"The Tragic Couple"

Encounters Between Jews and Jesuits


The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has become a leader in the dialogue between Jews and Catholics as was manifested in the role that the Jesuit Cardinal Augustin Bea played in the adoption by the Second Vatican Council of Nostra Aetate, the charter for that new relationship. Still the encounters between Jesuits and Jews were often characterized by animosity and this historical record made them a tragic couple, related but estranged. This volume is the first examination of the complex interactions between Jesuits and Jews from the early modern period in Europe and Asia through the twentieth century where special attention is focused on the historical context of the Holocaust.
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Biographical Note

James W. Bernauer, Ph.D. (1981) in Philosophy , S.U.N.Y., Stony Brook is the Kraft Family Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Boston College where he is also Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning. He has published extensively on the philosophies of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, including Amor mundi: explorations in the faith and thought of Hannah Arendt (Martinus Nijhoff, 1987) and Michel Foucault's force of flight: toward an ethics for thought (HPI, 1990). Robert A. Maryks, Ph.D. (2006) in History, Fordham University, is Associate Professor at CUNY and Visiting Scholar at the Jesuit Institute of Boston College. He has published on various aspects of the history of the Jesuits, including Saint Cicero and the Jesuits (Ashgate, 2008), The Jesuit Order as a Synagogue of Jews (Brill, 2009), and Pouring Jewish Water into Fascist Wine (Brill, 2011). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Jesuit Studies and Brill's book series of Jesuit Studies.

Review Quote

"The book is fascinating and generally well edited; the reality it describes is indeed largely tragic." – Matt Goldish, The Ohio State University, in: Renaissance Quarterly 67/4 (Winter 2014), pp. 1395-1396 "This volume is of the highest order. It contains an all-star cast, bringing together prize-winning scholars like David Kertzer and Charles Gallagher, S.J. Remarkable is its nearly total absence of second-rate chapters; all eighteen essays engage with historiographical questions and shed new light onto the often painful relationships between Jews and Jesuits. For specialists, this volume will be a tremendous asset. It is a window into the historiography and a fount for reflection." – Mark Edward Ruff, St. Louis University, in: Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 11/1 (2016)

Table of contents

Acknowledgements List of Illustrations List of Contributors Introduction James Bernauer and Robert A. Maryks Part one: JESUITS AND NEW CHRISTIANS 1. The Watershed of Conversion: Antonio Possevino, New Christians, and Jews Emanuele Colombo 2. Negotiating Relationship: Jesuits and Portuguese Conversos—A Reassessment Claude B. Stuczynski Part two: JESUITS, JEWS, AND MODERNITY 3. Polemics of Confessionalization: Depictions of Jews and Jesuits in Early Modern Germany Dean Phillip Bell 4. The Suppression of the Jesuits and the Enlightenment Discourse of Jewish Emancipation: Two Parallel Historical Phenomena Diego Lucci 5. Jesuit Influence on Italian Jewish Culture in the 16th and 17th Centuries Gianfranco Miletto 6. From Kaifeng to Shanghai via Rome and Paris: Jesuits and the History of Judaism in China Jeremy Clarke Part three: HATEFUL VISIONS 7. Visions of Hate: Jews and Jesuits in the European Feuilleton Lou Charnon-Deutsch 8. Jesuits, Jews, and Communists: Portrayals of Jesuits and Other Catholic Religious in Nazi Newspapers during the Spanish Civil War, 1936–39 Beth Griech-Polelle Part four: IN THE SHADOW OF 20TH-CENTURY CATASTROPHE A. French Conflicts 9. French Jesuits and Action Française Peter J. Bernardi 10. A Jesuit Spiritual Insurrection: Resistance to Vichy James Bernauer B. Italian Struggles 11. The Anti-Semitism of La Civiltà Cattolica Revisited David Lebovitch Dahl 12. Transforming Anti-Semitism: The Civiltà Cattolica after the Shoah, 1945–65 Elena Mazzini 13. Vatican Radio and Anti-Semitism during the Second World War Raffaella Perin 14. Pietro Tacchi Venturi, Mussolini, Pius XI, and the Jews David I. Kertzer 15. The Jesuit Pietro Tacchi Venturi and the Rescue of Italian Jews Robert A. Maryks C. American Contrasts 16. “Correct and Christian”: American Jesuit Support of Father Charles E. Coughlin’s Anti-Semitism, 1935–38 Charles Gallagher 17. “Accepted and Welcome”: The Unlikely Response of the Jesuits at Marquette University to Jewish Applicants during the Interwar Years, 1920–40 Michael J. Burns Epilogue 18. Joseph Bonsirven, SJ: A Pioneer of a Theologian of Judaism before Vatican II Thérèse Andrevon Index


Those interested in intellectual history, cultural studies, church history, Jewish Studies, Holocaust Studies, Jesuit History.