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This refreshing re-evaluation of the so-called autobiography of Ignatius Loyola (c. 1491-1556) situatesIgnatius's Actsagainst the backgrounds of the spiritual geography of Luke's New Testament writings and the culture of Renaissance humanism. Ignatius Loyola's So-Called Autobiography builds upon recent scholarly consensus, examines the language of the text that Ignatius Loyola dictated as his legacy to fellow Jesuits late in life, and discusses relevant elements of the social, historical, and religious contexts in which the text came to birth. Recent monographs by Marjorie O'Rourke Boyle and John W. O'Malley have characterized Ignatius's Acts as a mirror of vainglory and of apostolic religious life, respectively. In this study, John M. McManamon, S.J., persuasively argues that an appreciation of the two Lukan New Testament writings likewise helps interpret the theological perspectives of Ignatius. The geography of Luke's two writings and the theology that undergirds Luke's redactional innovation assisted Ignatius in remembering and understanding the crucial acts of God in his own life. This eloquent, lucidly written new book is essential reading for anyone interested in Ignatius, the early Jesuits, sixteenth-century religious life, and the history of early modern Europe.
John M. McManamon, S.J. is Professor of Italian Renaissance History and Medieval Nautical Archaeology at Loyola University Chicago.