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The Anti-Semitism of La Civiltà Cattolica Revisited

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Chapter Summary

This chapter takes account of La Civiltà Cattolica to address the relations of the Jesuit order to Judaism in the modern era. The world's leading Jesuit journal and a leading Catholic journal throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries since its start in 1850, La Civiltà Cattolica is reputed for its severe anti-Semitic legacy. Historians have explained the anti-Jewish attitudes of La Civiltà Cattolica as a counterattack against modern civilization and as a reaction to Italian anticlericalism. The Italian Jesuits were not merely passively rejecting liberalism and Italian unification. Rather than an image of a systematic anti-Semitic campaign guided by the Vatican, the Jesuit order, or the institution of La Civiltà Cattolica, a picture starts to emerge of an old and unapproachable Jesuit who abused his seniority and relative independence to launch an idiosyncratic crusade against Jews.

Keywords: anti-Semitic legacy; Italian Jesuits; Jews; Judaism; La Civiltà Cattolica; Vatican



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