SOCI-411-01 Jesuits and Globalization
Fall for 2016-2017
T 5:00 - 7:30 pm

This graduate seminar, open to upper level undergraduates, will explore in depth the role of the Jesuits in processes of globalization from the early modern age to the present. Only decades after its foundation in 1540, the Society of Jesus had active missions around the globe: in Ethiopia, India, China, Japan, Russia, and throughout the Americas from Quebec to Paraguay. For two centuries, until their suppression in 1773, they also functioned as primary scientific, cultural and artistic brokers between East and West and between North and South. In the early modern phase of globalization, before Western hegemony, Jesuits were crucial contributors to the two key dimensions of globalization, the increasing connectivity between all peoples and the growth of a global human consciousness. They became less relevant and less conspicuous in the modern Western hegemonic phase of globalization from the democratic and industrial revolutions to the 1960’s. Since the aggiornamento associated with the Second Vatican Council and the re-founding of the Society of Jesus under Father General Pedro Arrupe, the Jesuits have become again actively engaged in processes of globalization, but now increasingly accompanying the people on the margins and the peripheries. One of the premises of the seminar is that the contemporary global age, marked by geopolitical, cultural and religious pluralism, allows us to reflect in a new light upon the role of the Jesuits as pioneer globalizers in the first early modern phase of globalization.

Students are expected to do the required readings and participate in class discussions in all the sessions. Additionally, students will develop a research project on a particular theme, historical epoch, or geographical area covered by the seminar that will culminate in a final term paper. At the beginning of the semester students will identify and select the particular theme or topic on which they will do intensive research under faculty supervision throughout the semester. They will present drafts of their research projects when their chosen topic is covered during the seminar. In the second half of the course students will present for discussion in class drafts of their essays, which will then be revised and presented as a final term paper (ca. 25 pages, plus a carefully annotated bibliography).
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

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Fall '16: Casanova J (file download)
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