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This article reflects upon the impact of the work of John W. O’Malley, S.J. (1927–2022), on the field of the history of Jesuit education. In The First Jesuits (1993), O’Malley provided an innovative approach to the subject that refuted some long-standing preconceptions about the way Jesuit schools and universities had originally developed. The approach that he took to to the topic throughout the 1990s and 2000s allowed him to identify two intertwined educational traditions at the heart of the Jesuit pedagogical model: the humanistic tradition of the Renaissance period, based on the Isocratic concept of pietas, and the scholastic tradition inherited from the medieval universities. This article focuses on the consequences of these findings: 1) at the historiographical level, O’Malley came to elaborate a philosophy of history around the traditional concept of humanism as it emerged in Four Cultures of the West (2004) and in his tetralogy (2008–2019) on modern ecumenical councils; 2) at the pedagogical level, O’Malley came to outline 5 “humanistic” hooks (2015), which are still an essential tool for those actively working in Jesuit educational institutions.



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