Map Legend:
Patronage of Spain
Patronage of Portugal
Supported by France
Jesuit English Province
Jesuit Foundations in Europe

A Geographical Narrative of the foundations of Jesuit Colleges in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.



Founded by Ignatius de Loyola in the 16th century, Society of Jesus was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. By 1568, they already had a network of schools spanning Europe, reaching out as far as India, and out to what is now Mexico.

This narrative map traces the establishment of the global network of Jesuit colleges in the 16th and 17th centuries. Scroll down to read about the various contexts in which schools were founded. The markers on the map each mark the location of at least one Jesuit college. Click on a marker to learn more about the college(s) at that location. The markers do not provide a complete list of Jesuit colleges established in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, but we have assembled enough to visualize the span and intensity of the Jesuit's educational work. We note that the geopolitical divisions and names shown on the map and referred to in the narrative are the contemporary ones, which are not necessarily the same as those of the respective times, as geopolitical divisions and names have changed over time.

The overall geopolitical framing context here is that of coloniality, in which the Jesuits participated and often served as cultural brokers. Notably, locality would nuance their ministry.

Peter Paul Reubens - life of St. Ignatius engraving - plate 60
Peter Paul Reubens - The Life of St. Ignatius - Engraving - plate 60. Source.

About this work

This interactive map was created to accompany a historical longue durée synthesis that contextualizes the Jesuits’ works, written by Rosa Bruno-Jofré and Ana Jofre, published in Cadernos de História da Educação, volume 22 e203.

This is also part of a web-project on the Jesuit vision of Education in Early Modernity, which was created to accompany Oxford Research Encyclopedia's entry on Early Jesuit Vision of Education, by Rosa Bruno-Jofré and Ana Jofre (publication forthcoming).

Please cite this web page as follows:
Ana Jofre, Rosa Bruno-Jofré, Susan Overvelde. “A map of Jesuit Colleges 1540-1773” Jesuit Vision of Education 1540-1773. Theory and History of Education Research Group. 2023.

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