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The Text and Contexts of Ignatius Loyola's "Autobiography"

John M. McManamon, S.J.

Publication Year: 2013

This refreshing re-evaluation of the so-called autobiography of Ignatius Loyola (c. 1491-1556) situates Ignatius's Acts against the backgrounds of the spiritual geography of Luke's New Testament writings and the culture of Renaissance humanism. Ignatius Loyola's So-Called Autobiography builds upon recent scholarly consensus, examines the language of the text that Ignatius Loyola dictated as his legacy to fellow Jesuits late in life, and discusses relevant elements of the social, historical, and religious contexts in which the text came to birth. Recent monographs by Marjorie O'Rourke Boyle and John W. O'Malley have characterized Ignatius's Acts as a mirror of vainglory and of apostolic religious life, respectively. In this study, John M. McManamon, S.J., persuasively argues that an appreciation of the two Lukan New Testament writings likewise helps interpret the theological perspectives of Ignatius. The geography of Luke's two writings and the theology that undergirds Luke's redactional innovation assisted Ignatius in remembering and understanding the crucial acts of God in his own life. This eloquent, lucidly written new book is essential reading for anyone interested in Ignatius, the early Jesuits, sixteenth-century religious life, and the history of early modern Europe.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xviii

I would be the fi rst to admit that this is a somewhat atypical book, synthetic in part and original, I believe, in its emphasis on the Lukan paradigm that guides the spiritual geography of Ignatius Loyola. I also believe that the premises for the book are sound and the need...

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1 The Acta as Privilegedand New Source

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pp. 1-10

In Lent of 1548, only eight years into the experiment, the Society of Jesus that Ignatius Loyola had founded came in for severe criticism when Melchor Cano (1509– 60), a learned Spanish Dominican, preached against the Jesuits. Cano subsequently structured his criticisms according...

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2 The Actaas Mirror of Vainglory

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pp. 11-52

By opening his account with the siege of Pamplona, Ignatius wastes no time in portraying for his fellow Jesuits how flawed his character was. He admits his obsession with vanities and his exceeding desire...

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3 The Actaas Mirror of ApostolicReligious Life

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pp. 53-98

Ignatius returns to Italy on his poor ship and then has to determine a new direction for his life. “What should he do?” (Quid agendum). He decides to study “in order to be able to help souls”...

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4 The Actaas Mirror of Luke

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pp. 99-114

In the narrative of the Acta, Ignatius travels on a journey whose broad lines and final destination mirror the spiritual geography of Luke’s two New Testament writings. The first of the two major portions of Ignatius’s Acta begins in the region where Ignatius was raised...

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5 Ignatius, His Acta,and Renaissance Culture

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pp. 115-134

Among the signs that Ignatius successfully focused his Acta on the Spirit’s action in his own heart, one can point to the fact that Ignatius has never been all that popular a saint. Despite an early resolve to outdo Francis of Assisi, Ignatius does not enjoy the popularity that Francis...


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pp. 135-184


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pp. 185-222

Index of Scriptural References

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pp. 223-224

General Index

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pp. 225-230

E-ISBN-13: 9780823250615
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823245048
Print-ISBN-10: 0823245047

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: Text

OCLC Number: 859687029
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Text and Contexts of Ignatius Loyola's "Autobiography"

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Subject Headings

  • Ignatius, of Loyola, Saint, 1491-1556.
  • Christian saints -- Spain -- Biography.
  • Ignatius, of Loyola, Saint, 1491-1556. Autobiografia.
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