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date: 20 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The attitude of Jesuits toward elites sheds light on their relationship to society at large, considered as a relationship between an “interior” and an “exterior”: the “interior” projects itself toward the “exterior” in its mission, while the “exterior” is attracted toward the “interior” to ensure recruitment (vocations) and financial and political support (apostolic foundation). The Society of Jesus, as a religious order, a religious utopia, enlists the elite in two ways: not only interior to its ranks but also towards the exterior, and not only as potential recruits (vocation) or support (foundation) but also in making them, by means of the colleges, a way of attaining the objective of contributing to the “common good.” Jesuits integrate and invert the values of the elite, maximizing their qualities in the service of a social project serving the poor: the just governance of society.

Keywords: Jesuits, recruitment, elites, vocations, foundations, common good, charity, utopia, identity, Constitutions of the Jesuits

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