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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes forms, meanings, and functions of psychology in the history of the Society of Jesus. Interpreted as an interest for the interior dimension of the subject, psychology is an implicit and multifaceted presence in the Ignatian order. The examination of the self is the first step for those who desire to enter the Society of Jesus, and the obedience imperative is a characterizing feature of the regulation in the Society. If psychology is given the meaning of the science of the soul as the life principle, then it can be tracked down not only in philosophical works providing the basics for the curriculum in the Jesuit colleges since the late sixteenth century but also in the coeval practical science of moral theology. Only after the late nineteenth century, with the emergence of experimental psychology, did the discipline obtain its own place in Jesuit episteme, between continuity and rupture.

Keywords: Jesuits, psychology, soul, Society of Jesus, self-examination, obedience, sixteenth century, seventeenth century

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