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The first issue of he review appeared in September 1969
After the Perfectae Caritatis, the ten American provincials formed a committee, the Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality, with one representative from each province. These men were to address issues raised by the Council in light of Jesuit history, the foundation documents and lived experience. The Seminar was headed by George Ganss, S.J., director of the Institute of Jesuit Sources, housed at St. Louis University. The Seminar began to publish the results of its work in Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. With a membership of ten, the Seminar published five issues each year.
The organization gradually became more flexible in its membership. The Seminar members, serving three year terms, nominate new members, who are then accepted by the Jesuit Conference.
When the editorial function moved from St. Louis University to Boston College, the Seminar reduced Studies to four issues each year, in keeping with the standard practice for academic journals.
Studies varies in its format from issue to issue. It tries to attract contributors who are not members of the Seminar and collaborators who are not Jesuits.
The present orientation of the Review
The full mission statement appears on the inside front cover. Especially pertinent are the sentences: “It concerns itself with topics pertaining to the spiritual doctrine and practice of Jesuits, especially United States Jesuits, and communicates the results to the members of the provinces through its publication, Studies in he Spirituality of Jesuits.” And “The Seminar focuses its direct attention on the life and work of the Jesuits of the United States. The issues treated may be common also to Jesuits of other regions, to other priests, religious and laity, to both men and women. Hence the journal, while meant especially for American Jesuits, is not exclusively for them.”
The journal is sent to every American Jesuit. We have six hundred subscribers, about half of which are overseas. Most of these would be institutional: convents, seminaries, libraries in English speaking countries. We have a few lay subscribers.
Members of the Seminar are responsible for writing an issue that reflects their own interests and for soliciting articles form colleagues, whether Jesuit or not. The Seminar as a whole reads the mss. and decides on its suitability. We receive several unsolicited mss. each year, and put them through the same vetting process.
The editor by appointment of the Jesuit Conference. It is an indefinite term. Each year three new members are nominated and appointed to three year terms.