Jesuit Historiography Online

Jesuits in the Low Countries (1542–1773): A Historiographical Essay
(13,965 words)

Gerrit Vanden Bosch
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Last modified: December 2016

The Jesuits entered the Low Countries as fugitives. In 1542, eight members of the young Society arrived in Leuven after being expelled from France as victims of the Franco-Spanish war. They established a first community that would become the nucleus of a Jesuit college. In 1555, a second community was founded in Tournai in the Walloon part of the Spanish Netherlands. Although Ignatius of Loyola (c.1491–1556) himself was actively involved in obtaining official recognition for the Society in the Low Countries, Charles V’s (1500–58, r.1519–56) attitude remained reluctant. Only in 1556, official permission was granted by Philip II (1527–98, r.1555–98), two years after the Jesuits were allowed in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Jesuits in the Low Countries, together with the Jesuit college of Cologne, became part of the Provincia Germania Inferior. After the Jesuits had established colleges in Antwerp (1562), Dinant (1563), and Cambrai (1563), the Provincia Belgica was erected in 1564. The number of Jesuit colleges and residences kept growing, but in the 1570s and 1580s the Jesuits suffered from the Dutch Revolt because of their loyalty to the king of Spain. In Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, and Mechlin they were driven out during the Calvinist rule in these cities. Only by 1585, after Alexander Farnese (1545–92), the duke of Parma, had recaptured large parts of the Southern Netherlands for the Spanish crown, could the Jesuits come back. Favored by Farnese and the archduke Albert (1559–1621, r.1598–1621) and archduchess Isabella (1566–1633, r.1598–1621), the Society expanded quickly. Its colleges were founded in almost every major city and the number of Jesuits increased steadily. In 1592, the Jesuits started a mission in the Dutch Republic to consolidate Catholicism in the Northern Provinces. In 1612, the Provincia Belgica was divided in the Provincia Flandro-Belgica and the Provincia Gallo-Belgica, the professed house at Antwerp and the Jesuit college of Lille being their respective headquarters. By the end of the sixteenth and the first decades of the seventeenth century both Jesuit provinces in the Low Countries were among the most prosperous in the Society, building their success on a dense network of colleges, impressive apostolic achievements, and a high recruitment rate.1 In 1640, to celebrate the centennial of the Society, the Flemish Jesuits published the Imago primi saeculi Societatis Jesu, a sumptuous memorial book which marked a highlight but also a turning point. Jesuits in the Low Countries became involved in an enduring and bitter conflict with the so-called Jansenists on matters of grace and free will, moral theology, and church organization, which would prove fatal for the Society in the eighteenth century. Financial problems due to a deficit spending policy and, by the end of the seventeenth century, a persistent decrease of new members undermined the vigor of the Jesuits. By the second half of the eighteenth century, their loyalty to the pope, conflicting with the ambitions of the Austrian government to install a national “Belgian” church, had weakened their position further and finally led to their suppression in the Netherlands in 1773.

Historiography on the Jesuits in the Low Countries: A Story of “Pride and Prejudice”

Jesuits of the pre-suppression Society in the Low Countries were not primarily concerned with writing about and publishing their own history, unless they could make it instrumental for propagandistic purposes or missionary goals. Although some of the early Jesuits—Ignatius himself, Juan Alfonso de Polanco (1517–76), and Jerónimo Nadal (1507–80) had stressed the importance of written communication between members of the Society and insisted that their activities be well documented, the correspondence, litterae annuae, and other documents produced by the first generations of Jesuits in what is nowadays Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and part of Northern France, took time before generating a “historiographic chain” leading to present-day historiography.2 The decades following the arrival of the first Jesuits in Leuven in 1542 were difficult, and once the Society had finally obtained recognition in the Netherlands, the flourishing Belgian province seems to have been too busy establishing and running colleges, preaching, and writing on topics of spirituality and theology to be too occupied with its own recent history. It comes as no surprise then that the first publications on Jesuits in the Low Countries came from their opponents. Early modern Jesuit historiography was polemical by nature and the Netherlands at the end of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century proved to be a case in point: the Dutch Revolt, Calvinism, and upcoming tensions with the secular Catholic clergy formed the frame within which the Jesuits were presented. Anti-Jesuitism, labeled by contemporary Jesuit historian Robert Danieluk as a peculiar type of Jesuit historiography, found fertile ground in the Dutch Republic in particular, where Jesuit missionaries had been active on the confessional front line between Catholicism and Protestantism since 1592.3

Rumors spread by Calvinist ministers holding the Jesuits responsible for the assassination of William of Orange (1533–84) in 1584 and for a murder attempt on his son Maurice of Nassau (1567–1625) in 1598 were the Dutch equivalent of accusations against the Jesuits regarding the murders of Henry III (r.1574–89) and Henry IV (r.1589–1610) in France and a conspiracy to have Elizabeth of England (r.1558–1603) assassinated. They provoked a virulent reply by Frans de Costere (Franciscus Costerus, 1532–1619), one of the leading figures of the Belgian Jesuit province and a famous polemicist. His pamphlet, written in Dutch and published for the Dutch market in Antwerp in 1599, was translated immediately in Latin by a fellow Jesuit, as if the Society wanted to reach as great an audience as possible to proclaim its innocence. In his introduction, Costerus addresses Dutch Calvinist readers directly, saying that their ministers consider the Jesuits their worst enemies, “so nobody should wonder that they vow all their venom against us.”4 Despite this acid response, however, the portrayal of Jesuits as regicides and the idea that the Society was a Spanish Trojan horse in the Dutch Republic, seeking to submit the rebellious Dutchmen to the Spanish king and the Roman pope, became recurrent themes of anti-Jesuit rhetoric in the Northern Netherlands. Virulent as he may be while attacking his opponents, Costerus deserves some credit for pointing at Calvinist ministers taking the lead in spreading anti-Jesuit propaganda. One of them was Johannes Bogerman (1576–1637), an influential Calvinist minister in the Frisian capital of Leeuwarden since 1604 and as such a fierce opponent of the local Jesuit missionary Gerard Carbonel (1580–1646).5 In 1608, he published the first Dutch translation of the famous Catéchisme des jésuites of Etienne Pasquier (1529–1615). Bogerman dedicated his work to the city magistrate of Leeuwarden and to the stadholder of Friesland and Groningen, William Louis of Nassau (1560–1620), obviously wanting to strengthen the alliance between the Dutch Reformed Church, Protestant regents, and the Orange-Nassau family against the Spanish king and his Jesuit allies, whom he compared with a swarm of locusts invading the Netherlands.6 This biblical image of locusts invading a Protestant nation shows a striking parallel with that other Jesuit mission area in Europe, viz. the English mission.7 The translation of Pasquiers’s Catechism and the use of metaphors that were common to anti-Jesuit writings in other parts of Europe testify how Dutch anti-Jesuitism was embedded in the mainstream of a widespread campaign against the Society.8 In the context of confessional tensions between Catholics and Protestants in the Dutch Republic, a negative testimony on the Jesuits coming from a former Catholic gave an extra impetus to Dutch anti-Jesuitism. Jacob Outhovius (1601–90), who had left the Catholic Church after having spent some time as a novice in a monastery in the Spanish Netherlands and who afterwards became pastor of the Armenian Church in Enkhuizen in northern Holland, delivered his credentials as a Protestant convert by publishing an anti-Jesuit pamphlet in 1622 “on the history and the cruel proceedings of the Jesuits.” Not coincidentally, it was published at the beginning of the Twelve Years’ Truce, when fear was growing among Protestants that Jesuits would come over to the Dutch Republic as “locusts.” The author portrays the Society as a dangerous sect, spreading its superstitious practices all over the Christian world. As a former Catholic, Outhovius appealed for credibility when writing on the Jesuits, indicating on the title page that he “recently had left the atrocities of the Popery.”9

Jesuits not only had to cope with Protestant attacks, but also with resistance coming from members of the Catholic clergy. In the second part of his Annales, written between c.1610 and 1615 but only published (partly) in the nineteenth century, the jurist and secular priest Franciscus Dusseldorpius (1567–1630), a confident of the vicar apostolic Sasbout Vosmeer (1548–1614) who was in charge of the Catholic Church in the northern Netherlands, took on the defense of the secular clergy against the Jesuits. He accused the latter of having intruded the northern Netherlands from the southern Netherlands without submitting themselves to the leading Catholic priest, i.e. Vosmeer, at the end of the sixteenth century. The Annales were meant as a historiographical work, explaining from a Catholic point of view the causes of the Dutch Revolt, but in the second part the Jesuits and their conflicts with the vicar apostolic became the main theme of Dusseldorpius’s narrative.10 On the side of Protestant historiography, focusing on grounding the birth of the Dutch Republic as a nation gaining its freedom through a war of liberation against Spain, the leading historians highlighted above all the political role of the Jesuits as allies of the pope and the Spanish king and enemies of the nation, conspiring to eliminate the leaders of the revolt. In the sixth volume of his monumental historical work, the Origin, Beginning and Continuation of the Dutch Wars, Pieter Bor (1559–1635) quoted the entire sentence of the Leiden city magistrate of 1598 that condemned to death a certain Peter Panne from Ypres in Flanders. The Jesuits had reportedly recruited this person to assassinate prince Maurice of Nassau, promising him that he would receive his reward in heaven for having killed “someone who had seduced so many thousands of souls,” meaning that Maurice as leader of the Dutch Revolt had turned the Dutch away from their Catholic faith and therefore deserved to be killed.11 The regicide theme was resumed by the famous Dutch jurist and humanist Hugo Grotius (1583–1645) in his Annales et historiae de rebus belgicis, published posthumously in 1657. Although Grotius gave the Society only a minor role in his narrative of the Dutch Revolt, he too emphasized how the Jesuits considered regicide to be a lawful method to safeguard their own interests and those of the Catholic party, referring to the case of Peter Panne. To Grotius, the two goals the Society was above all striving for were not of a religious but of a political nature: the glorification of the pope’s power in Rome and the force of the king of Spain.12

As mentioned above, historiography was not the primary concern of the Jesuits in the Low Countries during the first decades of the seventeenth century. Publishing their own—still recent—history was not what they aimed for, considering their various other duties in the fields of education, preaching, catechizing, and all the other tasks that were part of their “way of proceeding.” However, some of them did attach importance to recording the accomplishments of the Society. This was especially so for their missionary work in the Dutch Republic, the so-called Missio Hollandica. Although not meant to be published and therefore not to be understood as a public reply to the allegations of regicide and ambition coming from Protestant pamphleteers and historians, it may not be a coincidence altogether that the Jesuits searched to record their activities in an area they considered crucial to maintain for Catholicism and the Spanish crown.13 As such, the chronicles produced by Jesuits on their missionary work in the Dutch Republic were in accordance with the guideline prescribed by Superior General Claudio Acquaviva (1543–1615, in office 1581–1615) which stated that members of the order should leave written testimonies of their activities for the sake of the later construction of the Society’s history. Oliverius Manareus (1523–1614), former provincial of the Belgian province, was the first to write on the beginnings of the Jesuit mission in the Dutch Republic.14 After him, chronicles were written by William Goetgebuer (1587–1642) and William van der Heyden (1595–1638), both of whom had been active as missionaries in the Missio Hollandica.

While Goetgebuer dealt with the whole mission area, van der Heyden concentrated on Friesland, the region where he had been working himself. Goetgebuer’s chronicle was completed by the above-mentioned Gerard Carbonel, who succeeded him as a missionary in Leeuwarden.15 The van der Heyden manuscript was rediscovered by coincidence in the nineteenth century and was published in a Dutch translation.16 It relates the activities of Jesuit missionaries in Friesland—including van der Heyden’s own missionary work—from the middle of the sixteenth century until 1637 and was carried on by his successor in Leeuwarden, Father Robertus du Rieu (1602–58) until 1639.

Global histories of the Jesuits in the Spanish Netherlands as equivalents of the above-mentioned historical surveys of the Jesuit mission in the Dutch Republic, be it in print or in manuscript, do not exist for the first decades of the seventeenth century. Nevertheless, the biographies of two members from the rank and file of the Jesuits of the Provincia Flandro-Belgica, Jan Berchmans (1599–1621) and Lenaert Leys (Leonardus Lessius, 1554–1623), can be considered a distinctive contribution to the history of the Society of Jesus in the Low Countries. Both Jesuits are presented by their biographers as role models for their fellow order members. The Italian Jesuit Virgilio Cepari (1564–1630) portrayed Berchmans as the incarnation of the Jesuit ideals of piety and sanctity and praised him for his religious virtues and social abilities.17 Lessius is represented by his biographer as one of the most distinguished members of the Provincia Flandro-Belgica, exemplary for his erudition and his piety.18 Both biographies were meant to serve as an incentive to the beatification of the two prominent Jesuits. As such they are illustrative for the instrumental use of historiography by the Society of Jesus as a means to promote its own goals.

As if by coincidence, the Lessius biography was published in 1640, the year in which the Society celebrated its first centennial with the publication of the lavish Imago primi saeculi Societatis Iesu by the Flemish Jesuits.19 The provincial of the Flemish province, Joannes de Tollenaere (1582–1643), wanted the jubilee to be remembered in a book representing the glorious history of the Society for future generations since its founding in 1540. Its main author, Jean Bolland (1596–1665), conceived the Imago as an historical account that paralleled the different stages of the life of Christ, from his birth and childhood through his public life and suffering up to his resurrection and glorification. This structure was repeated in the last section, which was devoted to the Society’s history in the Low Countries.20 Although the Jesuits were criticized for comparing their own history with the life of Christ, the structure of the book stressed their ambition to be sincere followers of Jesus in all their undertakings. From a historiographic point of view, the Imago was an apologia, meant to be the pinnacle crowning the successful history of the Society in general and of the Jesuits in the Low Countries in particular, despite the campaigns of slander and opposition they had to endure. As such it must be considered a landmark in Jesuit historiography, a perfect example of history writing employed for both internal and external purposes. The Imago was intended to enhance the collective identity and self-confidence of the Society’s members on the one hand and to be a tool for propaganda and self-defense on the other. It is highly symbolic that in the same year the Imago was published, the famous Augustinus by Corneille Janssens (Cornelius Jansenius, 1585–1638) appeared as well, presaging the conflict between the Jesuits and their Jansenist counterparts that would mark the century to come. A Dutch version of the Imago, albeit on a more modest scale, was produced by the Flemish Jesuits Laurens Uwens (1589–1641) and Adriaen Poirters (1605–74) in 1640. Although not a translation of the Imago, it reprised its somewhat provocative structure and concluded with a chapter on the Society’s history in the Low Countries.21 Next to the Flemish Province, the Provincia Gallo-Belgica also contributed to the centennial festivities by publishing two distinctive histories of the Society. The first one by Jean Bourgeois (1574–1650) appeared in Douai in 1640, the second by Jacques Damiens (1599–1650) in a Latin and a French version in Tournai in 1641–42.22 Damiens arranged his narrative according to the terms of office of the six superior generals that had ruled the Society between 1540 and 1640, paying attention in each of these generalates to the history of the Jesuits in the Low Countries.

Only three years after the publication of the Imago primi saeculi, the first two volumes of the Acta sanctorum were published in Antwerp in 1643. By establishing the Bollandist Society, named after Jean Bolland, and by devoting itself to the scientific study of hagiography, the Jesuits entered into the enterprise of humanist historiography based on the erudition and critical analysis of historical sources.23 Each in its own way, the Imago and the first volumes of the Acta sanctorum, represented an important contribution to seventeenth-century Jesuit historiography as, respectively, samples of apologetic and humanistic history writing. As such, they illustrated the prominent intellectual position of the Flemish Jesuit province within the Society around the middle of the seventeenth century. However, historiography on the Jesuits in the Low Countries would reflect for decades to come the growing tensions between the Society and the secular clergy, especially in the Dutch Republic. A monumental and precious contribution to the history of the Jesuit mission in the northern Netherlands came from Norbertus Aerts (1639–1707), a Jesuit from Antwerp who worked as a missionary in Schipluiden near Delft between 1673 and 1697. He left a manuscript of eight quarto volumes in a tiny handwriting containing a detailed account of the missionary activities of the Jesuits and their conflicts with the vicars apostolic from the end of the sixteenth century until c.1670. Although written strictly from a Jesuit point of view and meant to highlight the Society’s accomplishments in this mission area as well as its claims to a substantial number of mission posts (called “staties” in Dutch), the Acta Missionis Hollandicae Societatis Iesu are an indispensable source of historical information.24 Based on the Acta Missionis, Aerts also provided more concise chronicles (Brevia chronica) of many of the places where Jesuits had been working, continuing his historical survey until the beginning of the eighteenth century.25 In turn, some members of the secular clergy in the Dutch Republic at the end of the seventeenth century left handwritten histories of Catholic life since the beginning of the Dutch Revolt, including their own tense relationships with Jesuit missionaries in a specific region or town. Arnold Waeijer (1606–92) and Andreas Tiara (1637–d. after 1705) wrote chronicles of Catholicism in Friesland and in the former Hansa town of Zwolle in the region of Overijssel, which testify to the confessional coexistence of Catholics and Protestants, paying attention to the role of the Jesuits as missionaries in local Catholic communities.26

The enduring tensions between the Jesuits and the presumed Jansenist party among the secular clergy in the Dutch Republic, culminating in the suspension of duty of vicar apostolic Petrus Codde (1648–1710) in 1702 and eventually in the Utrecht schism of 1723, gave rise to a polemical historiography. The Jesuits themselves took no part in it, although they were held responsible by their opponents among the secular clergy for the troublesome situation Catholics in the northern Netherlands saw themselves confronted with. The point of discussion was the status of the Catholic Church in the Missio Hollandica. Since the end of the sixteenth century, the Jesuits had considered it to be a mission area and consequently claimed the right to act as missionaries, without being submitted to the authority of the vicars apostolic. The latter, as leaders of the secular clergy, defended the autonomy of the local church province of Utrecht and regarded the Jesuits as intruders undermining their authority and even questioning their orthodoxy, as was the case for Codde and his immediate predecessor Joannes van Neercassel (1626–86). Eighteenth-century historiography on this issue was meant to support the points of view of both parties in the conflict. In 1714, Hugo van Heussen (1659–1719), one of Codde’s confidants and parish priest in Leiden, published the Batavia sacra, a history of the Catholic Church in the northern Netherlands in which he denounced the Jesuits’ aspirations and defended the historical rights of the Church of Utrecht.27 The reply came from Cornelis Hoynck van Papendrecht (1686–1753), private secretary to Cardinal Thomas-Philippe d’Alsace (1679–1759), archbishop of Mechlin, and his librarian as well. In his version of the history of the Church of Utrecht, he took the anti-Jansenist position and as such defended the historical claims of the Jesuits, although the Society’s interests were not his primary concern.28 The most virulent attack against the Jesuits was launched by Nicolaas Broedersen (c.1682–1762), priest of the Old-Catholic parish in Delft. He spent one of the five volumes of his ecclesiastical history of the Church of Utrecht to a chronological survey of the intrigues and machinations of the Jesuits. His text is a diatribe against the Society, based on large extracts taken from the correspondence between the vicars apostolic and the Jesuits. According to Broedersen, the latter had no other objective than to subject to the Society the secular clergy and the Church Province of Utrecht.29 Foreign support for this point of view came from Gabriel Dupac de Bellegarde (1717–89), a French nobleman who became a fierce partisan of the Jansenist party and the Old-Catholic Church of the Netherlands in particular. Between 1763 and 1765, he published a series of testimonies from Catholic prelates and universities in favor of the Church of Utrecht and against the Jesuits, followed in 1765 by his own version of the history of the church province of Utrecht.30

In the southern Netherlands, the Jesuits continued working on the Acta sanctorum, but writing their own history was not one of their priorities. According to Jo Tollebeek and Tom Verschaffel, a proper tradition of “Jesuit history” was lacking amongst Jesuits in the Low Countries during the eighteenth century. Instead, Jesuit historians of both the Flemish and the Walloon provinces tended to write regional and local history as exponents of a national “Belgian” historiography.31 Nevertheless, they gave themselves an honorable place in this “national” historiographic production as far as their contribution to the Catholic revival in the southern Netherlands during the late sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries was concerned. That was particularly the case for Antwerp, which became a Catholic stronghold after its recapture by Farnese in 1585. Daniel Papebrochius (1628–1714), one of the most distinguished Bollandists of his time, devoted the last fourteen years of his life to writing the history of his native city. In his extensive manuscript, which he was not able to publish during his lifetime, he highlighted the Jesuits’ role in the restoration of Catholicism in Antwerp.32 It is remarkable though, and symbolic, that the Flemish Jesuit province did not publish a sumptuous memorial book in 1740 to celebrate its bicentennial as it had done a century before. The critical situation worldwide in which the Society found itself in the middle of the eighteenth century, certainly explains why the Jesuits preferred not to provoke their enemies by celebrating their own glorious history. Even so, when, in 1773, the year of the suppression of the Society of Jesus by Pope Clement XIV (r.1769–74), a history of Christianity in Antwerp was published by the secular priest Joannes Carolus Diercxsens (1702–79), the Jesuits were portrayed among those who contributed to the revival of Catholicism in the city during the Catholic Reformation.33

Although the four decades between the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773 and its restoration in 1814 marked a substantial rupture in the long-term history of the Jesuits, polemics in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and, from 1830 onwards, Belgium and the Netherlands, were part of the ideological debate on church-state relations in the post-revolutionary era.34 Nineteenth-century anti-Jesuitism was no longer exclusively a matter of church politics but it concerned society as a whole. In Belgium, the long-lasting conflict between ultramontane Catholicism and anticlerical liberalism constituted the framework for anti-Jesuit discourses. In the Netherlands, the re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy in 1853 fed the debate on Jesuits in a country dominated by Protestant culture.35 In both countries, Jesuits were accused by their opponents of being the pope’s fifth column in a liberal (Belgium) or a Protestant (the Netherlands) nation. However, during the first half of the nineteenth century polemical literature on the Society of Jesus in both Belgium and the Netherlands focused on (anti-)Jesuitism in general, not on the history of the pre-suppression Society in the Low Countries. Many of these publications were in French or translated in Dutch from French, English or German, underlining the international character of the debate on the Jesuits.36

The Belgian and Dutch Jesuits did not participate in these debates, nor were they concerned with writing down their own history. The first years after the restoration in 1814 were difficult because the Society had to cope with a government in The Hague that was not very keen on the revival of a militant Catholic order. After the new Belgian province of the Society of Jesus was erected in 1832, the Netherlands being a vice-province until 1850, the Jesuits’ first priority was restoring the splendor of the pre-suppression Society with its myriad of colleges.37 There was no time for studying the past during those first decades. The Jesuits in Belgium and the Netherlands regained interest in their own history only around 1860, albeit in a polemical way. The Dutch Jesuit Paulus Bongaerts (1831–67) published a history of the Jesuits’ Missio Hollandica in 1860 as an example for his fellow Jesuits from the newly erected Dutch Jesuit province. The tone was highly offensive, the author presented the Jesuits as the saviors of Dutch Catholicism, protecting the Dutch Catholics from the dangers of Jansenism.38 In a polemical review of van Heussen’s Batavia sacra, a new edition of Dupac de Bellegarde’s Histoire abrégée de l’eglise métropolitaine d’Utrecht and a similar work by the English vicar John Mason Neale (1818–66), Bongaerts sharply denounced the Jansenist historiography with its critical judgment on the Jesuits, pleading for a national history of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands, written from an orthodox (i.e. ultramontane) point of view.39 In Belgium in 1867, Charles Waldack (1798–1874), archivist of the Belgian Jesuit province, published a historical account of the Flemish Jesuit province in 1638, meant to be a sample for an elaborate history of the province that had to be written in the years to come.40

Similar plans were made by Dutch Jesuit Antoon van Lommel (1827–94), who was commissioned by his superiors to explore archives and libraries in Europe, especially in Belgium, to collect sources for a history of the Jesuits in the Netherlands.41 Between 1863 and 1866, he made transcriptions of thousands of documents, and subsequently started editing extracts of them in Dutch diocesan history reviews. However, neither the Belgian nor the Dutch project to publish a global history of the Jesuits in the Low Countries would be realized during the nineteenth century. Although interest in history writing was growing in both provinces, the polemical atmosphere remained persistent. In one of his many publications, van Lommel compared the reliability of the Jesuits’ Litterae annuae with van Heussen’s Batavia sacra, resuming the antagonism between Jesuits and Jansenists, on this occasion in relation to the long-debated question whether the conversion to Catholicism of the Dutch national poet Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679) was to be ascribed to the Jesuits or to the secular clergy.42

The Emergence of a Non-Polemical Historiography

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, Jesuit and non-Jesuit historians in Belgium and the Netherlands gradually turned to a non-polemical historiography on the pre-suppression Society of Jesus in the Low Countries, based on a critical analysis of historical sources. Demystifying the still existing prejudices against the Society was a precondition for a scientific approach to its history. In the Netherlands, two prominent academic historians were the first non-Jesuits to address Jesuit history in a non-polemical way. As a young professor at the University of Groningen Petrus Johannes Blok (1855–1929) refuted the “Jesuit myth” with historical arguments in a remarkable lecture series on the Society held at several places in the country in 1893.43 Robert Fruin (1823–99), Blok’s former teacher at Leiden University, published a study in 1894 in which he emphasized the importance of the Jesuits for the revival of Catholicism in the Dutch Republic at the beginning of the seventeenth century, concluding that “they must have been men of significance who had an influence disproportionate to their limited number.”44 It is important to stress that both Fruin and Blok were Protestant historians, just like Willem Pieter Cornelis Knuttel (1843–1928), who worked as an academic librarian at the National Library in The Hague. Between 1892 and 1894, the latter published a two-volume history of Catholicism in the Dutch Republic in which he treated the conflicts between the Jesuits and the vicars apostolic in an unprejudiced way.45

In Belgium, critical church historiography was initiated by the Bollandists and in particular by Charles De Smedt (1833–1911), who had directed the Bollandist Society since 1883. In 1876, he had published a manual on the scientific standards that hagiography and church history had to meet.46 Subsequent Jesuit historians were indebted to De Smedt, whose scientific approach coincided with instructions given in 1892 by the twenty-fourth general congregation to the newly elected superior general Luis Martín (1846–1906) to promote Jesuit historiography on a scientific basis.47 After Louis Delplace (1843–1928) had published in 1887 a source-based study on the establishment of the Jesuits in the Low Countries in 1556,48 the scholarly Jesuit historiography in Belgium would be embodied by Alfred Poncelet (1864–1934) for many years. As a young professor of church history at the Jesuit scholasticate in Leuven, Poncelet was commissioned in 1899 to write the history of the new Belgian Jesuit province and after 1902 also the history of the pre-suppression Society in the Low Countries.49 Between 1907 and 1909, he published a necrology of the Jesuits of the pre-suppression Provincia Gallo-Belgica, followed by a memorial book in 1911 on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Belgian Jesuit province in 1907 with an introductory chapter on the Society’s history in the Low Countries until 1773.50 After twenty years of research in Jesuit archives in Belgium and Rome, Poncelet published his monumental two-volume history of the Jesuits in the Low Countries in 1927–28, covering the period from the middle of the sixteenth century until the reign of Albert and Isabella (1598–1633).51 The first volume treats the history of the Jesuits’ establishment in the Low Countries, including the difficulties they had to endure during the early years of the Dutch Revolt followed by the foundation of the different houses and colleges under the governorship of Alessandro Farnese (1545–92) and the reign of the archduke and archduchess. The second volume is devoted to the apostolic activities of the Jesuits: education, preaching, administration of sacraments, the Marian sodalities, and the “apostolate with the pen.” In the introduction, Poncelet presents his work as a detailed analysis of the Jesuit contribution to Belgian national history in the way it had already been succinctly treated by Henri Pirenne (1862–1935) in his Histoire de Belgique. To Poncelet, the years between 1542 and 1633 were the “most beautiful ones” in the history of the Society of Jesus in the Low Countries, coinciding with the efflorescence of Belgium as a Catholic nation under the guidance of the archduke and of the archduchess in the first decades of the seventeenth century.52 Poncelet thus established a link between Jesuit history and national history that would be resumed twenty-five years later by his pupil and fellow Jesuit Edouard de Moreau (1879–1952). He gave the Jesuits a prominent place in the fifth and final volume of his history of the Catholic Church in Belgium, discussing the episodes of the Dutch Revolt and the reign of Albert and Isabella.53 Poncelet himself completed his history of the Jesuits in the Low Countries until the suppression of the Society in 1773 in the introductory part of his necrology of the Provincia Flandro-Belgica, published in 1931.54

Poncelet’s detailed and in-depth monograph is still a reference work for scholars of Jesuit history in the Low Countries. It marks the beginning of systematic and scientific research on different topics of the Jesuits’ history by Belgian and Dutch historians, Jesuits but also non-Jesuits. Among the latter was Paul Bonenfant (1899–1965), a future history professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. In 1925, he published a still indispensable study on the suppression of the Society in the Austrian Netherlands in 1773, mainly based on the archives of the Austrian authorities.55 Both his work and Poncelet’s were almost simultaneously published by the Belgian Academy of Sciences, indicating the shift of Jesuit historiography from apologetic to scientific history writing and its above mentioned integration in national Belgian historiography. Other historians took part in this process, writing source-based biographies of such prominent Jesuits as Everard Mercurian (1514–80), Leonard Lessius, Carolus Scribani (1561–1629) or Adriaan Poirters.56 In 1957, the Jesuit historian Jos Andriessen (1917–2007) published an in-depth analysis of the political opinions of the Jesuits during the Dutch Revolt and their aspirations to keep the Netherlands united as a Catholic nation under the authority of the Spanish crown.57 Belgian historians also started to conduct research on the persistent conflict between the Jesuits and their Jansenist counterparts on matters of grace and free will, the administration of the sacraments, and church politics. On the Jesuit side, Leopold Willaert (1878–1963), realizing the shortage of historical studies on Jansenism in the Low Countries, addressed the subject in a volume in which he investigated the origins and the context wherein the Jansenist movement first developed.58 He also published a three-volume bibliography on printed Jansenist sources in the Netherlands.59 Willaert’s book was criticized in a review article by the Franciscan friar Lucien Ceyssens (1902–2001), who gained an international reputation as a specialist of the history of Jansenism.60 According to Ceyssens, Jansenism was a creation of the Jesuits and their allies, intriguing against their presumed Jansenist opponents.61 His many publications and editions of primary sources represent an enormous amount of research material for the history of Jansenism and anti-Jansenism in the Low Countries and France and the prominent part the Jesuits took in it.62 As for the university city of Leuven, Jan Roegiers (1944–2013) studied the difficult relationship between the Jesuit college and the Faculty of Theology, in which the Jansenist controversy played a prominent role.63

In line with the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century historiographic tradition, historians of Dutch Catholicism in the twentieth century, when dealing with the Jesuits, continued to pay a lot of attention to the conflicts with the secular clergy on jurisdiction and Jansenism. In 1940, at the occasion of the fourth centennial of the foundation of the Society of Jesus, Frans van Hoeck (1873–1956), archivist of the Dutch Jesuit archives, published a history of the Jesuits in the Netherlands largely consisting of the history of the Missio Hollandica.64 The author presents it as an outline, a first attempt to write the history of the Society of Jesus in the Netherlands. Although his book contains a lot of bare facts, it lacks the historical analysis that would make it an equivalent of Poncelet’s reference work on the Jesuits in the Spanish Netherlands. However, subsequent generations of Catholic academic historians such as Lodewijk J. Rogier (1894–1974), Pontianus Polman (1897–1968), Mathieu G. Spiertz (1928–2004), and Jan Jacobs (1946–), publishing after the Second World War on the history of Dutch Catholicism in premodern times, contextualized Jesuit history in the Dutch Republic. They describe the tensions between the Society of Jesus and the secular clergy as a conflict between a centralizing church, model favored by the Jesuits, and the striving for autonomy of the local church, whose leaders were accused by their opponents of being Jansenists.65

Historiography on the Jesuits as a “Way of Proceeding” to Write Cultural History

During the last few decades, historiography on the Jesuits in the Low Countries has taken part in the thematic enlargement and renewal of international history writing on the Society of Jesus, to which the publication of The First Jesuits by John W. O’Malley in 1993 gave an important impetus. Scholars in Belgium and the Netherlands occupied with Jesuit history left the ecclesiastical approach behind and started to conduct research on a wide range of topics in the fields of religion, culture, and society in which Jesuits were involved during earlier times. Along with Anglo-Saxon historiography, they were also influenced by the French Annales-school, as an article published in 1981 by the well known Dutch historian Willem Frijhoff makes clear.66 The “secularization of the European mind,” to quote the title of the famous book by Owen Chadwick (1916–2015),67 facilitated historical research on the Jesuits in its own way in a less polemical atmosphere than had been the case in the past. In 1991, this new approach was embodied symbolically in both the Netherlands and Belgium by two publications on the occasion of the fifth centennial of Ignatius of Loyola’s birth (c.1491),68 followed one year later by a memorial book celebrating the 450th anniversary of the Jesuits’ arrival in the Low Countries.69 Two of these publications were only partly concerned with the pre-suppression Society, but all three of them contained a series of contributions on all aspects of its history. Some of them had not yet been dealt with before, such as the architecture and ornamentation of the semi-clandestine churches of the Jesuits in the Missio Hollandica or the visual representation of Jesuits in portraits and drawings.

The growing variety in research topics on Jesuit history is reflected by the diversity of researchers involved. Although Jesuits in Belgium and the Netherlands are still conducting research on the Society’s history, most scholars are non-Jesuits and a certain number of them are non-believers. In 2009, an international conference in Leuven presented some of their research results on a wide range of topics related to Jesuit history in the Low Countries.70 Spirituality, visual arts, law, political thoughts, the printing press, military architecture and mathematics were some of the themes that were addressed, demonstrating the growing interest of scholars in all aspects of Jesuit activity related to pre-modern society in the Netherlands. As such, the Leuven conference reported on the work that had been done in previous years. Without being exhaustive, the following lines will present a selection of some of the most relevant contributions to the history of the pre-suppression Society in the Low Countries that have been published more or less recently.

The spectacular growth of the Society of Jesus in the Low Countries during the first half of the seventeenth century has been addressed by Liesbeth Labbeke in a contribution on the recruitment of Jesuits in the duchy of Brabant. Her research revealed that the average Jesuit novice in the Netherlands emerged from middle-class families belonging to the merchant or civil servant classes and that a substantial number had been born in the cities. Many had studied humanities at Jesuit colleges, which were of crucial importance for the Society’s recruitment.71 Scholars have given considerable attention to these institutions as they stood as the center of Jesuit activities in every city where the Society had been established. A research guide on Latin schools in the Southern Netherlands, recently published by the Belgian State Archives, provides a concise history for each of the Jesuit colleges and a survey of archives and literature for further research.72 The establishment conditions of Jesuit colleges in the Low Countries during the reign of the archdukes have been analyzed by the French historian Philippe Marchand.73 Eddy Put and Luce Giard studied the application of the Ratio studiorum in the colleges in the Low Countries as a whole,74 while Michel Hermans did the same for the colleges of the Provincia Gallo-Belgica in particular.75 For some of the colleges that still exist today, either as Jesuit colleges or as state schools, memorial books have been published, as is the case for Brussels, Luxembourg, Namur, and Mons.76

As O’Malley has pointed out, the colleges profoundly changed the identity of the Jesuits, who became resident priests instead of itinerant preachers. Moreover, the colleges established a link between the Jesuits and the cities and would initiate Jesuit involvement with culture and science. Jesuit houses and colleges also served as centers for Jesuit apostolates in the cities and Jesuit missions in the surrounding countryside.77 In the Low Countries, with their dense network of cities, the Jesuits were omnipresent and had a profound impact on Catholicism in early modern times. A general overview of the Jesuit apostolate in the Low Countries is provided by Eddy Put, listing up their activities in the field of predication and catechism, the administration of the sacraments of confession and the Eucharist, the Marian sodalities, and the veneration of saints.78 An excellent study of the connection between a Jesuit college and Jesuit apostolate is available for Luxembourg, the most southern city of the Provincia Gallo-Belgica.79 In his groundbreaking study on the Catholic reformation in Lille, a city also belonging to the Walloon Jesuit province, Alain Lottin highlighted the role of the Jesuits in the process of Catholic restoration.80 As for the Provincia Flandro-Belgica, the most profound research has been done for Antwerp, where the Jesuits had a college and a professed house. In her study on the Catholic Reformation in this city, inspired by Lottin’s work on Lille, Marie-Juliette Marinus shows special interest for the financial support the Antwerp Jesuits received from prominent Catholic families, allowing them to build the magnificent baroque church dedicated to Ignatius and Francis Xavier (1506–52). She also demonstrates how the Jesuits had a tremendous impact on Catholic life, striving to reach as many people as possible by diversifying and constantly renewing their apostolate.81 Alfons K.L. Thijs reaches similar conclusions in his work on the Catholic Reformation in Antwerp, stressing the importance of the Marian sodalities and the so-called suffragia or devotional prints, dedicated to specific saints and distributed by the Jesuits in huge quantities to stimulate personal devotion.82 An excellent introduction on the apostolate of the Society of Jesus in the Missio Hollandica is written by Mathieu G. Spiertz, dealing with the evolution of the numbers of Jesuit missionaries and their mission posts, the missionary strategies of the Jesuits and their conflicts with the vicars apostolic, eventually leading to a crisis and the close-down of a considerable number of mission posts in the eighteenth century.83 In his revealing study on the Catholics as a religious minority in the Dutch Republic, Charles H. Parker integrates the apostolate of the Jesuits in the Missio Hollandica in a broader multi-confessional context, leaving behind the focus on the intra-Catholic conflicts that characterized much of the older historiography on the subject.84

Jesuits in the Netherlands, as elsewhere in Europe and overseas, quickly realized that books were tremendously important to spread their apostolic message. Several scholars dealt with the history of Jesuit books in the Low Countries, with the city of Antwerp as the most prominent production center. A general overview of the “apostolate with the pen” by Flemish and Walloon Jesuits was provided by Jos Andriessen,85 but the most productive historian of Jesuit book history in the Low Countries is the Dutch Jesuit Paul Begheyn. He devoted a series of articles to the subject and in 2014 published an extensive bibliography of books published by Jesuits of the pre-suppression Society in the northern Netherlands.86 Begheyn was also one of the coordinators of a book project to present a selection of the rich Jesuitica collection preserved in the Maurits Sabbe Library in Leuven.87 His fellow Jesuit Peter van Dael conducted research on the strategy of the Jesuits in the Low Countries to spread their apostolic message not only with words but also with images, according to instructions given by Ignatius himself.88 The theological and iconological premises of this strategy were explored by Ralph Deconinck in his revealing dissertation on the use of images in Jesuit spiritual literature in the late sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century. Dekoninck focused his research on Antwerp, being at the same time the center of the engraving industry in the Netherlands and the headquarters of the Flemish Jesuit province. It provided him with the opportunity to pay attention to the interaction between the engravers’ skills and the Jesuits’ iconological know-how.89

As a city on the frontline of Catholic and Protestant cultures in the Netherlands, Antwerp also became the theater of polemics between Jesuits and Protestant ministers from the Dutch Republic. Brigitte Martens and Joep van Gennip both conducted groundbreaking research on the polemical publications of seventeenth-century Jesuits of the Flemish province. Both scholars stress that by attacking Protestant teachings with arguments derived from the Bible and from the ecumenical councils of the early church, the Jesuits aimed in the first place to transmit religious knowledge to their own Catholic flock rather than to convert Protestants, intending to establish clear demarcation lines between Catholicism and Protestantism. Within that frame, Martens’s research focuses on the early modern debate on the status of Aristotelian logic in the fields of science and rhetoric and on the way Jesuits such as Frans de Costere and Cornelius Hazart (1617–90) made use of logic and rhetorical arguments in their polemics with Protestant ministers. Van Gennip makes a detailed analysis of the Dutch polemical publications of nine Jesuits in relation to the geographical and pastoral context they were working in, in order to determine their strategy to consolidate the belief of the Catholics in the Dutch Republic and possibly to convert Protestants.90

Probably the most renowned category of Jesuits books produced in the Low Countries are the Acta sanctorum. Their publication history and the history of the Bollandist Society is reflected in a recent memorial book and in the proceedings of a congress on the Bollandists.91 The Bollandists were also involved with the most famous book ever edited by the Jesuits in the Netherlands, the Imago primi saeculi Societatis Iesu, published in Antwerp in 1640 to celebrate the centenary of the Society. In recent years, international scholars such as John O’Malley, Marc Fumaroli, Lydia Salviucci Insolera, and others addressed this masterpiece of seventeenth-century typography from different research angles. In his introductory essay in a recently published and lavishly illustrated volume on the Imago, O’Malley stresses the fact that it caused controversy from the beginning, reflecting not in the first place the Society’s history but rather the self-image of a religious order conscious of its own “extremely high profile in the world of culture and religion.”92 The publication of the Imago in 1640 coincided with that of the famous Augustinus of Cornelius Jansenius. This simultaneity was highly symbolic. Marc Fumaroli seized upon it to analyze the Imago from a linguistic point of view, opposing the somewhat old-fashioned rhetorical Latin baroque style of the Jesuits to the modern French classical literary style used by their opponents, as illustrated in an exemplary way by Blaise Pascal’s (1623–62) Lettres provinciales.93 Lien Roggen, Marc van Vaeck, and Lydia Salviucci Insolera concentrated on the emblems as an indispensable part of the Imago, Roggen paying special attention to the links between the emblems in the Imago and the emblems (affixiones) displayed in the Antwerp Jesuit church, as if they were part of a theater play, with the recurring image of the amor divinus as an indication of how the Society was steered by godly inspiration. Roggen thus demonstrates how the Imago was an integral part of the festivities of 1640, more than its Dutch counterpart, which was not a mere translation from the original Latin version but a literary creation of its own, intended for a broader public of Dutch readers.94 The emblem production of the Jesuits in the Low Countries has been addressed by several scholars, with a special focus on a unique series of seventeenth-century emblem books from the Brussels Jesuit college now preserved in the Belgian Royal Library.95 Exhibitions of emblems in the colleges were part of the Jesuits’ educational project and fulfilled a promotional role for the citizens on behalf of whom they were displayed. The same goes for the Jesuit theatre, which has been studied extensively by Goran Proot for the colleges of the Flemish Jesuit province, albeit mainly from the point of view of book history.96

The relation between the Jesuits and the arts in the Low Countries has been addressed in an inspiring way by Jeffrey Muller in an essay that uses the sixth book of the Imago primi saeculi, displaying the accomplishments of the Jesuits in the Provincia Flandro-Belgica, to frame the Jesuits’ use of fine arts and architecture as an integral part of their “way of proceeding” in achieving their apostolic goals. In his essay, Muller pleads for an interdisciplinary approach involving historians, art historians, architectural historians, and literary historians in the exploration of this field of Jesuit history.97 How fascinating this kind of research can be is demonstrated by Anna C. Knaap in an essay on the paintings of Rubens for the Jesuit church in Antwerp. The author shows how the iconographical program of Rubens’s paintings and the way they were integrated in the church interior reveal a well-meditated design, meant to guide the faithful through the church in the direction of the high altar with the well-known altarpieces representing Ignatius and Xavier, offering them a visual program for meditation and prayer.98

The involvement of the Flemish Jesuits with science has been treated by several scholars, especially as regards the famous seventeenth-century Jesuit schools of mathematics. Geert Vanpaemel provided an excellent overview of recent research in this field in the proceedings of the Leuven conference of 2009.99 Finally, the study of Jesuit spirituality in the Netherlands has for a long time been the exclusive domain of Jesuit scholars, mostly as members of the Antwerp Ruusbroecgenootschap.100 Rob Faesen and Paul Begheyn continue this tradition, publishing on topics such as Jesuits and mysticism and the cult of Xavier.101 However, lay authors also made contributions in this field. Theo Clemens distinguished between Jesuit and Jansenist spirituality in his dissertation on Catholic prayer books in the Netherlands, while Marit Monteiro conducted research on Jesuits as confessors of Dutch spiritual virgins in the seventeenth century.102 Both authors deal with aspects of the history of Jesuit spirituality in relation to their main research theme, thus integrating them in a broader context of the history of Catholicism in the Low Countries.

To conclude this overview: in the Low Countries, as elsewhere in Europe, the high profile of the Jesuits in what has been labeled by Ronnie Po-chia Hsia as the “world of Catholic renewal,” made them vulnerable to criticism from inside and outside the Catholic Church.103 Anti-Jesuitism is therefore an intrinsic part of the history of the Society of Jesus. The stereotypes of the anti-Jesuit discourse in the Low Countries were not essentially different from elsewhere in Europe, modeled as they were on the anti-Jesuitism of Pasquier and Pascal. They have been analyzed by Gerrit Vanden Bosch and Hendrik Callewier for the northern and the southern Netherlands respectively.104 The most striking feature of anti-Jesuitism in the Dutch Republic during the first half of the seventeenth century was of a political nature, the Jesuits being suspected to be a fifth column of the king of Spain because of the Spanish origins of the Society. On a religious level the Jesuits were accused by the Jansenist party in both the northern and southern Netherlands of moral laxism and of striving to dominate the church as unconditional allies of the pope in Rome.

Research Topics and Archival Sources

Scholarship on the Jesuits in the Low Countries during the past decades has opened up a varied series of research topics, leading to some fascinating new insights on the Society and its activities in such various fields as preaching and catechizing, teaching, religious controversy, the world of printing and books, and the visual arts. However, this survey also reveals that there are still aspects of Jesuit history in the Netherlands waiting for innovative research. The most important one is perhaps the eighteenth-century history of the Society of Jesus in the Netherlands. Most historians have focused on the seventeenth-century “golden age” and left aside the eighteenth century, apart from the suppression in 1773. This period has generally been assumed to be one of decline, but detailed research could clarify whether and to what degree this assumption corresponds to reality. Much also remains to be done on the social profile of the Jesuits in the Low Countries and their mentality. Liesbeth Labbeke’s study on the recruitment of Jesuits in Brabant is exemplary, but confined to only one region and to a limited period of time. Prosopographical research on the Jesuits should also involve a study of their mentalities. Austin Lynn Martin’s study on the sixteenth-century Jesuits in France based on their correspondence could be inspiring on that point.105 The rich collections of necrologies of Jesuits, preserved in the State Archives in Antwerp and the manuscript section of the Royal Library in Brussels, contain extensive materials that could help illuminate not only the mentality of members of the Society but also the ideals ascribed to them by the authors of the necrologies as models for their fellow Jesuits.106 As for data on individual Jesuits, the biographical dictionary of Willem Audenaert and Herman Morlion is an indispensable research instrument.107

Another important research topic are the colleges, the hallmark par excellence that Jesuits in the southern Netherlands were associated with. Although the history of a series of individual colleges has been addressed in memorial books or—mostly unpublished—studies by university students, global research on the importance of the colleges for the Jesuits’ ambition to implement their agenda of Catholic reform is lacking. Such research should investigate, using Jesuit and non-Jesuit sources, whether the Society achieved its goal (or not) to form a Catholic elite that would occupy key positions in society. It should also focus on the role of the colleges as centers for the Jesuits’ apostolate in the cities and the surrounding countryside. A history of the Jesuits’ mission in rural Flanders, which could be modeled on the work of Louis Châtellier, remains to be written.108

To conduct research on the pre-suppression Jesuits in the Low Countries, scholars can use a wide range of Jesuit materials preserved in public and private collections. Most of the archives of the Society were seized by the Austrian government during the suppression in 1773 and are at present part of the collections of the State Archives and the Royal Library. The archives of the Flemish Jesuit province are preserved in the Antwerp State Archives and recently a detailed inventory has been drawn up.109 They are much richer than their Walloon-province counterparts that have been mostly lost in a fire at the college of Lille in 1740; for the latter, only a succinct and outdated inventory is available.110 What remains of the archives of the Walloon province is to be found in the State Archives of Brussels-Anderlecht, along with the very rich archives of the Brussels Jesuit college which are still waiting (after more than two centuries) to be drawn up in an inventory. A substantial part of the Jesuit archives has ended up in the manuscript collection of the Royal Library in Brussels.111 The Belgian and Dutch Jesuits were able to preserve a minor but important section of their pre-suppression archives which recently have been transferred to the KADOC Documentation and Research Center for Religion, Culture and Society of Leuven University.112 The archdiocesan archives in Mechlin also preserve a small Jesuit collection, among which there can be found a significant series of documents concerning the involvement of the Jesuits with Jansenism.113 Indispensable for any researcher dealing with the Jesuits in the Low Countries are the Jesuit archives in Rome, where the Litterae annuae and the correspondence addressed to the superior general are to be found.114 Finally, international scholarship on Jesuits in the Low Countries is facilitated by a bibliographical research guide published in 2006 by Paul Begheyn and the online Jesuitica portal, created by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of Leuven University in order to keep researchers informed of the latest developments in the domain of Jesuit studies.115


^ Back to text1. John W. O’Malley, The Jesuits: A History from Ignatius to the Present (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), 40–41.

^ Back to text2. For the concept of “historiographical chain,” see the introduction of the Diccionario histórico de la Compañía de Jesús: Biográfico-temático (Rome: Institutum Historicum S.I. – Madrid: Universidad Pontificia Comillas, 2001), I, xi, quoted by Robert Danieluk, “‘Ob communem fructum et consolationem’: La genèse et les enjeux de l’historiographie de la Compagnie de Jésus,” Archivum historicum Societatis Iesu (AHSI) 75 (2006): 29–62, here 56.

^ Back to text3. Danieluk, “Ob communem fructum,” 60. On the Jesuit mission in the Dutch Republic, see Gerrit Vanden Bosch, “Saving Souls in the Dutch Vineyard: The Missio Hollandica of the Jesuits (1592–1708),” in The Jesuits of the Low Countries: Identity and Impact (15401773), ed. Rob Faesen and Leo Kenis (Leuven: Peeters, 2012), 139–51.

^ Back to text4. Franciscus Costerus, Antwoorde op de Hollandtsche sententie tegen Peeter Panne (Antwerp: Ioachim Trognaesius, 1598), 3; Aegidius Schondonck, Sica tragica Comiti Mauritio a Iesuitis ut aiunt Calvinistae Leydae intenta, nuper Germanice a Francisco Costero, nunc Latine edita (Antwerp: Ioachim Trognaesius, 1599).

^ Back to text5. Gerrit Vanden Bosch, “Jezuïetenpastoraat in Friesland: Gerard Carbonel als missiepater in Leeuwarden en omgeving (1613–1627),” in Geloven in het verleden: Studies over het godsdienstig leven in de vroegmoderne tijd aangeboden aan Michel Cloet, ed. Eddy Put, Marie Juliette Marinus, and Hans Storme (Leuven: Universitaire Pers, 1996), 345–60, here 357.

^ Back to text6. Joannes Bogerman, Spieghel der Jesuyten, ofte Catechismus van der Jesuyten secte ende leere (Amsterdam: Jan Evertsz Cloppenburgh, 1608 and Leeuwarden: Abraham van den Rade, 1608), f. 5v.

^ Back to text7. Michael Questier, “Like Locusts all over the World: Conversion, Indoctrination and the Society of Jesus in Late Elizabethan and Jacobean England,” in The Reckoned Expense: Edmund Campion and the Early English Jesuits; Essays in Celebration of the First Centenary of Campion Hall, Oxford (1896–1996), ed. Thomas McCoog (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1996), 265–84, here 265–66.

^ Back to text8. See Peter Burke, “The Black Legend of the Jesuits: An Essay in the History of Social Stereotypes,” in Christianity and Community in the West: Essays for John Bossy, ed. Simon Ditchfield (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001), 165–82.

^ Back to text9. Jacobus Outhovius, Historisch verhael der beginsel, voortganck, moordadichheyt, leere ende grouwelickheden der Jesuyten (The Hague: Aert Meuris, 1622). The author is introduced on the title page as "Nu nieuws [recently] uyt de grouwelickheden des Pausdoms gescheyden."

^ Back to text10. Robert Fruin, ed., Uittreksel uit Francisci Dusseldorpii Annales 15661616 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1893). On Dusseldorpius, see the introduction in Fruins’s text edition and Bernard Antoon Vermaseren, De katholieke Nederlandse geschiedschrijving in de 16e en 17e eeuw over de opstand (Leeuwarden: Gerben Dykstra, 19812), 69–91.

^ Back to text11. Pieter Bor, Oorsprong, beghin ende voortgangh vande Nederlandsche Oorloghen, vol. 6 (Amsterdam: M. Colijn, s.d.), book XXXV, ff. 26r–31r.

^ Back to text12. Hugo Grotius, Annales et historiae de rebus Belgicis (Amsterdam: Joannes Blaeu, 1657), 327 and 194: “[Iesuiti] incredibili studio duo maxime percoluere, vim pontificis Romani, & opes Hispaniae.”

^ Back to text13. See on this subject Jos Andriessen, De jezuïeten en het samenhorigheidsbesef der Nederlanden, 1585–1648 (Antwerp: De Nederlandsche Boekhandel, 1957).

^ Back to text14. KADOC-KU Leuven, Leuven (hereafter: KADOC), Dutch Jesuit Archives 1542–1773, 375: Oliverius Manareus, De initiis missionis Hollandicae.

^ Back to text15. Brussels, Royal Library of Belgium (hereafter: KBR): Manuscript Department, 1275–76: Guilielmus Goetgeburius, Historia missionis Batavicae Societatis Iesu ab anno 1544 ad annum 1626.

^ Back to text16. Willebrordus van der Heijden, Verhaal van de verrigtingen der Jezuieten in Friesland, ed. Hendrik Amersfoordt and Ulbe Arend Evertsz (Leeuwarden: J.W. Brouwer, 1842). The Latin manuscript is hold in Leeuwarden, Tresoar: manuscript 1149: Willebrordus van der Heijden, Commentarium de rebus a patribus e Soc. Jesu in Frisia gestis.

^ Back to text17. Virgilio Cepari, Vita di Giovanni Berchmans fiammingo, religioso della Compagnia di Gesu (Rome: Per l’Erede di Bartolomeo Zanetti, 1627). See on this biography and its Dutch and Latin translations Rob Faesen, “Virgilio Cepari S.J., Het leven van Ioannes Berchmans (1629),” in Jesuit Books in the Low Countries 1540–1773: A Selection from the Maurits Sabbe Library, ed. Paul Begheyn et al. (Leuven: Peeters, 2009), 74–76.

^ Back to text18. [Jacob Wijns], De vita et moribus R.P. Leonardi Lessii liber: Ad utramque provinciam Societatis Iesu per Belgium iubilaeum anno seculari suo celebrantem; Una cum Divinarum Perfectionum opusculo; Cura et sumptibus Thomae Courtois (Brussels: Godefridus Schovartius, 1640). See on the motives for publishing this biography Toon van Houdt, “Jacob Wijns S.J., De vita, et moribus R.P. Leonardi Lessii liber (1640),” in Begheyn et al., Jesuit Books, 105–7.

^ Back to text19. Imago primi saeculi Societatis Iesu a provincia Flandro-Belgica eiusdem Societatis repraesentata (Antwerp: Ex officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti, 1640). See the reference to the jubilee in the title of the Lessius biography (previous note).

^ Back to text20. Jo Tollebeek and Tom Verschaffel, “De jezuïeten en de Zuidnederlandse kerkgeschiedschrijving (1542–1796),” Trajecta: Tijdschrift voor de geschiedenis van het katholiek leven in de Nederlanden (hereafter: Trajecta) 1, no. 4 (1992): 313–31, here 319–20.

^ Back to text21. [Laurentius Uwens and Adriaen Poirters], Af-beeldinghe van d’eerste eeuwe der Societeyt Iesu voor ooghen ghestelt door de Duyts-Nederlantsche Provincie der selver Societeyt (Antwerp: inde Plantiinsche druckeriie, 1640).

^ Back to text22. Jean Bourgeois, De iubileo Societatis Iesu ab ea condita anno seculari MDCXL (Douai: Typis Bartholomaei Bardoy, 1640); Jacques Damiens, Synopsis primi saeculi Societatis Iesu (Tournai: Typis Adriani Quinqué, 1641); Jacques Damiens, Tableau raccourci de ce qui s’est fait par la Compagnie de Iesus durant son premier siecle (Tournai: Imprimerie d’Adrien Quinqué, 1642). See on the latter Annick Delfosse, “Jacques Damiens S.J., Tableau raccourci (1642),” in Begheyn et al., Jesuit Books, 108–10.

^ Back to text23. On the origins of the Acta sanctorum and the Bollandist Society, see Tollebeek and Verschaffel, “De Jezuïeten,” 323–25 and the references in note 91.

^ Back to text24. On Norbertus Aerts and the Acta Missionis Hollandicae, see Menologium van de Sociëteit van Jezus voor de Nederlandsche Provincie II (s.l.: [1915]), 193–94 and Joep van Gennip, Controversen in context: Een comparatief onderzoek naar de Nederlandstalige controversepublicaties van de jezuïeten in de zeventiende-eeuwse Republiek (Hilversum: Verloren, 2014), 83–84. The first volume of the Acta is hold in the University Archives of the Catholic University of Leuven, the other seven in the Manuscript Department of the KBR, 11991, 218181, 11992, 11993, 218182, 11994, 218183. Nineteenth-century copies of volumes 2–8 made by the Dutch Jesuit Antoon van Lommel (1827–94) are to be found in KADOC, Dutch Jesuit Archives 1542–1773, 376–83.

^ Back to text25. KBR, 4182. Nineteenth-century copies by van Lommel in KADOC, Dutch Jesuit Archives 1542–1773, 392–97.

^ Back to text26. Arnold Waeijer, Nopende het aerts-priesterschap van Swolle naer de beroerten deser Neder-landen mitsgaders van eenige gedenckweerdige voorvallen, ed. G.A. Meijer (Utrecht: wed. J.R. van Rossum, 1921). The manuscript is hold in Historisch Centrum Overijssel, Zwolle; Andreae Tiarae annotationes: Aanteekeningen betreffende de Roomsch-Katholieke kerk in Friesland, sedert de hervorming tot het jaar 1696, ed. Godschalk Horatius van Borssum Waalkes (Leeuwarden: Meijer en Schaafsma, 1894).

^ Back to text27. T.S.F.H.L.H.S.T.L.P.V.T. [Hugo van Heussen], Batavia sacra, sive res gestae apostolicorum virorum, qui fidem Bataviae primi intulerunt, in duas partes divisas (Brussels: pro Francisco Foppens, 1714). A Dutch translation in three volumes was published in Antwerp: Christianus Vermey, 1715–16.

^ Back to text28. Cornelis Hoynck van Papendrecht, Historia Ecclesiae Ultrajectinae a tempore mutatae religionis in Foederato Belgio: In qua ostenditur ordinaria sedis archiepiscopalis et capituli jura intercedisse (Mechlin: Laurens van der Elst, 1725). A Dutch translation was published in Mechlin: Laurens van der Elst, 1728.

^ Back to text29. Nicolaas Broedersen, Tractatus historicus de rebus ecclesiae ultrajectinae in quo ordine chronico exhibetur quid in ecclesia metropolitana ultrajectina, & illius suffraganeis ecclesiis egerint Loyolistae, sive clerici Societatis vulgo dicti Jesuitae […]: Ab anno 1580 […] usque ad praesentem annum 1761 (Utrecht: Guilielmus vander Weyde, 1763).

^ Back to text30. [Gabriel Dupac de Bellegarde], Témoignages de plusieurs cardinaux, archevêques, évêques, universités, facultés de théologie ou de droit […] en faveur de la Catholicité & de la légitimité des droits du clergé & des chapitres, archevêques, évêques de l’Eglise Catholique des Provinces-Unies, contre le schisme introduit dans cette Eglise depuis le commencement de ce siècle par les manœuvres des Jésuites & de leurs adhérents (Utrecht: Guilielmus vander Weyde, 1763–65); [Gabriel Dupac de Bellegarde], Histoire abrégée de l’Eglise metropolitaine d’Utrecht, principalement depuis la révolution arrivée dans les Provinces-Unies des Pays-Bas sous Philippe II jusqu’à présent (Utrecht: Guilielmus vander Weyde, 1765).

^ Back to text31. Tollebeek and Verschaffel, “De jezuïeten,” 325–27.

^ Back to text32. Daniel Papebrochius, Annales Antverpienses ab urbe condita ad annum M.DCCC collecti ex ipsius civitatis monumentis publicis privatisque Latinae ac patriae linguae iisque fere manu exaratis, ed. François-Henri Mertens and Ernest-Joseph Buschmann (Antwerp: Buschmann, 1845–48). The original manuscript is hold in KBR, 7918–27.

^ Back to text33. Joannes Carolus Diercxsens, Antverpia Christo nascens et crescens seu acta ecclesiam Antverpiensem ejusque apostolos ac viros pietate conspicuos concernentia usque ad seculum XVIII (Antwerp: Joannes Henricus van Soest, 1773).

^ Back to text34. See for the Netherlands Peter-Jan Margry, “‘Jezuïetenstreken’: De attributie van bedrog en de constructie van mythen in het Nederland van de negentiende eeuw,” De Negentiende Eeuw 28, no. 1 (2004): 39–64. A recent overview on nineteenth-century anti-Jesuitism in Belgium is still lacking. For a case in point, see Kristien Suenens, “Het proces-De Buck (1864–1868): Een erfenisproces als inzet van het klerikaal-liberale conflict in België,” Trajecta 14, no. 1 (2005): 3–24.

^ Back to text35. See e.g. an anonymous Dutch pamphlet questioning the presence of the Jesuits in a nation governed by the House of Orange, reminding the conspiracy theory of the Jesuits being responsible for the assassination of William of Orange: Het huis van Oranje en de Jesuiten in Nederland: Eene beschouwing in de 19e eeuw (Haarlem: Van Brederode, 1847).

^ Back to text36. Margry, “Jezuïetenstreken,” 55–56. See e.g. Dominique du Pradt, Du jésuitisme ancien et moderne (Brussels: P.-J. Demat, 1825). The French nobleman Abbé de Pradt (1759–1837) was a former archbishop of Mechlin (though not officially recognized). He aims to demonstrate in his book the incompatibility of the Jesuits with nineteenth-century society.

^ Back to text37. Xavier Dusausoit, “Fondation et gestion de cinq collèges jésuites belges au XIXe siècle (Alost, Gand, Bruxelles, Mons et Verviers),” in The Economics of Providence: Management, Finances and Patrimony of Religious Orders and Congregations in Europe, 1773–c.1930: L’économie de la Providence; La gestion, les finances et le patrimoine des ordres et congrégations religieuses en Europe, 1773–vers 1930, ed. Maarten van Dijck et al. (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2012), here 247–48.

^ Back to text38. [Paulus Bongaerts], Societatis Jesu in Neerlandia historiae compendium, ab anno 1592 […] usque ad Joannem Neercassel, quo vicario, jansenismi secta pullulans damna gravissima et Societati et ecclesiae in Neerlandia minari coepit (’s-Hertogenbosch: P. Stokvis, 1860).

^ Back to text39. Paulus Bongaerts, Over de Batavia sacra en eenige andere werken onzer kerkhistorie (s.l.s.d.); John Mason Neale, A History of the So-called Jansenist Church of Holland (Oxford: Henry and Parker, 1858).

^ Back to text40. Carolus Waldack, Historia Provinciae Flandro-Belgicae Societatis Jesu, quam e veteribus documentis colligit C.F. Waldack, ejusdem Societatis: Annus unus, speciminis causa 1638us (Ghent: C. Poelman – Brussels: H. Goemaere, 1867).

^ Back to text41. Joep van Gennip, “Gevangen in twee werelden: De bijdrage van de Nederlandse jezuïeten aan de geschiedwetenschappen tussen 1850 en 1967,” in Het geloof dat inzicht zoekt: Religieuzen en de wetenschap, eds. Joep van Gennip and Maria-Antoinette Th. Willemsen (Hilversum: Verloren, 2010), 45–67, here 59; Paul Begheyn, “A New Inventory for the Archives of the Old Society of the Dutch Jesuit Province,” in The Jesuits of the Low Countries, eds. Rob Faesen and Leo Kenis, 262–68, here 263–64.

^ Back to text42. Antoon van Lommel, De historische waarde der Litterae annuae en de vertrouwbaarheid van Hugo Franc. van Heussen in zijne Batavia sacra (Utrecht: P.W. van de Weijer, 1885).

^ Back to text43. Petrus Johannes Blok, De Jezuieten: Eene rede (Groningen: Wolters, 1893).

^ Back to text44. Robert Fruin, “De wederopluiking van het katholicisme in Noord-Nederland, omstreeks den aanvang der XVIIe eeuw,” in De Gids 58 (1894), 1–33 and 240–92, here 276: “Die eerste Jezuieten hier te lande moeten mannen van beteekenis zijn geweest, en een invloed hebben geoefend buiten alle verhouding tot hun gering aantal.”

^ Back to text45. Willem Pieter Cornelis Knuttel, De toestand der Nederlandsche katholieken ten tijde der Republiek, 2 vols. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1892–94).

^ Back to text46. Carolus De Smedt, Introductio generalis ad historiam ecclesiasticam critice tractandam (Ghent: Poelman, 1876). On De Smedt, see Jo Tollebeek and Tom Verschaffel, “De Belgische jezuïeten en de beoefening van de ‘nationale’ kerkgeschiedenis, 1796–1950,” Trajecta 2, no. 1 (1993), 37–55, here 43–45.

^ Back to text47. John W. O’Malley, “The Historiography of the Society of Jesus: Where Does It Stand Today?,” in John W. O’Malley, Saints or Devils Incarnate? Studies in Jesuit History (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 18–19; Robert Danieluk, “Some Remarks on Jesuit Historiography 1773–1814,” in Jesuit Survival and Restoration: A Global History, ed. Robert A. Maryks and Jonathan Wright (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 34–48, here 37.

^ Back to text48. Louis Delplace, L’établissement de la Compagnie de Jésus dans les Pays-Bas et la mission du P. Ribadeneyra à Bruxelles en 1556 d’après des documents inédits (Brussels: Alfred Vromant, 1887).

^ Back to text49. Michel Hermans, “Archives de la province belge méridionale et du Luxembourg (ABML): Aperçu des fonds historiques,” in Faesen and Kenis, Jesuits, 245–53, here 247.

^ Back to text50. Alfred Poncelet, “Nécrologie des jésuites de la province Gallo-belge,” Analectes pour servir à l’histoire ecclésiastique de la Belgique 33 (1907): 275–312; 34 (1908): 55–75, 225–32, 441–56; 35 (1909): 36–52, 327–60; [Alfred Poncelet], La Compagnie de Jésus en Belgique: Aperçu historique à l'occasion du 75e anniversaire de l'érection de la province belge (3 décembre 1832–3 décembre 1907) (Brussels: Bulens, 1911). A Dutch translation was published in the same year.

^ Back to text51. Alfred Poncelet, Histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus dans les ancien Pays-Bas: Etablissement de la Compagnie de Jésus en Belgique et ses développements jusqu’à la fin du règne d’Albert et d’Isabelle, 2 vols. (Brussels: Maurice Lamertin, 1927–28).

^ Back to text52. Poncelet, Histoire de la Compagnie de Jésus, 1:iii; Henri Pirenne, Histoire de Belgique, vol. 4 (Brussels: H. Lamartin, 1911), 359–75.

^ Back to text53. Edouard de Moreau, Histoire de l’Eglise en Belgique, vol. 5 (Brussels: L’Edition universelle, 1952). On the link between Jesuit historiography and Belgian national history see Tollebeek and Verschaffel, “De Belgische jezuïeten,” 50–52.

^ Back to text54. Alfred Poncelet, Nécrologe des jésuites de la province Flandro-Belge (Wetteren: Jules De Meester et fils, 1931).

^ Back to text55. Paul Bonenfant, La suppression de la Compagnie de Jésus dans les Pays-Bas autrichiens (1773) (Brussels: Maurice Lambertin, 1925).

^ Back to text56. Tony Severin, Un grand belge: Mercurian, 1514–1580: Curé ardennais, général des jésuites (Liège: H. Dessain, 1946); Charles van Sull, Léonard Lessius de la Compagnie de Jésus (1554–1623) (Leuven: Editions du Museum Lessianum, 1930); Louis Brouwers, Carolus Scribani S.J. 1561–1629: Een groot man van de Contra-reformatie in de Nederlanden (Antwerp: Ruusbroecgenootschap, 1961); Edward Rombauts, Leven en werken van Pater Adrianus Poirters s.j. (1605–1674): Bijdrage tot de studie der didactisch-moraliseerende letterkunde in de XVIIe eeuw in Zuid-Nederland (Ledeberg: Erasmus, 1930).

^ Back to text57. Jos Andriessen, De jezuïeten en het samenhorigheidsbesef der Nederlanden 1585–1648 (Antwerp: De Nederlandsche Boekhandel, 1957).

^ Back to text58. Leopold Willaert, Les origines du jansénisme dans les Pays-Bas catholiques: Le milieu; Le jansénisme avant la lettre (Brussels: Palais des Académies, 1948).

^ Back to text59. Leopold Willaert, Bibliotheca Janseniana Belgica: Répertoire des imprimés concernant les controverses théologiques en relation avec le jansénisme dans les Pays-Bas catholiques et le pays de Liège aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, 3 vols. (Namur: Faculté de philosophie et lettres, 1949–51).

^ Back to text60. Lucien Ceyssens, “Rondom de studie van P. Willaert over de oorsprong van het jansenisme in België,” Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire 28, no. 2 (1950): 644–85. On Ceyssens see Mathieu G. Spiertz, “L’oeuvre du professeur Ceyssens: Son importance pour l’étude du jansénisme,” in L’œuvre littéraire de Lucien Ceyssens sur le jansénisme et l’antijansénisme devant la critique, ed. Isaac Vázquez Janeiro (Rome: Pontificium Athenaeum Antonianum, 1979), 125–37.

^ Back to text61. See e.g. Luciaan Ceyssens, “Een geheim genootschap ter bestrijding van het jansenisme in België,” in Luciaan Ceyssens, Jansenistica: Studiën in verband met de geschiedenis van het Jansenisme (Mechelen: St Franciscus-Drukkerij, 1950), 343–97.

^ Back to text62. Isaac Vázquez Janeiro, L’œuvre littéraire de Lucien Ceyssens sur le jansénisme et l’antijansénisme: Supplément bibliographique (1979–1985) (Rome: Pontificium Athenaeum Antonianum, 1985); Isaac Vázquez Janeiro, L’œuvre littéraire de Lucien Ceyssens sur le jansénisme et l’antijansénisme: Deuxième supplément bibliographique (1985–1993) (Rome: Pontificium Athenaeum Antonianum, 1993).

^ Back to text63. Jan Roegiers, “Awkward Neighbours: The Leuven Faculty of Theology and the Jesuits College (1542–1773),” in Faesen and Kenis, eds., The Jesuits in the Low Countries, 153–75.

^ Back to text64. Frans van Hoeck, Schets van de geschiedenis der Jezuieten in Nederland (Nijmegen: Dekker & van de Vegt, 1940).

^ Back to text65. Lodewijk J. Rogier, Geschiedenis van het katholicisme in Noord-Nederland in de 16e en de 17e eeuw, 3 vols. (Amsterdam: Urbi et Orbi, 1945–1946); Pontianus Polman, Katholiek Nederland in de achttiende eeuw, 3 vols. (Hilversum: Paul Brand, 1968), Mathieu G. Spiertz, L’Église catholique des Provinces-Unies et le Saint-Siège pendant la deuxième moitié du XVIIe siècle (Leuven: Publications Universitaires de Louvain, 1975); Jan Y.H.A. Jacobs, Joan Christiaan van Erckel (1654–1734): Pleitbezorger voor een locale kerk (Amsterdam: APA-Holland Universiteits Pers, 1981); Mathieu G. Spiertz, “Achtergronden van het ‘Breve Memoriale,’ een geruchtmakend anti-jansenistisch geschrift uit 1697,” Archief voor de Geschiedenis van de Katholieke Kerk in Nederland 26 (1984): 180–207.

^ Back to text66. Willem Frijhoff, “Van ‘histoire de l’église’ naar ‘histoire religieuse’: De invloed van de ‘Annales’-groep op de ontwikkeling van de kerkgeschiedenis in Frankrijk en de perspectieven daarvan voor Nederland,” Nederlands archief voor kerkgeschiedenis 61, no. 2 (1981): 113–53.

^ Back to text67. Owen Chadwick, The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975).

^ Back to text68. Eddy Put and Maurice Wynants, eds., Les jésuites dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux et la principauté de Liège (1542–1773) (Brussels: General State Archives, 1991); Paul Dirkse and Anite Haverkamp, eds., Jezuïeten in Nederland (Utrecht: Rijksmuseum Het Catharijneconvent, 1991).

^ Back to text69. Alain Deneef et al., eds., Les jésuites belges 1542–1992: 450 ans de Compagnie de Jésus dans les provinces belgiques (Brussels: Aesm éditions, 1992).

^ Back to text70. Rob Faesen and Leo Kenis, eds., The Jesuits of the Low Countries: Identity and Impact (1540–1773) (Leuven: Peeters, 2012).

^ Back to text71. Liesbeth Labbeke, “De recrutering van de jezuïeten in het hertogdom Brabant (1584–1640),” Trajecta 5, no. 3 (1996): 193–212.

^ Back to text72. Eddy Put and Marc D’Hoker, eds., Latijnse scholen in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden (16de–18de eeuw): Repertorium en archiefgids (Brussels: General State Archives, 2007).

^ Back to text73. Philippe Marchand, “Les conditions d’installation des collèges jésuites dans les Pays-Bas méridionaux au temps des Archiducs (1598–1630),” in Claude Bruneel et al., eds., Les ‘Trente glorieuses’ (circa 1600–circa 1630): Pays-Bas méridionaux et France septentrionale; Aspects économiques, sociaux et religieux au temps des archiducs Albert et Isabelle (Brussels: Archives et Bibliothèques de Belgique, 2010), 323–35.

^ Back to text74. Eddy Put, “Ratio studiorum: L’enseignement dans les collèges sous l’Ancien Régime,” in Put and Wynants, eds., Les jésuites, 35–47; Luce Giard, “Les collèges jésuites des anciens Pays-Bas et l’élaboration de la Ratio studiorum ,” in Faesen and Kenis, eds., The Jesuits, 83–108.

^ Back to text75. Michel Hermans, “Génèse de la pédagogie jésuite: Ses particularités dans la Province gallo-belge,” in Josy Birsens, ed., Du collège jésuite au collège municipal 1603–1815 (Luxembourg: Editions Saint-Paul, 2003), 39–63.

^ Back to text76. Bernard Stenuit, ed., Les collèges jésuites de Bruxelles: Histoire et pédagogie 1604–1835–1905–2005 (Namur: Editions Lessius, 2005); Birsens, Du collège jésuite; Emmanuel André, ed., Les jésuites à Namur, 1610–1773: Mélanges d’histoire et d’art publiés à l’occasion des anniversaires ignatiens (Namur: Presses Universitaires de Namur, 1991); Jacques Lory et al., Les jésuites à Mons 1584–1598–1998: Liber memorialis (Mons: Association Royale des anciens élèves du Collège Saint-Stanislas, 1998).

^ Back to text77. John W. O’Malley, “The Pastoral, Social, Ecclesiastical, Civic and Cultural Mission of the Society of Jesus,” in O’Malley, Saints or Devils, 45–48; O’Malley, “The Ministry to Outsiders: The Jesuits,” in O’Malley, Saints or Devils, 94–95.

^ Back to text78. Eddy Put, “Un nouveau modèle pastoral,” in Put and Wynants, eds., Les jésuites, 49–60.

^ Back to text79. Josy Birsens, ed., “‘Fir Glawen a Kultur’: Les jésuites à Luxembourg; Die Jesuiten in Luxemburg (1594–1994),” Hémecht: Zeitschrift für Luxemburger Geschichte; Revue d’histoire luxembourgeoise 46, no. 1 (1994): 5–348.

^ Back to text80. Alain Lottin, Lille, citadelle de la Contre-Réforme? (1598–1668) (Dunkerque: Westhoek-Editions, 1984), 127–31, 196–201.

^ Back to text81. Marie-Juliette Marinus, De contrareformatie te Antwerpen (1585–1676): Kerkelijk leven in een grootstad (Brussels: Paleis der Academiën, 1995), esp. 154–72, resumed and extended until 1773 in Marie-Juliette Marinus, “Kampioenen van de contrareformatie 1562–1773,” in Antwerpen en de jezuïeten 1562–2002, ed. Herman van Goethem (Antwerp: UFSIA, 2002), 7–70.

^ Back to text82. Alfons K.L. Thijs, Van geuzenstad tot katholiek bolwerk: Maatschappelijke betekenis van de kerk in contrareformatorisch Antwerpen (Turnhout: Brepols, 1990), esp. 80–85 and 98–99.

^ Back to text83. Mathieu G. Spiertz, “Pratique pastorale dans la Mission Hollandaise: Les jésuites dans la République des Sept Provinces,” in Put and Wynants, eds., Jésuites, 87–99.

^ Back to text84. Charles H. Parker, Faith on the Margins: Catholics and Catholicism in the Dutch Golden Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008).

^ Back to text85. Jos Andriessen, “L’apostolat de la plume,” in Deneef et al., Jésuites belges, 64–73.

^ Back to text86. Paul Begheyn, Jesuit Books in the Dutch Republic and its Generality Lands 1567–1773: A Bibliography (Leiden: Brill, 2014); Paul Begheyn, “The Jesuits in the Low Countries 1540–1773: Apostles of the Printing Press,” in Faesen and Kenis, eds., Jesuits, 129–38.

^ Back to text87. Paul Begheyn et al., eds., Jesuit Books in the Low Countries.

^ Back to text88. Peter van Dael, “Geïllustreerde boeken van jezuïeten uit de 16de en 17de eeuw: De verhouding tussen woord en beeld,” in Derkse and Haverkamp, eds., Jezuïeten in Nederland, 30–40; Peter van Dael, “‘De Christelijcke leeringhe met vermaeck gevat’: De functie van illustraties in boeken van jezuïeten in de Nederlanden tijdens de zeventiende eeuw,” De zeventiende eeuw 14, no. 1 (1998): 120–31.

^ Back to text89. Ralph Dekoninck, Ad imaginem: Statuts, fonctions et usages de l’image dans la littérature spirituelle jésuite du XVIIe siècle (Genève: Librairie Droz, 2005).

^ Back to text90. Brigitte Martens, “De Antwerpse jezuïeten en het grote mediadebat in de zeventiende eeuw: Een communicatiehistorische analyse van de Nederlandstalige religieuze controverseliteratuur (ca. 1595–ca. 1690) ” (PhD diss., Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2010); Brigitte Martens, “Nederlandstalige religieuze controversepublicaties en de kunst van het argumenteren in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden (1591–c.1688),” Trajecta 19–20, no. 3–4 (2010–2011): 241–72; van Gennip, Controversen in context (see note 24).

^ Back to text91. Robert Godding et al., Bollandistes, saints et légendes: Quatre siècles de recherche (Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 2007); François De Vriendt et al., eds., De Rosweyde aux Acta sanctorum : La recherche hagiographique des Bollandistes à travers quatre siècles; Actes du colloque international (Bruxelles, 5 octobre 2007) (Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 2009).

^ Back to text92. John W. O’Malley, “The Imago: Context, Content, and Controversy,” in O’Malley, ed., Art, Controversy, and the Jesuits: The Imago primi saeculi (1640) (Philadelphia: Saint Joseph’s University Press, 2015), 11–49, here 13.

^ Back to text93. Marc Fumaroli, “Baroque et classicisme: L’Imago primi saeculi Societatis Jesu (1640) et ses adversaires,” in Marc Fumaroli, L’école du silence: Le sentiment des images au XVIIe siècle (Paris: Flammarion, 1994), 343–65.

^ Back to text94. Lydia Salviucci Insolera, L’Imago primi saeculi (1641) e il significato dell’immagine allegorica nella Compagnia di Gesù: Genesi e fortuna del libro (Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2004); Marc van Vaeck, “Encoding the Emblematic Tradition of Love: The Emblems in the Imago primi saeculi Societatis Iesu (Antwerp, 1640) and Poirters’s Emblematical Verses in the Af-beeldinghe van d’eerste eeuwe der Societeyt Iesu (Antwerp, 1640),” in Els Stronks and Peter Boot, eds., Learned Loves: Proceedings of the Emblem Project Utrecht Conference on Dutch Love Emblems and the Internet (November 2006) (The Hague: DANS-Data Archiving and Networked Services, 2007), 49–72; Lien Roggen, “Celebration Time: The Imago primi saeculi Societatis Iesu and its Dutch Adaptation as Part of the Festivities of 1640 Commemorating the Jesuit Order’s Centenary,” in Simon McKeown, ed., The International Emblem: From Incunabula to the Internet; Selected Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference of the Society of Emblem Studies, 28th July–1st August, 2008, Winchester College (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2010), 171–200.

^ Back to text95. Peter M. Daly, “Emblematic Productions by the Jesuits of the Flanders Belgium Province to the Year 1700,” in John Manning and Marc van Vaeck, eds., The Jesuits and the Emblem Tradition: Selected Papers of the Leuven International Emblem Conference 18-23 August 1996 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1999), 249–78; Karel Porteman, ed., Emblematic Exhibitions (affixiones) at the Brussels Jesuit College (1630–1685) (Brussels: Royal Library of Belgium – Turnhout: Brepols), 1996; Karel Porteman, “Teachings of Emblematics in Jesuit Colleges: DeclamationesAffixiones in Jesuit Colleges,” in Manning and van Vaeck, eds., Jesuits and the Emblem Tradition, 33–229; Toon van Houdt and Marc van Vaeck, “In het licht van de eeuwigheid: Bezinning over tijd en vergankelijkheid in de efemere emblematische constructies van het Brusselse Jezuïetencollege (1682),” in Marc van Vaeck, Hugo Brems and Geert H.M. Claessens, eds., De steen van Alciato: Literatuur en visuele cultuur in de Nederlanden; The Stone of Alciato; Literature and Visual Culture in the Low Countries (Leuven: Peeters, 2003), 861–99; Gregory Ems, “Manuscript Circulation in the Society of Jesus: Student Emblems from the Brussels Jesuit College,” Emblematica: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Emblem Studies 21 (2014): 161–205.

^ Back to text96. Goran Proot, Het schooltoneel van de jezuïeten in de Provincia Flandro-Belgica tijdens het ancien régime (1575–1773) (PhD diss., Universiteit Antwerpen, 2008). Among his most recent publications: Goran Proot, “Die Reglementierung des Schultheaters der Jesuiten in der Provincia Flandro-Belgica (1575–1773),” in Christel Meier et al., eds., Europäische Schauplätze des frühneutzeitlichen Theaters: Normierungskräfte und regionale Diversität (Münster: Rhema, 2011), 313–34; Goran Proot, “The Evolving Typographical Identity of Theatre Programmes Produced for the Flemish Jesuits in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” in William A. Kelly and Giulia Trentacosti, eds., The Book in the Low Countries (Edinburgh: Merchiston Publishing, 2015), 11–53.

^ Back to text97. Jeffrey Muller, “Jesuit Uses of the Art in the Province of Flanders,” in John W. O’Malley et al., eds., The Jesuits II: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts 1540–1773 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), 112–56.

^ Back to text98. Anna C. Knaap, “Meditation, Ministry, and Visual Rhetoric in Peter Paul Ruben’s Program for the Jesuit Church in Antwerp,” in O’Malley et al., eds., Jesuits II, 157–81.

^ Back to text99. Geert Vanpaemel, “Jesuit Mathematicians, Military Architecture and the Transmission of Technical Knowledge,” in Faesen and Kenis, eds., The Jesuits, 109–28. See the footnotes there for more bibliographical references on this subject.

^ Back to text100. Albert Ampe (1912–2004) and Jos Andriessen among others. The Ruusbroecgenootschap was founded in 1925 by Antwerp Jesuits to study the history of spirituality in the Low Countries. Today it is part of the Faculty of Arts of the Universiteit Antwerpen. See (accessed June 16, 2016).

^ Back to text101. Rob Faesen, “Jesuit Spirituality in the Low Countries in Dialogue with the Older Mystical Tradition,” in Faesen and Kenis, eds., Jesuits, 3–16; Paul Begheyn, “The Cult of St. Francis Xavier in the Dutch Republic,” AHSI 71 (2002): 303–20.

^ Back to text102. Theo Clemens, De godsdienstigheid in de Nederlanden in de spiegel van de katholieke kerkboeken 1680–1840, 2 vols. (Tilburg: Tilburg University Press, 1988); Marit Monteiro, Geestelijke maagden: Leven tussen klooster en wereld in Noord-Nederland gedurende de zeventiende eeuw (Hilversum: Verloren, 1996).

^ Back to text103. Ronnie Po-chia Hsia, The World of Catholic Renewal 1540–1770 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

^ Back to text104. Gerrit Vanden Bosch, “L’image des jésuites dans la République des Provinces-Unies au Siècle d’or: Cinquième colonne ou mythe entretenu?,” in Pierre-Antoine Fabre and Catherine Maire, eds., Les antijésuites: Discours, figures et lieux de l’antijésuitisme à l’époque moderne (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2010), 429–53; Hendrik Callewier, “Anti-jezuïtisme in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden (1542–1773),” Trajecta 16, no.1 (2007): 31–50.

^ Back to text105. Austin Lynn Martin, The Jesuit Mind: The Mentality of an Elite in Early Modern France (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988).

^ Back to text106. See Gerrit Vanden Bosch, “Over de doden niets dan goeds? Zeventiende-eeuwse elogia en necrologia van jezuïeten in de Hollandse Zending als bronnen voor religieuze mentaliteitsgeschiedenis,” Trajecta 6, no. 4 (1997): 334–45.

^ Back to text107. Willem Audenaert and Herman Morlion, Prosopographia iesuitica Belgica antiqua (PIBA): A Biographical Dictionary of the Jesuits in the Low Countries 1542–1773, 4 vols. (Leuven-Heverlee: Filosofisch en Theologisch Instituut S.J., 2000).

^ Back to text108. Louis Châtellier, La religion des pauvres: Les missions rurales en Europe et la formation du catholicisme moderne, XVIe–XIXe siècles (Paris: Aubier, 1993).

^ Back to text109. Hendrik Callewier, Inventaris van het archief van de Nederduitse provincie der jezuïeten (Provincia Belgica, vervolgens Provincia Flandro-Belgica) en van het archief van het professenhuis te Antwerpen (1388) 1564–1773 (Brussels: General State Archives, 2006); see also Hendrik Callewier, “‘The Foundation of all our Affairs’: A History of the Archives of the Old Jesuit Order in the Southern Low Countries,” Archives et bibliothèques de Belgique 80, no. 1–4 (2009): 209–23.

^ Back to text110. Arthur Gaillard, Inventaire sommaire des archives de la Compagnie de Jésus conservées aux Archives générales du Royaume (Brussels, 1907).

^ Back to text111. Joseph van den Gheyn, Catalogue des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, Tome VI: Histoire des ordres religieux et des églises particulières (Brussels: Henri Lamertin, 1906), 216–453, 756–64.

^ Back to text112. (accessed June 16, 2016). On the archives of the Flemish, the southern Belgium, Luxemburg, and the Dutch Jesuit provinces concerning the pre-suppression Society, see the surveys by Jo Luyten (Flemish province), Michel Hermans (Southern Belgium and Luxemburg province), and Paul Begheyn (Dutch province) in Faesen and Kenis, eds., Jesuits, 241–68.

^ Back to text113. Constant van de Wiel, “Analyse van een merkwaardige ‘collectio jesuitica,’ 1537–1900,” Sacris erudiri: Jaarboek voor godsdienstwetenschappen 33 (1992–93): 425–98; Constant van de Wiel, Jansenisticate Mechelen: Het archief van het aartsbisdom (Leuven: Leuven University Press-Uitgeverij Peeters, 1988).

^ Back to text114. On the Jesuit Archives in Rome (ARSI) and their holdings concerning the pre-suppression Society in the Low Countries, see (accessed June 15, 2015).

^ Back to text115. Paul Begheyn, A Guide to the History of the Jesuits in the Netherlands 1540–1850 (Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers, 2006); (accessed June 15, 2016).

Cite this page
Vanden Bosch, Gerrit, “Jesuits in the Low Countries (1542–1773): A Historiographical Essay”, in: Jesuit Historiography Online. Consulted online on 21 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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