Reform Catholicism and the International Suppression of the Jesuits in Enlightenment Europe


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Dale K. Van Kley

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An investigation into the role of Reform Catholicism in the international suppression of the Jesuits in 1773?

The Jesuits devoted themselves to preaching the word of God, administering the sacraments, and spreading the faith by missions in both Europe and newly discovered lands abroad. But, in 1773, under intense pressure from the monarchs of Europe, the papacy suppressed the Society of Jesus, an act that reverberated from Europe to the Americas and Southeast Asia. In this scholarly history, Dale Van Kley argues that Reform Catholicism, not a secular Enlightenment, provided the justification for Catholic kings to suppress a society instituted by the papacy. Spanning the years from the mid-sixteenth century to the onset of the French Revolution, and the Jesuit presence from China to Brazil, this is the only single volume in English to make coherent sense of the series of expulsions that add up to what was arguably the most important religious event in Europe of the time, resulting in the secularization of tens of thousands of Jesuits.

Dale K. Van Kley, who taught at Calvin College until 1998, is professor emeritus of early modern European history at the Ohio State University.

“One can find numerous works on this topic. . . but the present work surpasses these in its meticulous scholarship and care for academic documentation.”—J. P. Blosser, Choice

"Van Kley brings both an unequalled knowledge of the primary sources, and a deep understanding of the tensions among the various players to the conversation. [It is] thought-provoking and original . . . a significant contribution to our understanding of European religious history of the eighteenth century."—Paul Shore,Journal of Jesuit Studies

"Detailed, well-researched,and densely written. . . . Van Kley provides an exhaustive account. . . . in this impressive work of scholarship."—R. Po-chia Hsia, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"A valuable addition to the literature of Reform Catholicism and Catholic Enlightenment."—Michael Printy, Journal of Modern History

“Van Kley’s book is original in its research, staggeringly detailed—and fascinating. It is a major work by a major historian. . . . Its most significant contribution lies in the questions it raises for understanding Europe’s transition from absolute power, understood as coming from above, to a world where man-made constitutional ‘law,’ unregulated commerce, and scientific experimentation emerge.”—Nancy Vogeley, Eighteenth-Century Studies
ISBN: 9780300228465
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
384 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
The Religious Origins of the French Revolution

From Calvin to the Civil Constitution, 1560-1791

Dale K. Van Kley

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