Paul F. Grendler, The Jesuits and Italian Universities 1548–1773. The Catholic University of America Press, Washington D.C. 2017, xvi + 505 pp. ISBN 9780813229362. US$ 34.95.Most books about the Jesuits tell stories of their success. The success may have been short-lived and acquired at a considerable price, but the Jesuit conquest of Ethiopia, the Society’s ‘reductions’ in Paraguay, the penetration of China, the massive conversions of Protestants in Central Europe and the evangelisation of parts of the American continent remain impressive achievements. Admittedly the Jesuits had many enemies. Admittedly too the expulsion of the Jesuits and the suppression of the Society in 1773 can be regarded as a failure. But the Society survived nonetheless and regained many of its losses in the nineteenth century. Paul F. Grendler’s The Jesuits and Italian Universities 1548–1773, however, tells a story which is almost entirely one of frustrated ambitions and setbacks.The Jesuits have justly gone down in history as great educators, and it was largely to this that they owed their survival in a country such as Russia after the suppression of the Society. They were renowned for their schools which were successfully established throughout Catholic Europe. But they wanted more. Their dream was to have universities
Church History and Religious Culture (formerly Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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