• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How important was the Society of Jesus in the Catholic Reformation?

Extracts from this document...


How important was the Society of Jesus in the Catholic Reformation? The Society of Jesus was founded by the Spaniard, Ignatius Loyola and a group of his companions in 1534 who committed themselves to preserve and expand Catholicism and undertake whatever task the papacy might set them. They were recognised to be the "foot soldiers" of the Catholic Reformation. One of the key importance's of the Jesuits in the Catholic Reformation was their commitment to education; this began solely for the order but mixed colleges were also set for non-Jesuits. Jesuit colleges were extremely popular for several reasons, they offered a unmatched education with a structured curriculum which combined classic humanist and Christian approaches; they also offered boarding and despite this were completely free of charge, being funded by wealthy men such as princes; and finally because they allowed the children of ordinary men to be educated by the very best teachers, and among the future rulers of Catholicism, the sons of ruling elite - men such as Ferdinand II and Cardinal Richeliu. ...read more.


Jesuit missions were also important in Europe; those who lives in rural areas of Italy, Spain and France were taught simple prayers and hymns, ensuring the involvement of as many people as possible in the Catholic Reformation Loyola's "Spiritual Exercises" were also important to the Catholic Reformation, they made the Jesuits much more powerful; the "Spiritual Exercises" were a manual which described exercises in prayer and concentrated thought, through which a clear understanding of faith could be achieved. The key result of this was that missionaries could convince people to convert to Catholicism on the basis that they could come close to salvation simply through following the exercises listed in Loyola's book, something which would seem quite attractive towards non-Catholics, and helping to fuel the Catholic Reformation. However, it is important to note that other orders and events were also essential within the Catholic Reformation, and that Jesuit missions were not wholly successful - there was no guarantee that those who were converted would remain Catholic, or even Christian. The Council of Trent which lasted from 1545-63 was also particularly important in the Catholic Reformation. ...read more.


Those who were caught practicing any form of Protestantism would face various punitive measures including flogging and death by fire. An index of banned books was also created insuring that books that encouraged practicing anything other than Catholicism were suppressed as much as possible. The Roman Inquisition aimed to centralise the power papal authority and establish courts all over Catholic Europe so that Protestantism could be suppressed and denounced by a single authority. There were 100 executions by the Roman Inquisition between 1542 and 1761, which is a relatively low number compared to the Spanish Inquisition, however, punishments were "generally lenient" with the aim of brining the guilt back to Catholicism. The main work of the Roman Inquisition was done under Paul IV, he issued the Roman Index of prohibited books which included books by Erasmus, Machiavelli and all translations of vernacular Bibles - 550 authors were listed in total being described as "heretics". The effect of this was prove a fear within society to even have Protestant thoughts, and hence the Inquisitions were an essential part of the Catholic Reformation, suppressing Catholic thought throughout Europe. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How important were the events at Mnster 1534-5 in causing the failure of the ...

    4 star(s)

    The people as a whole were nothing like the extremists in M�nster, they were peaceful and respectful of other people's beliefs. However the rest of the population did not see the Anabaptists as peaceful, kind, loving people when there were incidents such as M�nster to hear about.

  2. How important was the Council of Trent to the reform of the Catholic Church

    Therefore the Council of Trent's agreements to reform the Church was unable to reach many other lands apart from the Holy Roman Empire as some princes were not prepared to accept the policy of reform.

  1. Assess the contribution made by the Jesuits to the Catholic Revival 1545-1600

    In theological terms, the spiritual exercises placed a great emphasis on Papal hierarchy. Hierarchy within the Church could now be justified by theology and this validation of this much disputed factor to Catholicism enabled the Church to produce a strong front.

  2. Asses the contribution of the Jesuits to the Catholic revival in the Sixteenth Century

    Using these acts as evidence, this would fully shed some light on the effects of having better clerical standards through education by the influenced by the Jesuits thus the revival of the Catholic faith. However, missionaries found it difficult to break down local folk's beliefs and superstitions and, in the

  1. Research Paper; The Important Scientific Discoveries of the Renaissance: Medicine

    of oil, they ended up feeling little pain and their wounds without inflammation or swelling on their injury. He also figured out a method that prevented bleeding after amputations, which was to press a red-hot "cautery" against the stump of the limb.

  2. How important was the role of the princes in bringing about the success of ...

    All up until the battle of M�hlberg when John and Philip were captured and condemned to imprisonment for life and only released in August 1552. Hi death in 1553 was seen as a great loss to the Reformation as he had been such a strong supporter and his role was so important in bringing about the success of the reformation.

  1. How important were the ideas of the Humanists in weakening the authority of the ...

    The effect of this was to weaken the Church because it undermined the authority on which it was based. This was essential to the Christian Humanist way of life because if many more people can read the bible then power is taken away from the church.

  2. The Roman Catholic Church was becoming increasingly unpopular in the Holy Roman Empire before ...

    - While the Roman Catholic Church was not limited to the Holy Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire was probably the country that was most affected.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work