List of Jesuit scientists

Jesuit astronomers with Chinese Scholars in the 18th century

The Jesuits have made numerous significant contributions to the development of science. For example, they have dedicated significant study to earthquakes, and seismology has been described as "the Jesuit science."[1] The Jesuits have been described as "the single most important contributor to experimental physics in the seventeenth century."[2] According to Jonathan Wright in his book God's Soldiers, by the eighteenth century the Jesuits had "contributed to the development of pendulum clocks, pantographs, barometers, reflecting telescopes and microscopes, to scientific fields as various as magnetism, optics and electricity. They observed, in some cases before anyone else, the colored bands on Jupiter's surface, the Andromeda nebula and Saturn's rings. They theorized about the circulation of the blood (independently of Harvey), the theoretical possibility of flight, the way the moon affected the tides, and the wave-like nature of light."[3]

The Jesuit China missions of the 16th and 17th centuries introduced Western science and astronomy, then undergoing its own revolution, to China. One modern historian writes that in late Ming courts, the Jesuits were "regarded as impressive especially for their knowledge of astronomy, calendar-making, mathematics, hydraulics, and geography."[4] The Society of Jesus introduced, according to Thomas Woods, "a substantial body of scientific knowledge and a vast array of mental tools for understanding the physical universe, including the Euclidean geometry that made planetary motion comprehensible."[5] Another expert quoted by Woods said the scientific revolution brought by the Jesuits coincided with a time when science was at a very low level in China.

This is a list of Jesuit scientists, who contributed somehow to science. Members of the Society of Jesus have a historical and occasionally controversial role in the history of science. These are Jesuits who were notable scientists and were not required to be of any significance in discussing the relationship between religion and science. Also, included are fictional characters of Jesuit scientists in literature as well as historical people. It is chronologically arranged by date of death.

16th century

17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

21st century

Fictional Jesuits

The 'Jesuit scientist' has been used as a character of faith in several works of science fiction;[6] some examples include:

See also


  1. Susan Elizabeth Hough, Richter's Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man, Princeton University Press, 2007, ISBN 0-691-12807-3, p. 68.
  2. Lindberg, David C.; Numbers, Ronald Leslie (1986). God and nature. Historical essays on the encounter between Christianity and science. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 154. ISBN 0-520-05538-1; ISBN 978-052005-538-4.
  3. Wright, Jonathan (2005). God's Soldiers. Adventure, Politics, Intrigue, and Power--A History of the Jesuits. New York City: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. p. 200. ISBN 0-385-50080-7; ISBN 978-038550-080-7.
  4. Patricia Buckley Ebrey, p. 212.
  5. Woods, Thomas E. (2005). How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing. p. 101. ISBN 0-895-26038-7; ISBN 978-089526-038-3.
  6. Strangewords

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.