Jesuit Initiatives in Indian Higher Education
|Author:||Joan Dias,Savio Abreu, S.J. & Keith D'Souza, S.J.|
|Publisher:||Christian World Imprints, Delhi|
|Other Details||9.50 X 6.50 inch|
This collection of articles provides a panoramic perspective of the contribution of the Society of Jesus commonly known as the Jesuits-in the field of higher education in India. In the year 2019, St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, celebrated its sesquicentennial (150) anniversary On this occasion, several scholars from different parts of India were invited to present research articles connected with the efforts of Jesuits from the 16th century till today in imparting quality formation at the highest levels of institutionalized or formal education.
The first section of the book features general and overarching themes related to Jesuit engagement with higher education. The second section focuses on the historical contributions within specific geographical locations: Bengal, Bombay, Madura and Malabar. Each of these areas was developed by Jesuits who came from different parts of the world to serve the subcontinent in various ways, including higher education.
Besides providing an overview of these interventions in higher education, there is also a critical assessment of the contribution of Jesuits in this field. Aspects and contours of future goals and plans are also presented, keeping in mind what is desirable, in terms of creating wholesome conditions for the integral transformation of all those who are engaged in, and benefit from Jesuit work in the field of higher education in India.
I Lanusenla Ao is a member of the Ao Baptist Church in Nagaland, India. She was involved for a year in church ministry at Tuensang Ao Baptist Church, Nagaland. She taught Communication Studies (Christian Ministry) for thirteen years at Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur, where she also served as the Editor of Sandeshharika (Prophetess's Voice). At present, she teaches at the Gossner Theological College, Ranchi, India. She is the Editor of the Adivasi Journal of Theology. She has also published a book entitled Communicating the Gospel in Media Saturated Era.
This publication was birthed at the seminar held to celebrate the sesquicentennial jubilee of St. Xavier's College Mumbai. It is being published as we Jesuits celebrate the 500 anniversary of the 'canonball event. On 20 May 1521 a cannonball injured the leg of a brave soldier. His forced convalescence made him question the meaning of his life and gave it a new direction. This led to the founding of the Jesuit order. The world today faces another cannonball event the Covid pandemic that has swept the globe. Education, and specifically Jesuit education will have to change in order to respond to the learnings of this pandemic.
The Jesuit ideals of the Magis and 'Finding God in All things' remain as relevant as ever. Jesuit education can never rest on its past laurels. The Magis gives us a restless longing to constantly find newer and better ways to serve the Lord and His changing world. 'Finding God in all things' means that we follow a Lord who does not lock himself up in a remote exotic place, but is out in the market place, in the messy terrain that constitutes the temples of learning that we call academic institutions. God's ministers do not just inhabit churches and temples. God's ministers are also teachers, doctors, nurses, academicians, mental health specialists and any person of goodwill.
Academic excellence and professionalism, our traditional hallmarks will have to be sustained. The pandemic has taught us the need for cutting- edge research. The pandemic has also exposed other kinds of problems - workers and daily wagers who had to bear the brunt of our lockdowns and right-wing leaders who instead of working towards a global consensus used this opportunity to further polarize the world, its nations and its citizens. Jesuit education will have to train people in critical thought, concern for the marginalized and instill the need for collaborative efforts to build a better cosmos. While many leaders seek to polarize, Jesuit institutions will have to strive for justice, an egalitarian world order and an inclusive capacious cosmos which fosters the flourishing of all beings.
The recent Education World India Autonomous Colleges Rankings 2020-21 were a heart-warming public recognition of the contribution of the Indian Jesuit family of institutions of higher education in the country.' The first four colleges in this perceptual ranking were all Jesuit-run. A fitting testimony to the hard labour of decades of work put in by Jesuits and their lay collaborators of different religious, cultural, ethnic and national backgrounds.
The present volume is a humble collection of only a few representatives from diverse fields of the bouquet of the complex offering in the field of higher education which the Jesuit family has gladly orchestrated for over a century. The volume springs from a celebratory event of St. Xavier's College, Mumbai-its sesquicentennial (150) anniversary--but the celebration is really a collective one, shared by Jesuits and their those who have shared their vision, values and mission over the years, all over India and all over the globe.
As part of the sesquicentennial celebrations, a national seminar was hosted to highlight the contribution of Jesuits in the field of higher education in South Asia in November 2019. Scholars from different institutions in India were invited to present papers on various aspects of this contribution. The seminar was organized to salute the efforts of our pioneering predecessors in the field of the Jesuit enterprise of higher education in India. Discussions and deliberations on the achievements and challenges within this field were the high point of the seminar.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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