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The Jesuit Educational Philosophy and Mission

This research will examine the Jesuit educational philosophy and mission and ways in which they are or can be integrated into the everyday world. The plan of the research will be to set forth the Jesuit educational philosophy and mission in general terms and then to discuss the pattern of ideas informing them as well as the practical means by which they are or may be identified, integrated, and applied in the structure of education.

To discuss the Jesuit educational philosophy and mission is very much to discuss Catholic education and moral philosophy more generally. However, there is a specific history attached to Jesuit education, inasmuch as its traditions emanate from the origins of the Society of Jesus in the 16th century. The founder of the Society, Ignatius Loyola, initially established Jesuit schools as seminaries, for the training of the Order's membership. But in 1548, at the invitation of the civil authorities of Messina, and in the context of the Catholic Reformation, Ignatius opened the first Jesuit school for lay students. "By 1551 he wrote urging the inauguration of colleges throughout Europe" (Jesuit Colleges; also see Barthel 113). The Jesuits very much controlled European higher education for the next 300 years (Martin 26-28).

The Catholic/Jesuit approach to education is grounded in the Christian revelation of faith, hope, and charity, as well as in secular moral philosophy, chiefly that of Aristotle as articulated in the Nicomachean Ethics (Fulop-Miller 157f; Ryan 17). It is also organized within the structures of civil education policy. What that means in structural terms is that Jesuit education is values-laden, not only bound up with the teachings of the Church but also informed by "an ethics that borrow[s] categories from broader perspectives" (Ryan 17-18).

The interpenetration of secular and religious philosophy in the Jesuit higher-education curriculum should not be interpreted as Catholic acquiescenc...

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The Jesuit Educational Philosophy and Mission. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 11:32, February 21, 2017, from