European Anti-Catholicism in a Comparative and Transnational Perspective


Tales about treacherous Jesuits and scheming popes are an important and pervasive part of European culture. They belong to a set of ideas, images, and practices that, when grouped under the label anti-Catholicism, represent a phenomenon that can be traced back to the Reformation. Anti-Catholic movements and sentiments crossed boundaries between European countries, contributing to the early modern consolidation of national identities. In the nineteenth century, secularist movements adopted and transformed confessional criticism in a new internationalist dimension that was articulated across the whole Western world. A variety of liberal, conservative, secular, Protestant, and other forces gave shape to this counter-image, taking on the function of a pattern from which one’s own ideals and beliefs could be chiselled out. The contributions to this volume show how different national contexts affected the proliferation of anti-Catholic messages over the course of four centuries of European history, and demonstrate that anti-Catholicism constituted a powerful European cross-cultural phenomenon.

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Authors in this volume
Yvonne Maria Werner and Jonas Harvard: European Anti-Catholicism in Comparative and Transnational Perspective – The Role of a Unifying Other: An Introduction
General Perspectives
John Wolffe: North Atlantic Anti-Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century: A Comparative Overview
Manuel Borutta: Settembrini’s World: German and Italian Anti-Catholicism in the Age of the Culture Wars
Anti-Catholicism and National Identity
Laura M. Stevens: Healing a Whorish Heart: The Whore of Babylon and Protestant Interiority in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Britain
Clare Haynes: How to look? Roman Catholic Art in Britain – 1700-2010
Edwina Hagen: Dutch Civic Virtues, Protestant and Enlightened: Anti-Catholicism and Early Cultural Nationalism in the Netherlands Around 1800
Olaf Blaschke: Anti-Protestantism and Anti-Catholicism in the 19th Century: A Comparison
Yvonne Maria Werner: ‘The Catholic Danger’: The Changing Patterns of Swedish Anti-Catholicism – 1850-1965
Kristin Norseth: Arousing Anti-Catholic Sentiments on a National Scale: The Case of Marta Steinsvik and Norway
Anti-Catholicism and Political Culture
Jes Fabricius Møller and Uffe Østergård: Lutheran Orthodoxy and Anti-Catholicism in Denmark 1536-2011
Ainur Elmgren: The Jesuit Stereotype – An Image of the Universal Enemy in Finnish Nationalism
Bernt T. Oftestad: Norway and the Jesuit Order: A History of Anti-Catholicism
Jonas Harvard: Catholicism and the Idea of Public Legitimacy in Sweden
Andrew G. Newby: Scottish Anti-Catholicism in a British and European Context: The ‘North Pole Mission’ and Victorian Scotland