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Jesuit Notes

History Notes > General History X: Europe 1715-99 Notes

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Jesuits Tutorial
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Contents

Jesuits and the State: A Comparative Study of their Expulsions (1590--1990) -- B.
M. Roehner

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Christianity under the Ancien Regime 1648--1789 -- W. R. Ward
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Jansenism and the international suppression of the Jesuits -- D. K. Van Kley
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The Suppression and Restoration -- J. Wright
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The Popes and European Revolution -- O. Chadwick
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Church and Society in Eighteenth--Century France: The Religion of the People
and the Politics of Religion -- J. McManners

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The Jansenists and the Expulsion of the Jesuits from France, 1757--1765 -- D. K.
Van Kley

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Europe in the Eighteenth Century 1713--1783 -- M. S. Anderson
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The Expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain and Spanish America in 1767 in Light of
Eighteenth--Century Regalism -- M. Morner

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Jansenism and Politics in the Eighteenth Century -- J. McManners
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Catholic Conciliar Reform in an Age of Anti--Catholic Revolution: France, Italy and
the Netherlands, 1758--1801 -- D. K. Van Kley

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Clerics and Crown in Bourbon Spain, 1700--1808: Jesuits, Jansenists and
Enlightened Reformers -- C. C. Noel

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Late Jansenism and the Habsburgs -- W. R. Ward
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The Suppression of the Society of Jesus -- S. F. Smith
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The Suppression of the Society of Jesus viewed from the twenty--first century -- R.
W. Truman

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General Notes

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Jesuits Tutorial
Enthusiasm -- negative word in relation to religion
~ Idea of direct connection to God
~ More positive towards the end of the century with the emergence of evangelism

~ Pocock -- Enlightenment v. enthusiasm
Colonies -- Jesuits have more independence and a geographical sphere of influence
Less of a colonial problem in France
Extent of personal influence in their expulsion is debated
Probabilism and casuistry -- it is permissible to do something wrong if your intent was
pure and with the right end
~ Allows much political manoeuvring
~ Logic developed within the Jesuit order
Mariana condoned regicide -- illustrates casuistry
~ Thomas Aquinas said something similar
Never clear what the rules were
Jesuits were linked to the assassinations of Henri III and IV
~ Henri IV was Louis XIV's grandfather
Jesuits were important in education in the 16th and 17th centuries -- had been modern
compared to scholastic education

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Far East and colonial policy as evangelists
~ Thought that the most efficient way to convert people was to understand the
local culture
~ Wrote the first Latin--Japanese dictionary
~ China -- accused of being too understanding

~ Lack of obedience to the pope -- seen as despotic
Obedience to the pope yet often at odds with the pope
Reluctant to abandon native settlements -- saw themselves as protecting them and their
cultures
~ Conflict with the Spanish and the Portuguese
Educational policy of teaching languages in Jesuits schools -- not normally done

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Confessors to royalty
Counter--Reformation -- reinforced by the Inquisition
Spiritual devotion
Poverty -- less anticlericalism





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Advantages became disadvantages for their reputation
Nobles disliked their influence at court
Education system -- refused to change it to include science and history

~ Rise of the Republic of Letters -- schools are no longer the only source of
knowledge

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Land and commerce -- use of natives
~ Casuistic approach to the law -- were not allowed to participate in commerce
themselves but could use natives
In the context of rising military costs, states look to the wealth of the Jesuits
Centralisation of power -- Jesuits do not fit with this
~ Previous centuries were more ideological -- loss of power to the Jesuits was for
religious reasons
Jansenism could be an Enlightenment doctrine -- mechanistic and scientific
Jansenism could be seen to be anti--Enlightenment -- Christian as opposed to
secularisation

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Utilitarian retention of the Jesuits in Prussia and Russia
German states -- retention for education system

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France -- bishops, parlements and philosophes dislikes the Jesuits
~ Boussuet -- bishop who created Gallicanism

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1814 -- came back stronger
~ 1801 -- confirmed in Russia
1901 suppression in France
Port--Royal -- Louis XIV shut this Jansenist monastery down on the advice of the Jesuits
Universities resented the Jesuits
Papacy was less strong -- lacks any convincing diplomatic tools => cannot compete
militarily
~ Threat of excommunication is less important
~ 18th century is less religious

Jesuits and the State: A Comparative Study of their Expulsions (1590--1990) -- B.
M. Roehner
(Religion, 27, 2 (1997))
pp. 165--182

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Ideal for studying national relations with such a supranational congregation
Question of contagion of anti--Jesuit policies
Methods used to set up and enforce the expulsions show a high degree of continuity
over 3 centuries

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Expulsions

~ Economic -- confiscation of estates and property


~ 1789 France -- as much as 15%

~ Sociological -- can be compared to expulsions of Jews, Protestants, Catholics etc.

~ Historical -- clear indication that national resentment against the Holy See
reached a critical level
! Society of Jesus -- permanence and universality

~ Has existed for more than 4 centuries
By the very objectives of their order they raised strong resentment and provoked sharp
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reactions
! Had to pledge total obedience to their General in Rome -- target of nationalistic
agitation
! Managed to win favour of kings and princes => jealously of nobility and high clergy
! Success of colleges => seen as unfair competitors by universities
! 1550--1990 about 35 Jesuit expulsions

~ Tend to look almost identical -- yet each has a specific context

~ Share a number of features => comparison

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Dominicans are very different from Jesuits yet they have similar phases of expansion

~ 1550--1730 expansion

~ 1730--1840 contraction
! Growth was beginning to level off by 1740 -- about 20 years before the major wave of
expulsions 1758--1773
! Immediate causes have no more but an anecdotal interest as far as waves of expulsion
! 3 successive classes -- depending on the strength of the connection between state and
Church

~ Monarchies -- kings basically drawing authority from God => Church could
pretend to an essential role

~ Transition period from autocratic rulership to democratic governments

~ Progressive separation between Church and state -- particularly in the field of

education
! Public finance -- the expulsion of the Jesuits can be seen as a special instance of
confiscation by the state of part of Church property

~ Wave of confiscations in the French Revolution
Importance also of 'failed expulsions'
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! Expulsion -- conjunction of permanent and circumstantial factors

~ Circumstantial -- determined monarch confronted with a strong--minded Pope or

Jesuit General

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Weak or clever Pope => compromise

~ Louis XIV forbade the Jesuits to obey the directives of the Holy See -- yet a
complete rupture was avoided
! Many of the numerous conflicts between the Parlement of Paris and the Jesuits could
have led to an open confrontation without the protection extended to them by the
monarch

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Parsimony hypothesis is largely confirmed by available evidence -- greater similarity
between expulsions from France in 1594 and 1764 than between the French expulsion in
1594 and the Portuguese one in 1588
Contagion hypothesis -- some confirmation from the clustering of events within rather
narrow intervals
Structural causes overlaid with momentary circumstances which triggered debates
about expulsion

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Temporary versus more permanent causes of Jesuits expulsions from France in 1764

The Jesuits
! Special position among religious orders -- members live among communities but do not
have to comply with stringent rules => facilitated position in lay society

~ Could present members for ordination without any ecclesiastical title and
without having made solemn vows

~ Almost absolute authority for the General

~ Permission to read heretical books prohibited and condemned by the Holy See
! Pope Gregory XIV absolutely forbade under pain of excommunication any direct or
indirect attack on the Society of Jesus
! Tradition in the French monarchy for a Jesuit confessor
! Jesuits drew much of their influence from their teaching activities
! 'In short, by their position next to the king the Jesuits aroused the resentment of the
Parliament; as successful competitors in the education business they had to face the
opposition of the universities; by the control they exerted upon ecclesiastical
nominations they excited the jealousy of bishops and other Church dignitaries' (p. 172)

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Parlements -- most often disputes did not have a dramatic outcome
University of Paris was granted special privileges by the king -- in return, it sided with the
king in his disputes with Rome by challenging the theses of Roman theologians
Opposition between congregations was not rare
~ France -- Jesuits were the principal opponents to the Jansensists => this conflict
lasted for more than a century

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