish Missionaries in Mexico utilizes a cross-disciplinary methodology in which the fields of Philosophy, History, and Literary Studies are drawn upon to analyze conversion. He focuses on two moments in Spanish writing about Mexican missions, the early to mid-sixteenth century writings of the Spanish missionaries to Mexico and the early seventeenth century manuscripts of the author/copyist Fray Juan de Torquemada. The analysis exposes changes in worldviews - including the concepts of identity, ownership, and cruelty - through missionary eyes. It suggests two theoretical models - the vision model and the model of touch - to describe these changes, which are manifested in the missionary project and in the texts that it (re)produced.