Jesuit Terms D
German Jesuit; writer and preacher; martyr
In the early 1940’s, people avidly read his regular contributions to the Jesuit review Stimmen der Zeit and came from all over Munich to hear him preach.
In 1943, at the invitation of Count von Moltke and with the encouragement of his provincial superior, he joined the secret Kreisau Circle, an anti-Nazi group that was planning a new social order to be built on Christian lines after the War.
The group was found out. Delp was arrested, imprisoned, interrogated and encouraged to repudiate his Jesuit and Catholic allegiance. But he refused, was “convicted,” and executed on February 2, 1945. The Nazis disposed of his body secretly so that his grave would not become a place of pilgrimage; and so people today visit the parish church where he served.
His Prison Writings (Orbis, 2004) make powerful reading.
De Mello, Anthony (1931-1987)
Indian Jesuit; teacher of eastern spiritual practices to the West
Born in Mumbai (Bombay), India, Anthony De Mello studied psychology at Loyola University Chicago and then set up his spiritual center “Sadhana Institute” in Pune (Poona), India. In the 1970s, he started offering guided awareness exercises (e.g., attentiveness to one’s breathing) to Christians in India and, during summers, in the U.S. He also offered them to his Jesuit brothers at General Congregation 32 (1974-1975). These exercises were finally published as Sadhana: A Way to God—Christian Exercises in Eastern Form (1978). Many more books followed until his sudden death in New York at age 56, and even then, friends and disciples published a number of manuscripts that he was working on. His bibliography totals 59 books. His book Awareness (1992), which transcribes one of his workshops, is said to be a good place to start becoming acquainted with his approach. Several of his workshops are also available in video form.
In 1998, eleven years after De Mello’s death, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) issued a “Notification” that some of his writings were a danger to the Catholic faith. Even a cursory reading of a page-worth of his sayings, stories, and parables—readily available on the internet—makes clear that De Mello has a certain anti-institutional bias toward religion. His basic message is “spiritual,” not “religious.” It is a call to awareness, a call to “wake up” from the “sleep” that most people live in without realizing it. In this quest, he is just as apt to turn to non-Christian sources as to Christian ones.
See the De Mello website www.deMello.org maintained by the deMello Spirituality Center at Fordham University (its founder, Jesuit Frank Stroud, died recently; the Center is now in the hands of two trustees, Jonathan Galente and Desmond Towey). Anthony de Mello: Writings, ed. William V. Dych (Orbis, 1999; Modern Spiritual Masters Series). Dych’s introduction to De Mello is outstanding.
De Smet, Peter (1801-1873)
Belgian Jesuit; promoter of missions to NW Native Americans
Peter De Smet came to the United States in 1821, entered the Jesuits, and was ordained in 1827. Twelve years later, he encountered two Flathead Indians seeking priests to instruct their nation. This event proved to be the turning point in his life, and he soon became the founder of missions to the Rocky Mountain Northwest Native Americans. He visited the Rocky Mountain area, founded St. Mary’s near Missoula, MT, then went to the far Northwest and planned the growth of the church in Oregon country.
In 1843 he sailed to Europe and recruited five Jesuits and six Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for mission work in the Northwest. In the 1850’s and 1860’s he visited the Plains and the Rocky Mountains seven times as an emissary of the federal government. In 1864 he was the only white man trusted enough to be allowed into Sitting Bull’s camp.
De Smet was not so much a missionary as he was a promoter and procurator of missions. In their interest he made repeated journeys to the Mountains and crossed the Atlantic sixteen times.
(also "Discernment of spirits") - A process for making choices, in a context of (Christian) faith, when the option is not between good and evil, but between several possible courses of action all of which are potentially good. For Ignatius the process involves prayer, reflection and consultation with others - all with honest attention not only to the rational (reasons pro and con) but also to the realm of one's feelings, emotions and desires (what Ignatius called "movements" of soul). A fundamental question in discernment becomes "Where is this impulse from — the good spirit (of God) or the evil spirit (leading one away from God)?" A key to answering this question, says Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises, is that, in the case of a person leading a basically good life, the good spirit gives "consolation" — acts quietly, gently and leads one to peace, joy and deeds of loving service — while the bad spirit brings "desolation" — agitates, disturbs the peace and injects fears and discouragement to keep one from doing good.
Jesuit universities and schools are respected for academic excellence, the promotion of social justice, and "finding God in all things." These mission-driven values, as well as the necessity to prepare students for a rapidly changing multicultural and global society, draws Jesuit educational institutions to lead in the call for diversity and the inclusion of all peoples. A respect for all human persons and differences is a significant aspect of the history of the Society of Jesus. Ignatius Loyola befriended fellow students who were quite different from himself with regard to social class, age, and nationality — rather unique in the 1500's; they became the founding companions. Most recently, the Society has addressed relationships with non-Catholics and women, see GC 34.
Doctrinal Congregation (short for Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) –
The Vatican office that deals with orthodoxy and dissent.
Other Christian bodies have less organized ways of dealing with the issue.
Because what the Church preaches and teaches matters, this is a perennial concern.
It appears in the early centuries once Jewish Christianity moved out into the
Greek and Roman world..
The existence of some such agency as the Doctrinal Congregation is not the real issue. Rather it is the way in which the Congregation conducts its business. Is there respect for the human and Christian dignity of anyone accused or does the investigative body operate like a totalitarian power which has no limits because none are built into it?
For a fuller picture of the history involved, click here.
American Jesuit; theologian of "models"; cardinal
Avery Dulles' father, John Foster Dulles, was U.S. Secretary of State in the Eisenhower Administration (1952-1960). Avery, though brought up in his family's Presbyterian Christianity, considered himself an agnostic when he entered Harvard as an undergraduate in 1936. By the time of his graduation, however, he had become a Catholic, something not easy for his parents to accept in that pre-ecumenical era (A Testimonial to Grace ).
After service in the military during World War II, he entered the Jesuits in 1946 at the age of 28. He did doctoral studies in theology at the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome and then taught for many years at Woodstock College, the Jesuit theological school in rural Maryland. Later, he joined the faculty at Catholic University in DC, and finally, he was McGinley Professor at Fordham in NYC.
Among his published works - 25 books and more than 800 articles, many of them translated into other languages - perhaps the most significant are his "models," books where he lined up the various theological opinions on a given subject in relation to one another and assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each: Models of the Church (1974 and subsequent editions), Models of Revelation (1983, 1992), and The Assurance of Things Hoped For: A Theology of Christian Faith (1994). He had a deep knowledge of the long and diverse tradition, could write about it with clarity, and so help foster a unity of faith in a post-Vatican II Catholic culture that he saw as increasingly unmoored. It was his contention that the truth lies, not in any one position, but in the totality of them all.
Pope John Paul II made Dulles a cardinal in 2001. Many "liberal" Catholics saw this as a benediction on Dulles' supposed move to the right (for example, he was adamantly opposed to the ordination of women), but others read it more generally as a recognition that American Catholic theology had come of age (Dulles was the first American theologian to be given a red hat).
See Mark Massa in Commonwealth (August 13, 2010) and Patrick Carey in Theological Studies (December 2010).
Dupuis, Jacques (1923-2004)
Belgian Jesuit; theologian of religious pluralism
Jacques Dupuis went to teach in India in 1949, and his more than 30 years there, where Christianity is such a tiny part of the predominantly Hindu culture, had a profound impact on his theology.
In 1984 he left India and started teaching systematic theology and “other religions” at the Jesuit-sponsored Gregorian University in Rome. In 1997 he published a book Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism (Orbis), articulating an “inclusive pluralism” that seeks to hold together “the constitutive and universal character of the Christ-event in the order of human salvation and the salvific significance of [other] religious traditions . . . within the one manifold plan of God for humankind.” The book drew a Vatican investigation of its orthodoxy. Despite a 2001 “Notification” (or “warning”) about the book from the Doctrinal Congregation, Jesuit superior general Peter-Hans Kolvenbach issued a public statement encouraging Dupuis to continue his pioneering work in the field of interreligious dialogue.
See Hinsdale, “Jesuit Theological Discourse since Vatican II,” The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits (2008) and Jesuit General Congregation 34, Decree 5, “Our Mission and Interreligious Dialogue” (1995).
JESUIT A TO Z: An expanded version of the publication "Do You Speak Ignatian?"