"Europe" and the Society of Jesus: Jesuit Innovations in Higher Education and the Challenge of Sociopolitical Modernization in Spain and Italy (1975 - 2013)

Dr. Carl Antonius Lemke Duque

The topic of the research-project covers the challenging process of "Europeanization" of the Jesuit Order in Spain and Italy. The scientific focus aims at the Impulses of Innovation of the Society of Jesus in Higher Education regarding particularly the exchange of new concepts and ideas between Spanish and Italian Jesuits and their European brothers and colleagues. The object of analysis of the research-project consists in the discourses and debates on "Europe" and "Higher Education" as well as in the institutional and programmatic Educational Changes of Jesuit’s Universities and Research Institutes in Spain and Italy between 1975 and 2013.

By focusing on the discourses and institutional changes in Jesuit Higher Education in Europe the research-project is based on three different kinds of primary sources: (A) Jesuit philosophical, educational and cultural journals in Spain and Italy such as Razón y Fé, Civiltá Cattolica, Societas. Rivista dei Gesuiti dell'Italia Meridionale, Manresa, Revista de Fomento Social, Pensamiento, Estudios de Deusto, Cuadernos de Estudios Europeos etc. including other European journals of the Society of Jesus such as Stimmen der Zeit, Orientierung, The Month, Études, etc. − (B) Jesuit General Assembly documents concerning educational innovations that can be studied in Spain’s provincial archives, including the generals discourses on Higher Education Innovation and several meetings of Jesuit Experts Council during these years. − (C) Archives of the main Jesuit Universities and Scientific Centers in Spain and Italy such as Pontifica Università Gregoriana, Universidad Pontifica de Comillas, Universidad de Deusto and, for example, the Istituto di Formazione Politica Pedro Arrupe, Instituto de Fomento Social, Instituto Fé y Secularidad, Instituto de Estudios Europeos including as well Jesuit European Social Center in Brussels or the german Nell-Breuning-Institut.

The scientific focus and the object of analysis of the research-project aim at a critical reconstruction of Jesuit discourses of Educational Innovation as well as institutional and programmatic impulses of Modernization. As a basic research assumption these impulses of Innovation can be classified as follows:
1) Early formal changing patterns as precondition for further "Europeanization" of Jesuit Higher Education in Spain; 2) concrete innovative Matters and Structures of Transfer; and, 3) consequences of practical application regarding increasing European Scientific Networking and Programs of Academic Exchange in order to guarantee a structural integration of Jesuit Higher Education Institutions into the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

Dr. Carl Antonius Lemke Duque
Basque Government Fellow DHI Rom 2015–2016