"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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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.
"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)
List of Illustrations
List of Contributors

James Bernauer and Robert A. Maryks

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

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

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


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

18. Joseph Bonsirven, SJ: A Pioneer of a Theologian of Judaism before Vatican II
Thérèse Andrevon
Those interested in intellectual history, cultural studies, church history, Jewish Studies, Holocaust Studies, Jesuit History.