The Survival of the Jesuits in the Low Countries, 1773-1850

Edited by Leo Kenis and Marc Lindeijer

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How the Jesuits re-emerged after forty years of suppression

In 1773, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus. For the 823 Jesuits living in the Low Countries, it meant the end of their institutional religious life. In the Austrian Netherlands, the Jesuits were put under strict surveillance, but in the Dutch Republic they were able to continue their missionary work. It is this regional contrast and the opportunities it offered for the Order to survive that make the Low Countries an exceptional and interesting case in Jesuit history.

Just as in White Russia, former Jesuits and new Jesuits in the Low Countries prepared for the restoration of the Order, with the help of other religious, priests, and lay benefactors. In 1814, eight days before the restoration of the Society by Pope Pius VII, the novitiate near Ghent opened with eleven candidates from all over the United Netherlands. Barely twenty years later, the Order in the Low Countries – by then counting one hundred members – formed an independent Belgian Province. A separate Dutch Province followed in 1850. Obviously, the reestablishment, with new churches and new colleges, carried a heavy survival burden: in the face of their old enemies and the black legends they revived, the Jesuits had to retrieve their true identity, which had been suppressed for forty years.

Contributors: Peter van Dael, SJ (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam & Pontifical Gregorian University Rome), Pierre Antoine Fabre (École des hautes études en sciences sociales Paris), Joep van Gennip (Tilburg School of Catholic Theology), Michel Hermans, SJ (University of Namur), Marek Inglot, SJ (Pontifical Gregorian University Rome), Frank Judo (lawyer Brussels), Leo Kenis (KU Leuven) Marc Lindeijer, SJ (Bollandist Society Brussels), Jo Luyten (KADOC-KU Leuven), Kristien Suenens (KADOC-KU Leuven), Vincent Verbrugge (historian)

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Leo Kenis – Marc Lindeijer, SJ


The Quick Downfall and Slow Rise of the Jesuit Order in the Low Countries
Marc Lindeijer, SJ – Jo Luyten – Kristien Suenens


The ‘Suppressions’ of the Society of Jesus in the Gallo-Belgian Province
Michel Hermans, SJ

“Contulit hos virtus, expulit invidia”
The Suppression of the Jesuits of the Flemish-Belgian Province
Joep van Gennip

The Fate of the Jesuits of the Gallo-Belgian Province after 1773 
Michel Hermans, SJ

The Jesuits of the Low Countries and the Society of Jesus in Russia 
Marek Inglot, SJ


Restoration in One Country? 
The Strange History of Balthazar de Villegas’ Mémoire sur le rétablissement des Jésuites
Frank Judo

The Post-Concordatory Vicissitudes of Joannes Vrindts (1781-1862) 
Priest in Search of an Identity, Jesuit at Heart
Jo Luyten

Pierre-Antoine Malou-Riga (1753-1827) 
A Part-time Jesuit?
Vincent Verbrugge

“Aptus ad gubernandum” 
The Formation of Fr Jan Roothaan in the Principles and Practices of Good Governance of the Restored Society of Jesus (1823-1829)
Marc Lindeijer, SJ


‘Jesuits’ as Promoters of Female Religious Congregations in Belgium (c. 1800-1870)
Continuity or Discontinuity?
Jo Luyten - Kristien Suenens

“A great swarm of nocturnal raptors shrieking horribly” 
Negative Images of the Jesuits in the Netherlands between the Restoration of the Order and the Establishment of the Dutch Jesuit Province, 1814-1850
Joep van Gennip

Jesuit Churches in the Netherlands in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century
Peter van Dael, SJ


Jesuits in the Low Countries from the Modern to the Contemporary Era
Resources for a New History
Pierre-Antoine Fabre

Catalogue of Jesuits in and from the Low Countries, 1773-1830 


Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 238 × 170 × 22 mm

392 pages

ISBN: 9789462702219

Publication: December 18, 2019

Series: KADOC-Studies on Religion, Culture and Society 25

Languages: English

Stock item number: 132428

Leo Kenis is emeritus professor of church history and the history of theology at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven. His research focuses on the modern and contemporary history of Catholic theology.
Marc Lindeijer,SJ is member of the Bollandist Society in Brussels. Before that, he worked in Rome for the causes of the saints of the Society of Jesus. He publishes on modern sanctity and on church history, with a focus on the Jesuits.
“The Survival of the Jesuits in the Low Countries, 1773-1850, Edited by Leo Kenis and Marc Lindeijer”, alweer een heel interessante, Engelstalige uitgave van Leuven University Press. 
Michel Dutrieue, Stretto – Magazine voor kunst, geschiedenis en muziek, Maart 2020