Slavonic and East European Review

"Using an impressive array of primary sources in several languages, the author discusses the experience of challenge and adversity amongst some of the Jesuits of the Empire from the moment of ‘high tide’ of the Society, in the fourth decade of the seventeenth century, to the Society’s suppression by papal brief (breve) in 1773. That experience emerges, in the documents generated by the brothers and priests, ‘as a complex mixture of subjective and individually varied reactions to events’. Shore explores the subjective, recorded responses of Jesuits to a variety of situations, amongst them adversity, doubt, miscommunication and failure. His exploration is aided significantly by our growing understanding of the different ways in which Jesuits collected, categorized and recorded information. In this regard, Shore raises questions which exercise every conscientious historian when confronting his or her sources. Shore’s study shows us that Jesuit culture in the Habsburg East thrived on adversity, an adversity most evident in the ‘clear-cut if infrequent moments when a Jesuit was given the choice between renouncing his identity or death’. His book is a invaluable source for our understanding of interplay between culture and religion in this part of Europe"
Reviewed book: 
Paul J. Shore
$95.00 / €85.00 / £75.00