The Kircher Collection 2015



The Kircher Collection 2015 from Saint Ignatius’ on Vimeo


John O’Malley SJ, one of the foremost authorities on Jesuit history, asserts that ‘Ignatius and his companions from the very beginning advocated and exemplified a learned ministry’[1]. Because of this, the Society of Jesus grew from its foundational days to embrace reason and scholarship of all forms with a reflective and constructively critical impulse to learn. Indeed, the earliest Jesuits such as Matteo Ricci, who travelled to the Far East in the mid 16th Century, were among the finest scholars of their day, schooled in cartography, astronomy, mathematics and linguistics. A brief glance at Jesuit history across the centuries will reveal that it is enamoured with those who have made great discoveries and explored contemporary fields of research, from telescopy and physics, to art, philosophy and literature.

The tradition of scholarship and the desire to learn remain deeply embedded in Jesuit education. Four hundred years after Ricci, at a major international conference that foregrounded the 21st Century, the Congregation asserted that ‘In all of its endeavours, Jesuit education is distinguished by intellectual excellence and academic rigour’[2]. And because of this, ‘the schools set demanding standards for both students and faculty’[3]. It is this ethic that drives the education program at Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview and generates the quality of work contained in this publication.

Named after Athanasius Kircher SJ, a man of prodigious intellect in the 17th Century, The Kircher Collection is testament to the aspirational scholarship that is alive and well at the College. It profiles key fields of academic pursuit and endeavour—Literature, Visual Arts, History and Musical Composition. More than just a compendium of student work, it is a manifestation of the desire to enquire, to experience, to comprehend, to analyse, to interpret, to explore—all corollaries of creative cognition in the quotient of learning.

As you view this publication, it is my hope that you will enjoy the sophistication of the work, remembering that these young men are still of a tender age with so much potential in their chosen fields. Who knows, they may reach some of the lofty heights of illustrious alumni such as Robert Hughes, Alex Seton and the four Rhodes scholars who have given so much to academic pursuit and artistic expression in their personal and professional lives. These are early days in disciplines still seminal to the contributors, but a discerning appreciation of their work augurs well for all that lies ahead.

Special thanks are extended to Mrs Annette Swinfield, Mr Panayiotis Diamadis, Ms Debra Williams, Ms Julie Stevens and Mr Dev Gopalasamy for their engagement in this project. The proof is in the pudding. Enjoy.

Dr Paul A Hine, Principal


[1]  John O’Malley SJ. (1993). The First Jesuits. In Traub, George, W. (Ed). A Jesuit Education Reader. P 7

[2]  Communal Reflection on the Jesuit Mission … A Way of Proceeding. From the Jesuit Conference, 2002. In Traub, George, W. (Ed) opp. Cit. p 179

[3]  Mitchell, Robert, A. (1988). Five Traits of Jesuit Education. In Traub, George, W. (Ed) opp. cit. p 111