Placing the Suppression into its global context

Pope Francis presides at the Liturgy of Thanksgiving in Rome, September 2014
Pope Francis presides at the Liturgy of Thanksgiving in Rome, September 2014

A new publication by Cambridge University Press attempts to place the Suppression of the Society of Jesus (1773 – 1814) in its international context by analysing its causes and effects. Edited by Jonathan Wright and Jeffrey D. Burson, it aims to shed new light on the significance of the Suppression by drawing on the latest research.

When Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1773, it had a profound impact. Describing it as “a dramatic, puzzling act”, The Jesuit Suppression in Global Context traces the causes of the attack on the Jesuits, the national expulsions that preceded universal suppression, and the consequences of these extraordinary developments.

“The Suppression occurred at a unique historical juncture,” explains Jonathan Wright, “at the high-water mark of the Enlightenment and on the cusp of global imperial crises and the Age of Revolution. After more than two centuries, answers to how and why it took place remain unclear.”

Consequences of the SuppressionSuppression of the Society in Global Context

The Jesuit Suppression in Global Context brings together a diverse selection of essays - covering France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, China, Eastern Europe, and the Americas – thereby reflecting the complex international elements of the Jesuit Suppression. It combines narrative accounts with deeper analysis, and features essays from contributors who are all established experts in their respective fields. Among the contributors are Professor Maurice Whitehead, a former teacher at Wimbledon College and Emeritus Professor of History at Swansea University; and Fr Thomas McCoog SJ who was for many years the Archivist for the Jesuits in Britain.

After an introduction by Jonathan Wright and Jeffrey D. Burson, the book is divided into three sections which look at the causes of the Suppression; the events not only in Europe but also in the Far East and South America; and the consequences and legacies of the Suppression. Jonathan Wright is Honorary Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. He has also been a Thouron Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and a Fellow at the Institute for European History in Mainz. His publications include The Jesuits: Missions, Myths and Histories. He is also a regular contributor to Jesuits and Friends. Jeffrey D. Burson is Associate Professor of French History and the Enlightenment at Georgia Southern University.

In September 2014, Pope Francis – the first Jesuit Pope – presided over a Liturgy of Thanksgiving at the Church of the Gesù in Rome, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus.

For more information and to order The Jesuit Suppression in Global Context, visit the Cambridge University Press website.