The successes and failures of Ignacio de Loyola Lecture Series Ignacio de Loyola, the mediator. Project “Biographies of Eminent Spaniards”

The successes and failures of Ignacio de Loyola

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Enrique García Hernán

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Íñigo de Loyola came to be a figure with a new historical significance in that same century and with the name of Ignacio de Loyola, Master Ignacio, the first Superior General of the Society of Jesus, author of Autobiografía, Ejercicios Espirituales, Diario Espiritual and Constituciones. He was the owner of his own destiny when he changed his name himself. This change was done through an equally refined as rapid transforming process of personal and collective self-definition in which several people participated, specially Jesuits, debugging his image. His written work was identified with his person. Thanks to his vital experience, Ignacio learned how to lay bridges in the dialectic combats of the two extremes that could be found in all areas, theologic (grace-liberty), dogmatic (science-bible), political (king-community), anthropologic (soul-body), spiritual (contemplation-action), ecclesiastic discipline (mental prayer-vocal prayer), scientific (science-experience), etc., or like he used to say, between Marta and Maria. It was, in a way, about still being enlightened and erasmist, at the same time as roman and hierarchic. He had the wisdom to combine both things, to make a religious project possible using policy, and to pose a political option making use of the religious life. Once dead, some understood, probably Ribadeneira better than no one else, what Ignacio always said: "The Society of Jesus was not mainly founded over Ignacio, but more over Jesus Christ, who had risen to this his servant to build and raise this work from his hands, and he his omnipotent to give us other and others, who although are not Ignatios, they will be whatever we need". In this conference I will focus on the analysis of his texts and the Society of Jesus since its foundation in 1540 till the death of Ignacio in 1556.

  1. Enrique García HernánEnrique García HernánNacido en Madrid en 1964, es investigador científico en el Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). Doctor en Historia Moderna por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid y doctor en Historia de la Iglesia por la Universidad Gregoriana de Roma. Es académico correspondiente de la Real Academia de la Historia, académico de la Academia de San Carlos (Milán) y vocal de la Comisión Española de Historia Militar. Ha recibido diversos premios de investigación, entre estos el Premio Ejército, el Premio Virgen del Mar y el Premio Roberto Bellarmino. Su principal línea de investigación es la Historia Cultural de la época de los Austrias. Autor y editor de numerosas obras de investigación, entre las que se pueden citar las siguientes: La armada española en la monarquía de Felipe II y la defensa del Mediterráneo (1995); Francisco de Borja, Grande de España (1999); La acción diplomática de Francisco de Borja al servicio del Pontificado, 1571-1572 (2000); Políticos de la Monarquía Hispánica, 1469-1700. Ensayo y Diccionario (2002); Milicia General en la Edad Moderna. El Batallón de don Rafael de la Barreda y Figueroa (2003); Monumenta Borgia, Vols, VI y VII, (2003-2009); e Ireland and Spain in the reign of Philip II (2009).