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The Jesuit Instrument: On Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Modernity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Ignatius's modernity. The question of Ignatius's modernity concerns his position on the relation between the spheres of divine grace and human initiative, a distinctly "modern" problem. At once anticipating and challenging the eventual separation and the opposition between both spheres, Ignatius attempts to reconcile them. Tracing this attempt as it finds expression in Ignatius's characterization of the individual Jesuit as an instrument in the hands of God, the author shows that, to the extent that modernity is characterized by the opposition between divine grace and human initiative, Ignatius's work can be said to occupy a unique place within modernity, a place emblematic of the uniqueness of the historical moment by reference to which it demands to be understood. This unique moment is nothing other than modernity in its nascent phase.

Keywords: Ignatius; Jesuit Instrument; modernity



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