Jesuit Schools and Universities in Europe, 1548–1773

Brill's Research Perspectives in Jesuit Studies


Paul F. Grendler, noted historian of European education, surveys Jesuit schools and universities throughout Europe from the first school founded in 1548 to the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773. The Jesuits were noted educators who founded and operated an international network of schools and universities that enrolled students from the age of ten through doctoral studies. The essay analyzes the organization, curriculum, pedagogy, culture, financing, relations with civil authorities, enrollments, and social composition of students in Jesuit pre-university schools. Grendler then explains Jesuit universities. The Jesuits governed and did all the teaching in small collegiate universities. In large civic-Jesuit universities the Jesuits taught the humanities, philosophy, and theology, while lay professors taught law and medicine. The article provides examples ranging from the first Jesuit school in Messina, Sicily, to universities across Europe. It features a complete list of Jesuit schools in France.
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Paul F. Grendler, Professor of History Emeritus of the University of Toronto, has published ten books, six on education in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe. He has received many fellowships and awards, including the International Galileo Galilei Prize, the Paul Oskar Kristeller Lifetime Achievement Award and the George E. Ganss, S.J., Award in Jesuit Studies.
“Grendler has provided a concise, readable, and informative introduction to a complex topic. […] Jesuit Schools is a highly accessible and informative resource on early Jesuit education that will benefit students and scholars alike.”
Sam Zeno Conedera, S.J., Saint Louis University. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (Spring 2020), pp. 326–328.

“An eminent historian of Renaissance education, Grendler has produced a much-needed outline and analysis of an under-studied topic. It is intended for a more academic audience, while its brevity makes it suitable for an undergraduate or general reader. […] Despite the challenges of a varied and multi-language source base, and a Europe-wide scope, Grendler has produced a thoroughly detailed and useful but, above all, interesting and readable work.”
Emily Chambers, University of Nottingham. In: History of Education [DOI: 10.1080/0046760X.2019.1651408 (published online 8 Aug. 2019)]

“Grendler is a specialist of the history of education in early modern Italy. A complement to his more voluminous works on that topic, this handbook quickly orients the reader to two types of Jesuit educational institutions in Europe: schools and universities.”
Thomas Worcester, S.J., Regis College, Toronto. In: Journal of Jesuit Studies, Vol. 7, No. 4 (2020), pp. 661–663.

“This short work is an accessible, direct, and clear survey of Jesuit education before the suppression that links the universities to the foundational work of the schools. It aims at an academic readership, but it would be suitable for use in college courses. By highlighting the schools, the book makes original contributions and also points the way to fertile sources and questions for research. In these ways, both the specialist and the novice can profit by it.”
Robert J. Porwoll, Gustavus Adolphus College. In: Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 53, No. 1 (2022), pp. 238⁠–⁠239.

Jesuit Schools and Universities in Europe, 1548–1773
Paul F. Grendler
 Part 1: Schools
 Part 2: Universities
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