Instruments of the Divinity
Christopher van Ginhoven Rey, Trinity College, USA
In Instruments of the Divinity, Christopher van Ginhoven Rey shows that an important reflection on God’s providential praxis animates the foundational documents of the Society of Jesus. Focusing on Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s conception of Jesuits as the instruments of a laboring God, the book explores the philosophical and theological roots of the metaphor of the instrument and its place in the social imaginary of the Jesuit order. Close readings of the Spiritual Exercises, the Jesuit Constitutions, and a selection of letters by Ignatius call attention to the existence of a rhetoric of instrumentality that provides the basis for the Society’s project of instruction, its loving affirmation of the world, and its attempts to differentiate itself from its monastic predecessors.