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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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Jesuits in Plain Clothes

Jesuits in Plain Clothes

(p.216) 7 Jesuits in Plain Clothes
The Jesuit Myth

Geoffrey Cubitt

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the prevailing fear of the assumed powerfulness of the Jesuit members whose identity did not arouse mistrust or draw attention. It focuses on the Jesuits who donned plain and ordinary clothes in exchange of their much-hated soutanes and cassocks. The Secret Jesuits whose membership of, or intimate connection with, the Society of Jesus was concealed beneath the external appearance of ordinary members of the laity created anti-Jesuit speculations. Their concealed identity created a great deal of mystery, some of which stemmed from the secrecy of their activities and some from the anti-Jesuits' uncertainty and disagreement over what exactly the affiliation of the Jesuits consisted of. These various confusions of anti-Jesuit views arose from the entanglement and overlapping of two mythologies; the first relating to the lay organization and the second to the so-called jésuites de robe courte.

Keywords:   Secret Jesuits, Society of Jesus, anti-Jesuit speculations, lay organization, jésuites de robe courte, concealed identity, secrecy

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