Society of Jesus  

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"The plan in the beginning was to conquer the hostile elements with iron and blood. The order of the Jesuits received the commission to watch over the mind in the sense of ancient Dominican theology. Just at that time the triumphant course of science had begun with the appearance of Copernicus, Galileo, Cardanus, Telesius, Campanella, and Giordano Bruno. Banishment, funeral pyres, and racks took care that the investigating thought should not lift its head too high. Poetry also submitted to the autocratic church. Torquato Tasso, the son of the Renaissance ended in a convent, holding dialogue with spiritual apparitions. No longer antique writers but Augustine and Thomas Aquinas dominated his thoughts."--The History of Painting: From the Fourth to the Early Nineteenth Century (1893/94) by Richard Muther


A Jesuit:

  1. a member of the Society of Jesus
  2. a crafty or disingenuous person

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The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six companions with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

From the Enlightenment to the French Revolution

Some philosophers of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire, attacked the Catholic Church, its leadership and priests claiming moral corruption of many of its clergy. These assaults in part led to the Suppression of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and played a major part in the wholesale attacks on the very existence of the Church during the French Revolution. With the reaction against the excesses of the Revolution, especially after 1815, the Catholic church began to play a more welcome role in official European life once more, and nation by nation the Jesuits made their way back.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Society of Jesus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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