Passionate Uncertainty: Inside the American Jesuits

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University of California Press, 2003 - Religion - 390 pages
"What ever happened to the American Jesuits? Though ex-Jesuits now outnumber Jesuits, the order is still around, still a force in American Catholic life. I cannot imagine its corporate identity receiving a more thorough or a more subtle profile than it receives in this book."—Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography

"An excellent case study of a declining religious organization—exploring the multitude of reasons for this decline. Peter McDonough and Eugene Bianchi give a superb account of the organizational, ideological, and psychological changes facing the Jesuits. Scholars and students will learn much from this work. So too will the multitudes of Catholics whose lives have been touched by the dedicated and talented men who affix 'SJ' to their names."—Patricia Wittberg, S.C., author of The Rise and Fall of Catholic Religious Orders

"This is a work of astonishing depth. McDonough and Bianchi are masterful tellers of the Jesuit tale, [which is] equally subtle, startling, and profound. You'll catch yourself wholly engrossed...."—James T. Fisher, author of Catholics in America

"Passionate Uncertainty is a powerful book, tough but required reading for Jesuits and former Jesuits, for those curious about the future of religious life and those simply intrigued by the Jesuit mystique. Reliance on numerous interviews enables McDonough and Bianchi to invite multiple voices into a lively conversation about vocation and mission, community and sexuality, Church politics and spiritual ideals. Few will agree with all the memories or predictions recorded here, and some of us will wonder whether the Jesuit future is as uncertain as the authors suggest. But none will regret pondering the changing identity of the Jesuits so vividly highlighted here."—Francis X. Clooney, SJ, author of Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Faith to Cross the Boundaries between Religions

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PASSIONATE UNCERTAINTY: Inside the American Jesuits

User Review  - Kirkus

A fascinating look at Catholicism's most prestigious order in a time of change and confusion.McDonough (Political Science/Arizona State Univ.) and Bianchi (Religion Emeritus/Emory Univ.) follow up ... Read full review

Passionate uncertainty: inside the American Jesuits

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Using interviews with over 400 Jesuits and former Jesuits, McDonough (political science, Arizona State Univ.; Men Astutely Trained: A History of the Jesuits in the American Century) and Bianchi ... Read full review


Staying and Leaving
Becoming a Jesuit
From Innocence to Experience
Sex Celibacy and Identity
Ignatian Spiritualities
Eclecticism and Commitment
Life in Community
Ministry and the Meaning of Priesthood
Revitalizing the Schools
Organizational Dilemmas Symbolic Conflicts
LowProfile Politics
Evenings Empire
Notes on Methodology

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About the author (2003)

Peter McDonough is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Arizona State University. He is author of Men Astutely Trained: A History of the Jesuits in the American Century (1992) and Power and Ideology in Brazil (1981) and coauthor of The Cultural Dynamics of Democratization in Spain (1998). Eugene C. Bianchi is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Emory University. He is author of Elder Wisdom: Crafting Your Own Elderhood (1994) and coeditor of A Democratic Catholic Church (1992).

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