Instruments of the Divinity

Praxis and Providence in the Society of Jesus

Series:

In Instruments of the Divinity, Christopher van Ginhoven Rey shows that an important reflection on God’s providential praxis animates the foundational documents of the Society of Jesus. Focusing on Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s conception of Jesuits as the instruments of a laboring God, the book explores the philosophical and theological roots of the metaphor of the instrument and its place in the social imaginary of the Jesuit order. Close readings of the Spiritual Exercises, the Jesuit Constitutions, and a selection of letters by Ignatius call attention to the existence of a rhetoric of instrumentality that provides the basis for the Society’s project of instruction, its loving affirmation of the world, and its attempts to differentiate itself from its monastic predecessors.
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Biographical Note

Christopher van Ginhoven Rey, Ph.D. (2010), New York University, is Assistant Professor of Language and Culture Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

Review Quotes

‘’Food for thought about the mind and heart of a complex individual.’’
Paul F. Grendler, University of Toronto. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4, Winter 2014, p. 1395.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations
Introduction

PART ONE: AD MODUM LABORANTIS: THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA AND THE THEOLOGY OF USE

1. The Suspect Zone of Mysticism
2. From the Image to the Spiritual Passions
3. The Use of Things
4. Ad modum laborantis

PART TWO: THE PRAXIS OF PROVIDENCE: THE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS AND THE THEOLOGY OF THE INSTRUMENT

5. Providence
6. The Jesuit Instrument
7. Sacramental Instrumentality
8. Instruction
9. World

PART THREE: THE DAMAGED INSTRUMENT: IGNATIUS’ CRITIQUE OF ASCETIC IDEALS

10. The Ascetic Drive
11. The Rara Avisof Discernment
12. A Hermeneutic Instrumentality
13. A Community of Instruments?

Postscript
Bibliography
Index

Readership

All interested in Saint Ignatius of Loyola and the foundation of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit history, early modern Catholicism, the philoosphy of praxis and the theology of providence.