Conference: Jesuits and the Natural World

With their worldwide reach and efficient channels of reporting and correspondence, the early modern Jesuits were uniquely placed to think about nature, botany, weather and what would come to be called human ecology, in a wider context than any group before them. These perspectives continued to resonate in different cultural and intellectual milieux over the centuries, and up to our present time.
The two-day conference will draw together and critically reflect on knowledge about Jesuit perspectives on the natural world from a wide diversity of disciplines, assessing its ongoing relevance for today. The conference will also showcase artefacts from the rich collections of Stonyhurst College and the British Jesuit Province through a pop-up exhibition held at Campion Hall.

Lectures include:

  • Professor Peter Davidson on “The Natural World and the Old Society”
  • Professor Agustin Udias on “Jesuits’ Meteorological Stations and Weather Studies: The Tropical Hurricanes”
  • Marlis Hinckley on “Jesuit Gardening in the New World”
  • Jane Cooper on “Fr Thomas West’s ‘Guide to the Lakes’: Contributions to the Picturesque and the Sublime During the Years of Jesuit Suppression”
  • Professor Michael Hurley on “The Double Charge of God’s Creation”
  • How the Jesuits Salvaged British Catholic Culture (pop-up exhibition)