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ISSJR Inaugural Meeting - July 26, 2017 Program

Prospects for Research in Jesuit Rhetoric

Queen Mary University, July 26, 2017

ISSJR 2017 Conference Program


9:00- 9:20                              Welcome and Introduction


9:20-10:20                            Opening Panel

Manfred Kraus,

            University of Tübingen, Germany

Maria Cecília de Miranda Nogueira Coelho,
           Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais,       Brazil

Steve Mailloux,             Loyola Marymount University, USA 

10:20- 10:40                         COFFEE BREAK                                                            

Research Reports and Discussion

10:40 -12:40                        Small Group Research Roundtables & Discussion of Research Trends (Short research reports) 

12:40- 1:00                          Reporting Out of Research Topics and Trends 

1:00- 2:00                              WORKING LUNCH (provided)                                                            

 2:00- 2:20                              Vieira Global Project: José Eduardo Franco, Vanda Figueiredo, Paula Carreira, Pierre-Antoine Fabre (ISEJ) 

2:20-3:30                               Discussion of Possible Structures for the International Society for the Study of Jesuit Rhetoric. Selection of Leadership. Starting an action plan. 

3:30-4:30                               Tea/ Coffee  

Planning For Future Work of ISSJR: Publication Venues, Regional Meetings, Future Conferences, Website/ Electronic Networks, Affiliations and Sponsors.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 

7:00-9:00                              ISHR Opening Reception



Rhetoric in the Jesuit Classroom (Curricula, Textbooks, Practical Exercises)

Manfred Kraus

University of Tübingen, Germany 

Ever since its foundation, the Society of Jesus has been associated with higher education and the formation of the young, especially so in the Catholic nations of Europe and in areas of Jesuit evangelization overseas, such as Latin America or Asia, and most importantly so during the period from the beginnings of the counter-reformation to the moment of the Society’s (temporary) dissolution in 1773. In the neatly arranged educational curriculum created by the Jesuits, rhetoric played a pivotal role and marked the highest level in education.

With respect to the role of rhetoric in the Jesuit educational system, three domains stick out as particularly relevant objects for research: the organization and modifications of the Jesuit curriculum, the textbooks in rhetoric authored or used by Jesuits (which is not necessarily the same), and the available evidence on the actual practical training program in the classroom. The presentation offers a brief outline of the current state of scholarship, and appraises the achievements made as well as points to the major gaps and needs for future research in those areas. 

Jesuit Rhetorical Scholarship from Brazil: the case of António Vieira
Maria Cecília de Miranda Nogueira Coelho
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil

The Jesuit António Vieira (1608-1697) is known as the “prince of sacred orators” and “the emperor of the Portuguese language,” and the study of his work dominates the research on the Jesuit rhetorical tradition in Brazil. To a degree this is understandable, as Vieira´s extensive works (published in a new critical edition in Portugal in 30 volumes, in 2013-4) are unique: seldom has a group of texts (letters, sermons, treatises, etc.) offered such impressive mastery, not only with rhetorical subjects, but also with political, theological, and educational issues. It is these qualities that have allowed his sermons to be read as models for Jesuit oratory (even if in disparagement of what came before and what followed, as argued by Pena Ferreira, in Rhetoric of Tears: Sermons and Epitaphs in Bahia in the XVII Century). More recently, I have been investigating the reception of elements of classical Greek-Roman philosophy and literature in Vieira's works. In the 2009 ISHR Conference I analyzed gorgianic patterns in the sermons of Ash-Wednesday, in 2013, Pre-Socratic references in “Le Lacrime d´Eraclito,” in 2015 Platonic criticism of rhetoric in the “Sermão do Demônio Mudo,” and now, in 2017, on forensic oratory in Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s criticism of Vieira’s Maundy Sermon. At this inaugural meeting of the ISHJR I want to present a) some information on recent Jesuit Rhetorical Scholarship from Brazil; b) some aspects of Vieira´s ideas on Jesuit Rhetorical education, exploring passages of Sermão do Nascimento do menino Deus (1633) and Sermão doméstico (1689), texts produced in very different and distant moments of Vieira´s life, but that show, respectively, the influence of his education in classical rhetoric and the role of the ideals of Societate Jesu in guiding the practice of oratory.

Jesuit Theo-Rhetoric and the Euro-American Dialogue

Steven Mailloux

Loyola Marymount University, USA

I am exploring the way Kenneth Burke interacted with Jesuit intellectuals and post-Heideggerian critical theorists as these thinkers discussed the relationship between rhetoric and theology. The larger historical framework for my study is the two hundred years of Jesuit rhetorical thinking from the official restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814 through the present day. The nineteenth-century part of this history prepares the way for the main focus of my project: to tell a story about American theology, European philosophy, the literary critical imagination, and Kenneth Burke, generally considered the greatest rhetorician of the twentieth century. In the course of my rhetorical history, I will develop a hermeneutic perspective to reinterpret the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and the Jesuit teaching of eloquentia perfecta.


Small Group Research Report Panels

Session One                      

Jesuit Rhetorical Exchanges with Asia

Jaewon Ahn, University of Seoul, South Korea

New Rhetorical Work on the Chinese Rites Controversy

Why investigate the Jesuits’ history in Asia?

In terms of new Jesuit rhetorical history, I will introduce some documents that were made in the times of "Chinese Rites Controversy" focusing on a newly discovered manuscript that is remarkable in its rhetorical argumentation.

Michelle Kaczmarek, Graduate Student, Penn State University, USA

Beyond Words: Jesuit Grammar and the Rhetorical Construction of Language In the Jesuits’ emphasis on communicating across cultural and linguistic difference, their work provides a place for understanding the history of rhetorical education as translingual, where difference became a resource and language became negotiated, symbolically and materially. This presentation uses rhetoric as a lens for accessing the theology behind Jesuit attempts at Christian conversion in South India during the sixteenth century. Comparing the rhetorical construction of Ignatian spirituality with its adaptation in India, this talk will present a glimpse into the ways in which the Jesuits transcended the forms of grammar through translingual practice.

Aiko Okamoto-MacPhail, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of French and Italian, Indiana University, USA

Jesuit Rhetorical Exchanges between France and Japan

My research focuses on the relationship between France and Japan, and within that frame, I am interested in 1) Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, which seem to show a certain nationalism with the supposedly borderless organization of Jesuits, 2) Jesuit report on Giovanni Battista Sidotti who came to Japan in 1708, and died as martyr, 3) the impact of Jesuit letters in Diderot’s Encyclopédie in France on East Asia, 4) The 19th century re-edition of an excerpt of the book by Rodriguez, as the first grammar book of the Japanese language in France.



Session Two                    

Jesuit Sacred Rhetoric

Anne Régent-Susini, Associate Professor, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Institut Universitaire de France

Early Modern French Jesuit Eulogies: Rhetorical forms, Multimodality, and Evolution. I would like to present my current research and the points which link it to Jesuit studies: 1. Early modern French eulogies: their rhetorical form and multimodal dimension, their evolution throughout the early modern period (up to civic eulogies during French Revolution). 2. Early modern notions of universal history and its many realizations, which leads me to question the very notion of “universality,”which the Jesuits have shaped in such an important way. 3. 17th-century Jesuit relations and their rhetorical strategies. I am especially interested in the way missionaries (interior or exterior missions) depict the effect of their discourse, and more generally their listeners: the “voice” of the audience, of the Indian convert, etc.

Lucía Díaz Marroquín, Facultad de Filología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España  

Jesuit Rhetoric and the Expression of Emotion and Vocal Technique

My presentation summarizes my research on Jesuit rhetoric, focusing on the expression of emotion and vocal technique (opera and oratorio), including a recent collaboration with Boston College in the context of the last Sixteenth Century Society International Congress (Brugges 2016) “Jesuit Confrontations with the Religious Other in Eastern Europe and the Overseas Missions” and “Configuring the Affective Sensorial Global Jesuit Discourse: A. del Pozzo, J.H. Kapsberger, O. Grassi and D. Zipoli’s Ignatian Apotheoses.” (More details at:

Carlota Miranda Urbano

Prof. Auxiliar da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

Rhetoric and hagiographic poetry of the Society of Jesus in the Colégio de Coimbra

A large part of the Society of Jesus’ poetry has hagiographic subject. Committed to the devotional promotion not only of its own martyrs and saints, but also of figures already canonized, the Society invests in the poetic celebration of model figures, exempla ad imitandum. For greater effectiveness, this celebration is made according to the aesthetic and literary demands of an elite that privileges the teaching and pragmatics of classical Rhetoric.  The fact becomes visible in the 'rhetorical' dimension of this poetry. The hagiographic poetry of the Society of Jesus in Portugal offers a field of investigation to explore where we have already identified punctually marks of the strong influence of rhetoric on Jesuit poetry. As an example, an epic apotheosis (1626) of Queen Elisabeth, by the Jesuit Francisco de Macedo. This epic poem is an 'oratio' and flirts with the verses the indication of all the rhetorical figures used by the author, supposing a didactic use of the poem, in addition to the celebratory one. Much of that poetry is yet to be read and edited.



Session Three      

Protestant/Jesuit Rhetorical Exchange

Bartosz Awianowicz, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland

Jesuit Rhetoric on the border between Catholic Poland and Protestant German lands: Royal Prussia in 17th-18th century.  

Royal Prussia as the area of mixed German-Polish population, influenced both by German Lutheran (and less by Calvinist) culture on the one hand and by Polish Catholic court and nobles on the other hand seems to be the only part of Central Europe where religious controversies of the 17th century were not accentuated but successfully mitigated in the rhetoric manuals and school oratorial practice. The aim of my presentation is to focus on two Prussian cities: Gdańsk (Danzig) and Toruń (Thorn) where in the 17th and 18th centuries both Protestant academic gymnasia and Jesuit colleges coexisted (in Toruń since 1615 and in Gdańsk since 1623).

Tim Green, Associate Professor, Northern Michigan University, USA         

Jesuit Rhetoric and the Translation of the Douay-Rheims Bible

This presentation will discuss results from an ongoing study of the work of exiled English Jesuits working in France in the 16th century to translate the Bible into English, examining their use of rhetorical devices and strategies to overcome several challenges inherent in the translation.

Victor Houliston, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Pastoral, preaching and polemic in early modern English Jesuit publications 

The interpenetration of polemical and pastoral elements is a marked feature of the output of the leading early English Jesuit author and controversialist Robert Persons (1546–1610). Even at his most controversial, Persons had an eye to the pastoral needs of the English Catholic community. With English Catholics, in the absence of priestly ministry, relying heavily on the printed word for their spiritual needs, this mixed feature of Jesuit rhetoric can be studied in other authors such as Edmund Campion (d. 1581), Robert Southwell (d. 1595) and Henry Garnet (d. 1606).



Session Four                      

North American Jesuit/ Catholic Rhetorical Education

Pat Bizzell, Distinguished Professor of English, College of the Holy Cross, USA

Jesuit Rhetoric for the Modern Student

In retrofitting my rhetoric course for a Jesuit emphasis, I matched progymnasmata with formal speech assignments: with the informative speech, prosopopoeia, ekphrasis, and narrative; with the ceremonial speech, encomium, psogos, and synkrisis; with the forensic speech, declamation (topics from Quintilian); with the deliberative speech, translation, imitation, and thesis. The speech assignments steer students toward self-chosen topics on matters of civic importance. Also, in one essay, students define “good” rhetoric in response to readings in Gorgias, Plato, Quintilian, and New York Times CEO Mark Thompson. In a second paper, students design a social action project, drawing rhetorical techniques from readings in nineteenth-century American activists.

Maureen Fitzsimmons PhD Student, University of California, Irvine, USA

The Rhetorical Education of Californios by the Jesuits

In 1848, California began its gold rush and by 1850 had become the 31st state of the United States of America. It is estimated that, by 1857, of the school-aged population of pre-statehood residents called Californios, an estimated one-fourth had Spanish as their primary language. According to Gerald McKevitt, S.J., “with acculturation as their ultimate objective, Catholic bishops and educators created primary and secondary schools and colleges that met the needs of the post-conquest Californios” (320). This research explores the experiences of one Californio student as reflected in his journals which were written while attending Santa Clara College.

Elizabethada Wright, Professor of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies,

University of Minnesota Duluth, USA

Catholic Women Religious Impacts on Rhetorical Education: Interactions with the Jesuits

Catholic Women Religious have had a large impact on rhetorical education throughout the world. This brief presentation will expand on Mattingly’s work on some of the relationships between the Jesuits and the sisters.




Session Five                

Continental Jesuit Rhetorical Theory/ Theories

Deborah Holdstein (SC), Professor of English, Columbia College, Chicago, USA

Assimilation and Disappearance: Hebraic Influences on Jesuit Rhetoric

As detailed by scholars such as Robert Maryks, men of Jewish origin and education converted to Catholicism and entered the then-new Jesuit order, many of them influential in its shaping. What are the possible Hebraic influences on what is now taken to be Jesuit practice and rhetorical traditions?  What are the difficulties in teasing out these influences?

Hanne Roer, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Augustine in Jesuit rhetoric

In this short presentation I shall suggest some directions in Jesuit orators and rhetoricians’ thoughts about the relation between theology and rhetoric. Discussing but not always agreeing with Augustine’s view on rhetoric as an uninvited maid, they offered many different reflections. Important names are C. Soarez, F. Strada, C. Reggio, P. Segneri, N. Caussin along with many lesser known writers such as G. Noghera. The tension between the classical tradition and the Christian rhetoric dating back to the Church Fathers was intersected with another tension between the introvert rhetoric of the heart versus the public rhetoric.

Yasmin Haskell Professor,

Chair of Latin, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, ARC Centre for the History of Emotions

The Treatment of Calm and Violent Passions in Jesuit literary critic and dramatist, Pierre Brumoy vis-a-vis Hume.

While the distinction between the calm and violent passions has been treated by Hume scholars from a number of perspectives relevant to the Scottish philosopher’s thought more generally, little scholarly attention has been paid to this distinction either in the works of Hume’s non-English contemporaries or in the long rhetorical and literary tradition which often categorized the emotions as either calm or violent. I will report on a collaborative project which seeks to provide an intellectual genealogy of this distinction and, in particular, on its manifestation in long Latin poem on the passions by the 18th-century Jesuit literary critic and dramatist, Pierre Brumoy.



Session Six                

Continental Jesuit Rhetorical Educational Practice

Belmiro Fernandes Pereira (SC), Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Jesuit Rhetorical Education before the 1599 Ratio Studiorum

A survey of the important early rhetorical texts of various kinds (both Jesuit and non-Jesuit) and associated curricular practices in use during the period of educational experimentation and discussion that led to the development of the comprehensive educational plan offered in the Ratio Studiorum of 1599.

Janika Päll, Senior Research Fellow, University of Tartu, Estonia

The influence of the Society of Jesus on Greek studies in Great Sweden

Before the opening of Swedish Lutheran University, Jesuit Seminary was active in Tartu. Its impact can be seen in the fact that the university worked initially in the rooms of the Seminary. In Latin occasional poetry and programs from Tartu, use of Jesuit authors (anonymously or without references to SJ) have been found. My research interest in Helleno-Nordica project is to discover more about the studies of Greek in Seminarium Dorpatense, and to see, if/how the studies of SJ have influenced the Greek studies in Tartu (Great Sweden in general).

Violeta Pérez Custodio, Universidad de Cadiz, España

Jesuit progymnasmata handbooks published in Spain during the XVIth and XVIIth centuries.

This short report will focus on with the importance of the interdisciplinary study of these progymnasmata manuals, which were used by Jesuits not only to teach elementary rhetoric, but also to spread their moral, political and social thought in the Spanish Golden Age. I will share some ideas on how to approach this research: mapping these exercises collections to reconstruct their history, analyzing them in comparison with the manuals printed abroad, and establishing the connection among the handbooks and the manuscript exercises composed by students, which are preserved in different Spanish archives and libraries.

2:00- 2:20


José Eduardo Franco, Full Professor, Universidade Aberta, Lisboa, Portugal

Vanda Figueiredo, Direction Adviser, International Society of Jesuit Studies.

Paula Carreira,

University of Lisbon




The life, action and work of Luso-Brazilian Jesuit Father António Vieira have merited a renewed interest in the last few decades. One of the most prominent and multifaceted figures in the history of Portugal and Brazil, he has been the subject of several studies in the most varied fields of knowledge (Literature, History, Political Science, Theology, Philosophy, Philology, Economics, Anthropology, Sociology, Law...), which have contributed to highlight the career of this Jesuit preacher, as well as to value the place of his work in the context of Western culture. In this sense, following the celebrations of the centenaries of the death and the birth of Father António Vieira, held in 1997 and 2008, respectively, we believe that the best legacy we can leave to posterity would be to promote a systematic edition of his work, to make it known and accessible to the general public in an international perspective.


In fact, lately much has been said and written about Vieira, but there is no edition of the complete and updated works of this baroque preacher. We believe that a work of this nature, which does not compete with other partial projects and those of a more scholarly nature, may constitute an unprecedented, necessary and obligatory contribution to promoting knowledge, dissemination and research, as well as facilitating the teaching of the work of Father António Vieira, an eminent figure of our Letters. Counting on the collaboration of experts and researchers dedicated to studying Vieira or related subjects, currently underway is the preparation of an updated and annotated edition of the Complete Works of Father António Vieira, both in print and digital support. Following the work of preparation of the complete works, we will be published a Dictionary of Vieira, as well as the selected works of Vieira, to publish in 20 international languages. This intervention intends to present the main characteristics and innovative aspects of the project, as well as to reflect and discuss the great themes, problems and methodological challenges of the publishing, dissemination and teaching of the Works of Vieira, especially as a master of Rhetoric.


   Symposium Participants


Katherine Adams,

Professor of English,

Loyola University, New Orleans USA

Interests: 19th 20th C US Rhetorical Education

Mirela Avdagic,

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Belgrade,

Republic of Serbia


Interests: Renaissance and Early Modern Rhetorical Tradition influence on the 18th century rhetorical education in Balkans, more precisely, in Serbia. This region was predominantly under the Byzantine influence, yet the majority of handbooks used in teaching Rhetorics were based on Jesuit rhetorical tradition (Soarez's De arte Rhetorica, for example). I am studying the roots and branches of Jesuit Rhetorics to understand the dynamics of early rhetorical education in my country.

John C. Brereton,

Professor Emeritus

University of Massachusetts Boston USA

Interests: 19th and 20th Century American Jesuit Rhetoric. Histories of Jesuit rhetorical education.

Prof. Carla Castelli, Lingua e Letteratura greca, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italia


Sophie Conte (SC),

Associate Professor,

Université de Reims, France

Interests: Sacred Rhetoric (French Jesuit rhetors: Nicolas Caussin, Louis de Cressolles) / Early European Jesuit education

Mariano Dagatti, Professor University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Interests: Jesuit Rhetoric in Political Discourse 


Francoise Douay,

Professor Emerita,

Université d’Aix-Marseille, France

Interests: 18th and 19th C Jesuit Rhetorical History, Reception theory (Aristotle), Jesuit rhetorics across the centuries.

Cinthia Gannett (SC),

Professor Emerita,

Fairfield University, USA

Interests: Histories and Historiographies of Jesuit Rhetoric, Jesuit Rhetorical Texts and Education

John Joseph Jasso, Assistant Professor of English, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Interests: Jesuit rhetorical engagements with English authors/ works.

Jordan Loveridge, Asst. Professor of Communication and English, Mount Saint Mary’s University, Maryland, USA

Interests: St Thomas Aquinas

Ana Lucia Machado de Oliveira, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Interests: Jesuit Rhetoric 17th century; the expression of passions in Antonio Vieira's sermons and letters.

Asunción Sanchez Manzano, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, León, España

Interests: Jesuit Rhetorical Concepts (Classical reception theory) / Development of the Literature in Spain and across Europe.

Margarida Miranda, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

Interests: Early Jesuit rhetorics at Coimbra / Earliest Jesuit theatre and Miguel Venegas, S.J

Stella Oh, Associate Professor & Director of the Core Curriculum, Loyola Marymount University, USA

Interests: Effects of Post Colonial and Global Jesuit Rhetorics



Tom Pace, Associate Professor of English, John Carroll University, USA

Interests: American Jesuit rhetorical education/ Jesuit stylistics and grammar


Our thanks to Mike Edwards and ISHR for all the material and logistical support that made this meeting possible.


Our thanks also to John O’Malley, S.J. and Jerry Murphy, who helped bring our field into view and actively encouraged our efforts to become a network of scholars. They are with us in spirit. And to Jan Swearingen, a member of the Steering Committee with interests in the Jesuits and civil discourse. She left us too soon. She is with us in spirit, too.

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