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12. A Hermeneutic Instrumentality

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Chapter Summary

Ignatius' letter to Coimbra is the first of a series of attempts to bring the situation in Portugal under control. The suggestion that the Society was effectively in need of reform, simply went too far, as did the attempt to bolster these claims by stating that it was God who had communicated this need. Ignatius thought the matter was serious enough to assemble a committee to scrutinize each of the assertions included in Oviedo's letter. The reflection on the instrument operativity that Ignatius undertakes there stages a passage from a predominantly charismatic understanding of discernment to one that is also possessed of an ethical valence, as we see when discernment comes to be linked with moderation here it might be helpful to think of the Spanish word discreción, which can function as a synonym for prudence.

Keywords: Coimbra; discernment; ethical valence; God; Ignatius; instrument; Oviedo's letter; prudence

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