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Passionate UncertaintyInside the American Jesuits$
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Peter McDonough and Eugene Bianchi

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230552

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230552.001.0001

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Life in Community

Life in Community

(p.160) Chapter Seven Life in Community
Passionate Uncertainty

Peter McDonough

Eugene C. Bianchi

University of California Press

Assessments of Jesuit community life vary enormously, and so do the expectations brought to it. Bonding is powerful among men undergoing the rigors of training, and it slackens as men move on to communities that are sometimes little more than holding areas for busy professionals engaged in disparate activities in scattered venues. The community of memory—of youthful solidarity, irretrievable energy, and promising vistas—exerts a powerful appeal as men get older. Religious life establishes a context for the development of powerful bonds. Community as an exercise in civility is the backup option in Jesuit life. What it lacks in vibrancy it makes up for in pragmatic acceptance and polite evasion of emotional entanglements, allowing men to get on with their work. Community can be both a support and a burden.

Keywords:   community life, bonding, religious life, Jesuit life, emotional entanglements

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