Jesuit Political Thought: The Society of Jesus and the State, c.1540-1630 (Ideas in Context)

Jesuit Political Thought: The Society of Jesus and the State, c.1540-1630 (Ideas in Context)

Harro Höpfl

Language: English

Pages: 427

ISBN: 2:00225341

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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The Jesuits were the single most influential body of teachers, academics, preachers and priests in early modern Europe. Höpfl presents here the first full-length study of their participation as scholars and pamphleteers in the religio-political controversies of their heroic age (1540–c. 1630). He explores the paradox that the Jesuits’ political activities were the subject of conspiratorial fantasies and their teachings were often portrayed as subversive and menacing in their practical implications, and yet even their most vehement enemies acknowledged the Jesuits as being among the foremost intellects of their time, and freely cited and appropriated their thought. Höpfl pays particular attention to what Jesuits actually taught concerning doctrines for which they were vilified: tyrannicide; the papal power to depose rulers; the legitimacy of ‘Machiavellian’ policies; the justifiability of persecuting and breaking faith with heretics. The book sets these teachings in the context of the Jesuit contribution to academic discourse about the state, authority and law, the relationship between the state and Church and politics and religion, and the practice of statecraft. This is an important work of scholarship.

"This is an excellent book, well worth attention by a broad range of students and scholars." Renaissance Quarterly

"Long in preparation, this is the first attempt in some time to survey Jesuit political philosophy in the first century of the Society of Jesus. Höpfl traces key arguments in all the major Jesuit political treatises." CHOICE May 2005

"The result of this thorough research into the sources and judicious weighing of what Jesuits of the epoch actually thought helps the reader get to the core of the matter." - Journal of Church and State, Kevin B. Fagan, California State University, San Luis Obispo

"Höpfl's book spans a turbulent period of political history in an intelligent and exhaustive analysis. The book is a valuable addition to the relatively insubstantial historiography on the Society of Jesus in this period, surveying the intellectual contribution of the Society's headliners such as Francisco Suarez, Gabriel Vasquez, Robert Persons, and Juan de Mariana." - Sophie Nicholls, H-Ideas




















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