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  • Das Schicksal der Jesuiten aus der Oberdeutschen und den beiden Rheinischen Ordensprovinzen nach ihrer Vertreibung aus den Missionsgebieten des portugiesischen und spanischen Patronats (1755-1809)
Das Schicksal der Jesuiten aus der Oberdeutschen und den beiden Rheinischen Ordensprovinzen nach ihrer Vertreibung aus den Missionsgebieten des portugiesischen und spanischen Patronats (1755–1809). By Uwe Glüsenkamp. [Spanische Forschungen der Görresgesellschaft, Zweite Reihe, Band 40.] (Münster: Aschendorff Verlag. 2008. Pp. viii, 295. €44,00 paperback. ISBN 978-3-402-14866-2.)

In 1756, when the Marquis de Pombal suppressed the Society of Jesus in the Portuguese realm, more than 1000 Jesuits were deported back to Lisbon [End Page 148] from Portuguese overseas territories; eleven of them were German missionaries from the three Jesuit provinces of Upper Rhineland, Lower Rhineland, and Upper Germany. In 1767, as a consequence of the Spanish Bourbon suppression of the Company, some 2200 Jesuit missionaries returned to the mother country, among them eighty-eight German Jesuits from the three provinces. This study is a careful and factual reconstruction of the lives of the ninety-nine Jesuit missionaries, using the twenty-six works bequeathed by the missionaries in question, as well as information gathered from forty-one archives in Europe. After a short introduction describing the rising anti-Jesuit sentiments in Spain and Portugal, the author describes the repatriation of Jesuits to Lisbon, their imprisonment (lasting as long as nineteen years), and their eventual release. The harsh treatment for the Jesuit missionaries in Portugal reflected the personal animosity of Pombal and contrasted strongly with the more humane conditions of repatriation and relocation in Spain. In the next chapters, Glüsenkamp describes in detail the repatriation of the German Jesuits to their home provinces and the conditions of their reception. The hardest blow came in 1773, with the papal dissolution of the Society of Jesus. Glüsemkamp reconstructs the lives of many of the group of ninety-nine: some became secular priests, others resided in cloisters of other religious orders, many impoverished and old brothers found refuge in houses of hermits, and still others found support in their own families. A few fortunate souls succeeded in joining their brethren in White Russia, where the Society continued to exist, thanks to the refusal of Catherine the Great to acknowledge the papal decree of suppression. One of these was Anselm Eckart, a former missionary in Brazil and a member of the Upper Rhineland province, who died in 1809 in Dünaburg, Belorussia, the last surviving member of the group of exceptional missionaries. Eckart himself had been incarcerated in various Portuguese prisons between 1758 and 1777, one of the longest suffering of the unhappy Jesuits, and yet outlived the rest of his German brethren, dying only a few years before seeing the restoration of his beloved Society.

This careful and factual study comes with six appendices of lists and tables summarizing the biographies and careers of the ninety-nine German Jesuit missionaries. It is a useful addition to the history of the Society of Jesus for a period that has yet to receive more scholarly attention.

Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia
Pennsylvania State University

Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
148-149
Launched on MUSE
2010-01-10
Open Access
No
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