A Jesuit Approach to Catechesis: St. Peter Canisius and the Reform of Christian Doctrine

When and Where

Friday, October 29, 2021 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Online Event


Thomas Flowers, SJ, Ph.D.


The Toronto Jesuit History Research Group invites you to its first talk of the 2021 Calendar.
Abstract: The stunning popularity of the catechisms of Peter Canisius, SJ in the sixteenth century is only rivaled by their pastoral content, so at odds with the defensive stance that pervaded Catholic pedagogy after the Protestant Reformation. Canisius published his first catechism in 1555; by his death in 1597, his catechisms had gone through well over three hundred editions and over a dozen translations. Rather than building up a defense against Protestant teachings, Canisius’s catechisms presented Catholic teaching positively. The contrast between these catechisms and the papally-issued Roman Catechism and the entire approach to catechesis after the Council of Trent reveals itself most poignantly in Canisius’s treatment of how to live a life of Christian Justice, where he utilized the spiritual approach he had learned from the Spiritual Exercises and his mentor Pierre Favre to propose not a list of moral prohibitions, but a method for moral decision making.

PDF iconTJHRG- Oct. 29 - Flowers's A Jesuit Approach to Catechesis.pdf

Contact Information


Toronto Jesuit History Research Group (TJHRG), Jackman Humanities Institute