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The Jesuits in the United States

A Concise History

A distinctive and modern telling of the history of the Society of Jesus in America

The history of America cannot be told without the history of religion, the history of American religion cannot be told without the history of Catholicism, and the history of Catholicism in America cannot be told without the history of Jesuits in America.

Jesuits in the United States offers a panoramic overview of the Jesuit order in the United States from the colonial era to the present. David J. Collins, SJ, describes the development of the Jesuit order in the US against the background of American religious, cultural, and social history. He investigates the relationship of Jesuit activities in America to those in Europe and, by the twentieth century, to those around the world as US Jesuits are increasingly assigned to "foreign missions" and the political and religious connections between the US and the world, especially Latin America, grow. He covers the papacy's suppression of the order and its restoration period. He also reflects on the future of the order in light of its past.

Readers familiar with the Jesuit tradition and those who are new to it will learn from this book's distinctive and modern perspective — using twenty-first century scholarship and opinions on Jesuit slaveholding, the sexual abuse crisis, and other contemporary issues — on 500 years of Jesuit history in the United States.

About the Author

David J. Collins, SJ, is an associate professor in the Department of History and the Haub Director of Catholic Studies at Georgetown University.


"Collins has given us a highly accessible primer on the Society of Jesus in the United States — its goals, activities, methods, animating beliefs, and legacies. Sensitive to important and necessary changes in our understanding of settler colonialism. This book should enlighten fans and critics alike." — Maura Jane Farrelly, author of Papist Patriots: The Making of an American Catholic Identity,

"Judicious in its selections of Jesuits (both familiar and otherwise), measured in its assessment of the order's successes, and unflinching in its treatment of noted failures, Collins's insightful, engaging, and sweeping book will prove a mainstay of syllabi and bookshelves as well as a model for other regional histories that constitute the shared global story of the Society of Jesus." — Seth Meehan, associate director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, Boston College

""David Collins's concise history of the Jesuits in the United States is the first of its kind. Written for general and scholarly audiences, readers can follow the trajectory of American Catholic history alongside the fascinating lives of Jesuits from the colonial period to the present."" — Michael Pasquier, professor of religious studies and history, Louisiana State University
Georgetown University Press


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August 1, 2023
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