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Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion$
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John McManners

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270041

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198270046.001.0001

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The Jesuits of France

The Jesuits of France

(p.509) 42 The Jesuits of France
Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France Volume 2: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion

John McManners

Oxford University Press

Although ‘at the eye of the hurricane’ of political and ecclesiastical conflict, the war against Jansenism was only waged by a minority within the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits’ main concern was with education, where they provided the best available education for the bourgeois families of France, with the result that their ex‐pupils were to be found in influential positions in politics and throughout the worlds of administration, the law, and the Church, and among men of letters. They were also devoted to overseas missionary work in Canada, the West Indies, and within France, directed in particular at Protestants. Jesuits monopolized the post of confessor to the king from 1604 to 1764, and in the course of the early eighteenth century sought to impose an even stricter morality on Louis XV.

Keywords:   education, Jesuits, missions

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