Saturday, August 15, 2009


Identity and Impact (1540 – 1773)

Leuven, Belgium, 3-5 December, 2009

On December 3-5, 2009, the Jesuitica Project* (*Institute for the Study of Spirituality / K.U.Leuven – Faculty of Theology), together with the Netherlands Institute of Jesuit Studies (NIJS, Amsterdam) is organizing an International Conference, entitled “*/THE JESUITS OF THE LOW COUNTRIES: Identity and Impact (1540 – 1773)/*,”to be held*/ /*at the premises of the Faculty of Theology, K.U.Leuven, Belgium. The conference is sponsored by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and the Flemish-Dutch Committee for the Dutch Language and Culture (VNC).

This international conference will be focusing on the Jesuits of the Low Countries (1540-1773), their multiple identities and their impact on society, with particular emphasis on recent research and newly available methodologies. We hope to bring together junior and senior researchers, from all countries, with a special interest in the Jesuits of the Low Countries (Old Society). The topics of the interventions are chosen in such a way that both ends of the information chain should be able to meet: archivists, librarians, and book historians, on the one hand, and researchers, on the other hand.

From its foundation till its suppression in the eighteenth century, the Society of Jesus had a profound impact on the cultural, religious and political life of the Low Countries. The Jesuits contributed significantly to the shaping of the educational curriculum and to the dialogue with the burgeoning new sciences and the arts. Their pastoral and spiritual methods were equally innovative. Their influence can be measured by their huge number of local vocations and the enormous amount of literature printed in the Low Countries.

This conference also sheds light on the largest Jesuitica collection of the world, housed at the Maurits Sabbe Library (Faculty of Theology, K.U.Leuven), and the opportunities it creates for research. This collection comprises works from the major former Jesuit libraries in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Since 2004, these volumes are in the process of being described in depth, and the results have been made available to the scientific community thanks to the Jesuitica Project, operating within the Institute for the Study of Spirituality. The website / has gained support and appreciation from a score of researchers worldwide. To mark the closing of the first phase of this project, we want to both evaluate the past achievements and look ahead towards the future.

On the occasion of the conference, a new publication will be launched: /Jesuit Books in the //Low Countries//, 1540-1773. A selection from the Maurits Sabbe Library/, in which more than fifty scholars deal with a well-balanced selection of books – by and about Jesuits – which belong to the collections of the Maurits Sabbe Library. The book will be a showcase of Jesuitica research-in-action.

At the Maurits Sabbe Library, an exhibit of these books, put within their context, is scheduled to be opened on the first night of the conference. The exhibit will be on display till 16 January 2010.

Prior registration is required, before 15 November 2009 – preferably via the Jesuitica website, where all further information regarding registration and accomodation can be found, next to updates and programme details.

Payment of fees (€20,00 for 3 days or €10,00 per single day) by money transfer to

IBAN: BE60 7340 0666 0370 – SWIFT code: KREDBEBB (international transfer – SEPA form)

always mentioning “400/0003/12257” + NAME of participant.

More information can be requested at


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