November 9, 2023 — “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 history of Catholicism in America cannot be told without the history of the Jesuits in America.”
That’s the beginning of the dust jacket text for the new book “The Jesuits in the United States: A Concise History” by Fr. David J. Collins, SJ, published by Georgetown University Press. Fr. Collins is an associate professor in the Department of History at Georgetown University, where he’s also the Haub Director of Catholic Studies. It’s incredible how you can learn about America and the Society of Jesus in just 175 pages of Fr. Collins’ clear and engaging prose. If you have any interest at all in the Jesuits in the U.S., then we can’t recommend this book highly enough.
Starting in 1566, the book traces the activity and growth of the Jesuits throughout America, highlighting key figures, landmark events, and important stories like the history of Jesuit slaveholding. When host Mike Jordan Laskey started the interview, hey thought they’d make it through the book in one episode, but there’s so much richness to cover that we’re splitting up the conversation into two parts.
Part 1 covers the 16th century up through the U.S. Civil War:
Part 2 focuses mostly on American Jesuit history from the 20th and 21st centuries:
AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.