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Ignatian Humanism: A Dynamic Spirituality for the 21st Century [Paperback]

By Ronald Modras (Author)
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Item description for Ignatian Humanism: A Dynamic Spirituality for the 21st Century by Ronald Modras...

Ignatian spirituality is a dynamic and ever-evolving practice that has great relevance in the twenty-first century. In Ignatian Humanism, author Ronald Modras explains the importance of a sixteenth-century spirituality in a post-modern world and reveals the impact Renaissance humanism had on Ignatian spirituality and the Society of Jesus. In this vividly written and meticulously researched book, Modras explores the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, his founding of the Society of Jesus, and the development of the Spiritual Exercises. He also outlines the characteristics of Renaissance humanism and its influence on Ignatian spirituality and the Jesuits. This impact is made tangible in five compelling biographies of Jesuit heroes and humanists: Matteo Ricci, Frederic Spee, Karl Rahner, Pierre Theilard de Chardin, and Pedro Arrupe.

Publishers Description
"Ignatian Humanism puts into perspective our contemporary search for a spirituality that responds both to our search for meaning and desire for God."
--John W. Padberg, S.J., director, Institute of Jesuit Sources "Modras integrates fascinating history, contemporary theology, and inspiring spirituality with consistent focus on central issues for our day."
--Joann Wolski Conn, associate professor of religious studies, Neumann College "A stunning book Modras has profiled a number of Jesuit thinkers and activists as role models for our time--revitalizing humanism as a model for moderns."
--Leonard Swidler, professor of Catholic thought and inter-religious dialogue, Temple University Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, is one of a mere handful of individuals who has permanently changed the way we understand God. In this vividly written and meticulously researched book, Ronald Modras shows how Ignatian spirituality retains extraordinary vigor and relevance nearly five centuries after Loyola's death. At its heart, Ignatian spirituality is a humanism that defends human rights, prizes learning from other cultures, seeks common ground between science and religion, struggles for justice, and honors a God who is actively at work in creation.
The towering achievements of the Jesuits are made tangible by Modras's vivid portraits of Ignatius and five of his successors: Matteo Ricci, the first Westerner at the court of the Chinese emperor; Friederich Spee, who defended women accused of witchcraft; Karl Rahner, the greatest Catholic theologian of the twentieth century; Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the scientist-mystic; and Pedro Arrupe, the charismatic leader of the Jesuits in the years following Vatican II.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jesuit Way Loyola Press
Pages   300
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.96" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   1.12 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 25, 2004
Publisher   Jesuit Way Loyola Press
ISBN  0829419861  
ISBN13  9780829419863  

Availability  3 units.
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More About Ronald Modras

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Ronald Modras is professor of theology at Saint Louis University. He is the author of five other books, including Paul Tillich's Theology of the Church: A Catholic Appraisal and The Catholic Church and Antisemitism: Poland, 1933-1939. He lectures throughout the United States, England, Israel, and Germany. He currently resides in Webster Groves, Missouri. Additional information about his work can be found at

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Saints
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality

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Reviews - What do customers think about Ignatian Humanism: A Dynamic Spirituality for the 21st Century?

Jesuit Spirituality: Men of Faith, Courage, and Imagination  Dec 22, 2005
This marvelous book concerns the essence of Jesuit spirituality i.e., its rootedness in the human experience. Ronald Modras, in the presentation of his book, turns this concept into action by rooting his discussion of this humanism in the experiences of six men who exemplify the Jesuit Way, beginning with the sixteenth-century founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola, and ending with his twentieth-century doppelganger, Pedro Arrupe.

What struck me about each of the Jesuits discussed is that they were all men of tremendous faith, courage and imagination. I put particular emphasis on the last quality: imagination is at the heart of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, which comprise the foundation of a Jesuit's life, and of the Order itself. Following Ignatius, each of the Jesuits discussed here employed great imagination in shattering a paradigm of the society of the time: Matteo Ricci (16th c), rather than remain stuck in European dress, customs, and attitudes, practiced acculturation--becoming a Mandarin scholar--to reach the minds of the Chinese; Friedrich Spee (17th c), rather than accept society's hysteria over a supposed epidemic of witchcraft, talked with accused women, and, at great personal risk, denounced the injustice of tens of thousands of innocent people being executed--his work helped to finally put an end to this madness; Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (20th c), rather than accept a wall between faith and science, sought to reconcile Christian hope with evolution--but first by accepting the validity of evolution; Karl Rahner, rather than hold fast to the notion of salvation only through conscious acceptance of Christ, promoted the concept that all people are given God's grace; and Pedro Arrupe, who survived Hiroshima, rather than simply maintain an Order that was comfortable in its large universities and which gloried in its much lauded successes, pushed the Society of Jesus to making "the promotion of justice integral to the service of faith" (p. 281).

Modras devotes too much attention at the beginning of the book to justifying his title: i.e., why "humanism." He in part seeks to rescue humanism from those Christians who equate it with secularism and atheism and, for that matter, from those secular humanists who might abhor religion as centering people outside of their humanness. But witness, for instance, Karl Rahner: he directed the faithful to look to science to better appreciate God's gifts, and made close friends of atheists, because he found that among atheists were also men of profound good will and brilliant ideas. He preached that grace resides within us, that God speaks to us deep within, "deeper than our conscious intellects" (p. 225). He, like all of the other men in this book, are clearly humanists. And they were also all deeply spiritual men, with a spirituality and mysticism that was not "out there" but was experienced right here and now, in the world and in our humanity.
St. Ignatius' improbable legacy  Sep 12, 2005
It may seem very unlikely that an ex-soldier, persecuted by the Spanish inquisition, would oneday win favor with the Pope for himself and his followers. This eventually led to the creation of the Society of Jesus. Their legacy includes the precurser of post-secondary education for the masses. Originally free of charge, this education in science and the humanities was offered to woman and the poor or anyone else who sought to be literate. The Society's influence reached throughout the world, and showed that Christianity could adapt to many cultures including closed societies such as China. Where through years of patience and purity, the Jesuits were the first foreigners to penetrate the forbiden city. This is a very informative read.
A profound work of faith and meditation  Jul 9, 2004
Ignatian Humanism: A Dynamic Spirituality For The 21st Century portrays the work, teachings, and spirituality of Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, and five of his successors: Matteo Ricci, the first Westerner at the court of the Chinese emperor; Frederick Spee, who stepped forward to defend women accused of witchcraft; Karl Rahner, reknowned Catholic 20th-century theologian; Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, scientist and mystic; and Pedro Arrupe, who has led the Jesuits since the era of Vatican II. The final chapter of Ignatian Humanism focuses especially upon spirituality for and within the rapidly changing 21st century. At once both an extensively researched history and a profound work of faith and meditation on what it means to form a connection with a dynamic, actively involved God, Ignatian Humanism is a passionate discussion especially recommended for modern religious and Jesuit studies shelves.

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