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Pedro de Ribadeneira, Treatise on the Governance of St Ignatius of Loyola, translated by Joseph A. Munitiz SJ

FEW OF THE EARLY Jesuits knew their founder as well as Pedro de Ribadeneira (1526–1611). He met Ignatius while still in his teens, and outlived him by more than fifty years. Ribadeneira wrote the classic biography of Ignatius, and on his death a sketch for a further account of Ignatius’ mode of government was found among his papers. This remained unpublished until, in the nineteenth century, it was added to the Spanish edition of the biography. An English version was badly needed as few texts are so revealing or so relevant about Ignatius. Ignatius himself appears with his charismatic gifts and foibles, offering characteristically formulated guidelines—inspired by great respect for individuals but exigent in the high ideals they embody. Some features are proposed ‘for admiration rather than for imitation’, but most Jesuits, both those required to govern and those governed, can learn much from all of them. And the same is true not just for members of the Society of Jesus but for all involved in governance, religious or other.

This timely translation of Ribedenaira’s writings on St Ignatius’ approach to “good government” offers access to a powerful but little-known work. Its focus on the attitudes and values that shaped Ignatius’ practice of leadership contrasts provocatively with a contemporary tendency, in Church and society, to focus mainly on the “mechanics” of leadership and government. This is an excellent read.
Prof. Philip Sheldrake

Price: £8.00

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ISBN: 978 0 904717 47 1

Publisher: Way Books


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