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The Jesuits in the Low Countries 1540–1773. Apostles of the Printing Press

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Chapter Summary

"From the earliest times the Jesuits recognized the significance of books and libraries for their educational purposes". "For the houses of study purchasing of books is as essential as buying of food. A book is a tool in the service of God". The first book published by a Jesuit was an edition of the sermons of the Dominican mystic Johann Tauler. His catechism was the most published book by a Dutch author in history. According to the Bibliotheca Catholica Neerlandica Impressa from 1954, seven hundred Jesuits had their books published in the Low Countries and neighbouring German cities. With the signing of the brief Dominus ac Redemptor on 21 July 1773, Pope Clement XIV abolished the Society of Jesus. In Jesuit church in Antwerp, the contents of twelve libraries lay scattered all over the altars and in the confessionals. What Jesuits had written and collected in their libraries was lost.

Keywords: Antwerp; Bibliotheca Catholica Neerlandica Impressa; Jesuits; low countries; Society of Jesus

10.1163/9789004272057_003
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