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Sacrifice and Survival, Sacrifice and Survival, 0817318194, 0-8173-1819-4, 978-0-8173-1819-2, 9780817318192, , , Sacrifice and Survival, 0817387420, 0-8173-8742-0, 978-0-8173-8742-6, 9780817387426,

Sacrifice and Survival
Identity, Mission, and Jesuit Higher Education in the American South
R. Eric Platt

Trade Cloth
2014. 240 pp.
8
978-0-8173-1819-2
Price:  $44.95 s
E Book
2014. 240 pp.
8
978-0-8173-8742-6
Price:  $44.95 d

Sacrifice and Survival recounts the history and development of Jesuit higher education in the American South.

R. Eric Platt examines in Sacrifice and Survival the history and evolution of Jesuit higher education in the American South and hypothesizes that the identity and mission of southern Jesuit colleges and universities may have functioned as catalytic concepts that affected the “town and gown” relationships between the institutions and their host communities in ways that influenced whether they failed or adapted to survive.

The Catholic religious order known as the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) manages a global network of colleges and universities with a distinct Catholic identity and mission. Despite this immense educational system, several Jesuit institutions have closed throughout the course of the order’s existence. Societal pressures, external perceptions or misperceptions, unbalanced curricular structures rooted in liberal arts, and administrators’ slow acceptance of courses related to practical job seeking may all influence religious-affiliated educational institutions. The religious identity and mission of these colleges and universities are fundamentals that influence their interaction with external environs and contribute to their survival or failure.

Platt traces the roots of Jesuit education from the rise of Ignatius Loyola in the mid-sixteenth century through the European development of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit educational identity and mission, the migration of Jesuits to colonial New Orleans, the expulsion of Jesuits by Papal mandate, the reorganization of Jesuit education, their attempt to establish a network of educational institutions across the South, and the final closure of all but two southern Jesuit colleges and a set of high schools.

Sacrifice and Survival explores the implications of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, yellow fever, Georgia floods, devastating fires, the Civil War, the expansion of New Orleans due to the 1884 Cotton Centennial Exposition, and ties between town and gown, as well as anti-Catholic/anti-Jesuit sentiment as the Society of Jesus pushed forward to create a system of southern institutions. Ultimately, institutional identity and mission critically impacted the survival of Jesuit education in the American South.

R. Eric Platt received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and research from Louisiana State University and is an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Southern Mississippi.

"Sacrifice and Survival is a welcome step forward as Platt attempts a systematic exploration of many Jesuit schools across a wide region in the United States. Additionally, in his conceptual framework, he works to integrate very recent and ongoing student affairs conversations about mission and identity into the disciplinary context of historical research. Sacrifice and Survival is most compelling in its early chapters, where Platt deftly summarizes and unpacks the more recent scholarship on mission and identity."
Journal of Jesuit Studies

"Platt’s emphasis on institutional survivability and willingness to consider all colleges of a given province, even those which have been closed, make his book a markedly new contribution.”
Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education

 “An intriguing and significant examination of Jesuit higher education in the American South. Platt's work broadens one's understanding of the various dynamics at play when considering religious identity, apostolic mission, and institutional survival in a regional context.”
—R. Bentley Anderson, author of Black, White, and Catholic: New Orleans Interracialism, 1947-1956

"This is an excellent study, well researched and well written. The use of primary sources is extremely strong. It will be well received by those interested in Jesuit education, Catholic education, Southern education, institutional viability, and institutional mission and identity. It will also appeal to a larger circle of higher education administrators who are interested in learning from the past to prepare for a successful but unknown future in American higher education."
—Shane P. Martin, dean and professor, School of Education, Loyola Marymount University.


“Platt stakes out an intriguing perspective on institutional change and development. It is the collective, coherent Jesuit philosophy of education and the Jesuit organizational umbrella that are the frameworks for understanding historically how and why some colleges in the South were founded, how some failed, and how some survived.”
—John R. Thelin, author of A History of American Higher Education

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