The Jesuits and the Popes: A Historical Sketch of Their Relationship
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The Jesuits and the Popes: A Historical Sketch of Their Relationship

John W. O'Malley, S.J.

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Price: $40.00

Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2016
Binding: Cloth with Dust Jacket
ISBN: 978-0-91610-191-6
Book Id: 82


149 pages / index / 6 x 9 in. / 19 b/w and color images


The Jesuits are known for having an especially close relationship to the papacy. The Jesuits and the Popes traces that relationship from the earliest days of the Jesuit order until Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope. As such, it is the first book in any language to trace this full history and to analyze each phase of it as it unfolded. It covers, therefore, a history of some 450 years and does so in relatively few pages. This means that the book moves at a swift pace that pulls the reader along with it. While the book directly deals with the Jesuits and the popes, it at the same time leads readers into the larger issues of church history that determined how the Jesuits and the popes reacted to one another at any given moment.

While for the most part the special relationship between the Jesuits and the popes was cordial or more than cordial, it had several tense moments, the most important of which was the church-wide suppression of the order in 1773 by Pope Clement XIV. The book does not hold back in describing those moments. The premier American Catholic and Jesuit church historian of our time, John O'Malley is known for his crisp style, easily accessible to the non-specialist. The style does not fail him in The Jesuits and the Popes.


Table of Contents


1. Before the Jesuits

2. The First Jesuits and Their Fourth Vow

3. Saint Ignatius and the Popes of His Day

4. The Great Patron

5. Restless in the Ranks

6. Smooth Sailing—For a While

7. The Heavens Darken

8. The Suppression of the Society of Jesus

9. The Restoration

10. The Long Ultramontane Century

11. From Arrupe to Francis


Further Reading

Abbreviations and Acknowledgements



John W. O'Malley, S.J., is the premier American Catholic and Jesuit church historian of our time. Specializing in the study of the Renaissance, early modern Catholicism, the Society of Jesus, the papacy, and the Second Vatican Council, he is a master teacher-scholar who presently is University Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University. The author of seven books and nearly 100 articles, Fr. O'Malley also has edited or co-edited a number of volumes, including The Jesuits and the Arts 1540-1773 (Saint Joseph's University Press, 2005) He has received lifetime achievement awards from the Society for Italian Historical Studies in 2002, Renaissance Society of America in 2005, and American Catholic Historical Association in 2012. In 2016, he was the recipient of the Centennial Medal of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.



"John W. O'Malley, S.J., the dean of Jesuit historical studies, has provided a tour-de-force treatment of the relationship between the Jesuits and the popes, which had far-reaching consequences for the church over the centuries."

Robert Emmett Curran (Georgetown University), America

"The theme chosen is that of the relationship between the Jesuits and the papacy. This vast subject would require many volumes to do it justice, and Fr. O'Malley repeats that the only aim he has set himself here is to provide an impressionistic sketch. Even with this qualification, the story he tells is striking for its drama and incident. It clarifies as never before how the so-called 'Fourth Vow' of the Jesuits (special obedience to the Pope regarding missions) does not exclude their strong independence, which they have defended over the centuries."

Joseph A. Munitiz, S.J. (Campion Hall, Oxford University) The Way

More Jesuit Studies: webrss

By This Author: John W. O'Malley, S.J.

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