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The Jesuit MythConspiracy Theory and Politics in Nineteenth-Century France$
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Geoffrey Cubitt

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198228684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198228684.001.0001

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Anti-Jesuitism and the Jesuits

Anti-Jesuitism and the Jesuits

(p.19) 1 Anti-Jesuitism and the Jesuits
The Jesuit Myth

Geoffrey Cubitt

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the suspicions and hostilities directed against the Jesuits in France during the 19th century. Founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1540, the Society of Jesuits rapidly rose and established itself as the most famous and most controversial of the militant forces of the Catholic Revival. It was in the forefront of religious and ecclesiastical conflicts throughout the 17th century. During the early 18th century, the Jesuits were at the pinnacle of success, yet in the third quarter of the century, the order fell down. The movement was later revived by Pope Pius VII and restored its former triumphs. While the Jesuits were able to revive their organization, they were meet with escalating hostilities forcing the Jesuits to operate their activities underground or in a discreet manner. In this chapter, the three strands in the 19th-century Jesuit reputation are discussed here to understand the anti-Jesuit myth. These are the order's political image as an elite force of counter-revolution; its involvement in ecclesiastical disputes, especially between Gallicanism and Ultramontanism; and the implications in the legal disputes over the status of unauthorized religious orders.

Keywords:   Jesuits, Society of Jesuits, Catholic Revival, anti-Jesuit myth, Gallicanism, Ultramontanism, 19th-century

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