The Jesuits

Edmund Campion and Evelyn Waugh
How did the patron saint of the Jesuits in Britain, who was martyred on 1 December 1581, transform the life of one England’s most celebrated authors nearly 400 years later? Gerard Kilroy, the co-editor of a new edition of Evelyn Waugh's Edmund Campion, describes the motivations behind and evolution of Waugh’s ‘work of imaginative literature’.  Thomas More and John Fisher were canonised by Pope Pius XI on 19 May 1935; in the same month, Evelyn Waugh finished writing his gripping...
Peter Mullan as Henry Garnet SJ in Gunpowder
The opening half of episode 3 of Gunpowder was a vast improvement on the episode that preceded it.Thankfully it kept fairly close to the broadly known facts, and was a simple but presentable visualisation of the events. It covered the final loading of the parliamentary undercroft with barrels of explosives; the breakdown of the Gunpowder Plot (either via an anonymous letter to Lord Monteagle or a creative twist hinting at betrayal by the Spanish); the fleeing of the plotters to the Midlands;...
Gunpowder
This really is becoming something of a dog’s dinner.Except for the central fact that a group of blokes are planning to blow up the English parliament, the details of Gunpowder are becoming somewhat disconnected to the known facts of the Gunpowder Plot. People and places are adrift, incidents and portrayals are going badly out of focus, and time is bending more than in an episode of Star Trek.As in episode I, the production values of episode 2 are high, and obviously money has been poured into...
Liv Tyler, Edward Wintour and Kit Harington in 'Gunpowder'
There is a famous philosophical proposition that if an infinite number of monkeys sat at an infinite number of typewriters, all combinations of letters of the alphabet would eventually be made and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare would emerge.The American comedian, Bob Newhart, picked up this conceit in one of his stand-up monologues by suggesting that, if such an experiment was to be attempted, it would need monitors to go around and observe what the monkeys were writing.In the sketch...
birds in flight
Defining the qualities of an Ignatian leader is an all but impossible task, says Sarah Broscombe, and so it should be, because Ignatian leadership cannot be reduced to, ‘a tidy theory with accompanying tools and practices. It is a disposition of mind, heart and will.’ There are, however, certain traits that can usefully act as ‘compass bearings’ for those who want to understand what leadership means in the Ignatian tradition. What is your gut reaction when you hear the word ‘leadership’?...
Statue of St Ignatius
The life of the saint whose feast we celebrate on 31 July was changed completely when he read the stories of the saints who had come before him. But tradition has it that Ignatius had a devotion to St Peter even before his conversion as a convalescent, and that it was Peter’s intercession that brought about his recovery. To mark Ignatius’s feast, Philip Endean SJ explores this tradition and how it may have played out, both in Ignatius’s own life and in the mission of the Society of Jesus ever...
The Berrigan Letters
‘Both sides are kissing their relics and ignoring living men’. So wrote Daniel Berrigan SJ of Christianity and Marxism in a letter to his brother, Philip, on Christmas Eve 1963. The comment captures the spirituality and convictions of both men. They shared a profound desire that Christianity resist the distractions of clericalism and be constantly and fundamentally concerned with changing human realities, materially and spiritually.Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest who was celebrated as a poet...
Still from 'Silence'
Director: Martin ScorseseStarring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Yôsuke Kubozuka, Issei OgataCertificate: 15Running time: 161 minsUK release date: 1 January 2017In Martin Scorsese’s introduction to a special edition of Shūsaku Endō’s Silence[i], he claims that the novel ‘is precisely about the particular and the general. And it is finally about the first overwhelming the second.’That’s an interesting lens through which to interpret the story of two 17th century Jesuit priests who...
Still from 'Silence'
Martin Scorsese’s ‘passion project’, Silence, based on the novel by Shūsako Endō, has been in the making for some twenty years. The story of Jesuit missionaries in Japan is rich with questions and Ignatian themes – Frances Murphy suggests what viewers should look out for when the film comes to UK cinemas on 1 January. Shūsako Endō’s novel, Silence, tells the story of two 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionaries in Japan in search of the truth about what happened to their much-admired...
Still from 'Ignacio de Loyola'
Director: Paolo DyStarring: Andreas Muñoz, Pepe Ocio, Mario de la Rosa, Jabier Godino, Julio PerillánRunning time: 118 mins Balanced precariously on a rocky pinnacle at the top of a mountain that wouldn’t feel out of place in The Lord of the Rings, an anguished figure looks set to fall to his own destruction. This brief scene provides an unconventional opening to a new film based on the Autobiography of St Ignatius of Loyola. It demonstrates, right from the start, some of the challenges of...

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