Ignatius of Loyola by W. Meissner S.J.
The Psychology of a Saint

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Ignatius of Loyola - knight and saint, mystic and ascetic, founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) - was one of the great figures in Western Christianity. This book, written by a psychiatrist-psychoanalyst who is also a Jesuit, looks behind the events, accounts and documents of Ignatius' life and religious experience in order to enter and understand his inner world. Meissner writes about Ignatius' origins, early development, conversion, years of prayer and penance, mystical teaching and career and finally his effors to found and direct the Society of Jesus. Dr Meissner not only places Iganatius' life against the background of the radical religious, social, and political upheaval of the 16th century but goes beyond this to explore the psychic and psychodynamic inner processes that transformed the man into the saint. Dr Meissner discusses, for exmaple, Ignatius' ordeals of body and spirit during his career as a soldier, his conversion experience, the evolution of his personality after conversion, his relationships with women, his lifelong struggles to overcome his aggressive, narcissisttic and libidinal impulses, and the psychology and pathology of his mysticism. The book brings into focus questions about the interplay between human motivations and needs on the one hand and religious experience and spiritual motivation on the other.

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Published September 10, 1992 by Yale University Press. 510 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Far-reaching, sometimes far-fetched psychobiography of the Catholic mystic, saint, and founder of the Jesuits.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Ignatius of Loyola: The Psych...