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Date of Award
Master of Arts in Spirituality
School of Theology • Seminary
Helen Rolfson OSF
In this paper I use documents from the early Jesuits and from Martin Luther to suggest that Jesuit spirituality was formed in part as a response to Luther's criticism of religious life, especially in regard to monastic vows. I use "The Judgement of Martin Luther on Monastic Vows" to demonstrate the points that Ignatius seems to agree with and carry in his heart as the foundation for Jesuit life.
I do not attempt to suggest that Ignatius merely took Luther's ideas and tucked them into the Spiritual Exercises. However, the Jesuits were an order that because primarily as an instrument of the Roman Catholic Pope in conflict with Lutherans. One of their first and most important tasks was at Trent, defending the faith. It is beyond coincidence that the Jesuit charism and spirituality so closely align and agree with major ideas of Luther regarding common life.
Zenner, Kevin J., "Jesuit Spirituality as a Response to Martin Luther's Criticism of Monasticism" (1997). School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses. 1425.
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