Juan Plazaola Artola

Juan Plazaola Artola was born in San Sebastián on January 21, 1919. He entered the Company of Jesus in Belgium in 1936 and was ordained in 1951. He holds doctorates from the University of Paris (Letters) and from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid (Philosophy). He was the rector of the Humanities Centre of the Company of Jesus in Salamanca (1966-68), professor of Aesthetics in the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Deusto (Bilbao 1964-74), full professor of Art History and dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters in San Sebastián, at what was then known as the Gipuzkoa University and Technical Studies campus (1974-77), and twice rector of this campus (1977-79 and 1985-89), as well as provincial superior of the Jesuit Province of Loyola and vice-chancellor of the University of Deusto (1979-85).

He has been a guest professor at the Andrés Bello University of Caracas, at the Iberoamerican University of Mexico and at the Alcalá de Henares University. He is a corresponding member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Santa Isabel de Hungría (Seville) and chairman of the Ignacio de Loyola Institute of the University of Deusto, with headquarters in San Sebastián.

He was the co-founder of the journal Reseña (Madrid 1964), and founding director of the journal Mundaiz (San Sebastián 1975).

Prof. Plazaola has published over 50 articles in journals, directed numerous dissertations and theses, delivered countless lectures and talks in major cities in Spain and abroad, participated in multiple congresses and published nearly a score of books during a lifetime devoted to study and research.

His studies on Christian art and general aesthetics have contributed greatly to our understanding of the educational and catechismal functions of Christian art, establishing the relations between symbol and meaning through artistic creation.