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Open Access “The Jesuits of our time”: The Jesuit Stereotype and the Year 1917 in Finland

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“The Jesuits of our time”: The Jesuit Stereotype and the Year 1917 in Finland

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The tenacious negative stereotypes of the Jesuits, conveyed to generations of Finnish school children through literary works in the national canon, were re-used in anti-Socialist discourse during and after the revolutionary year of 1917. Fear of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 paradoxically strengthened the negative stereotype of “Jesuitism,” especially after the attempted revolution by Finnish Socialists that led to the Finnish Civil War of 1918. The fears connected to the revolution were also fears of democracy itself; various campaigning methods in the new era of mass politics were associated with older images of Jesuit proselytism. In rare cases, the enemy image of the political Jesuit was contrasted with actual Catholic individuals and movements.

Affiliations: 1: University of Helsinki ainur.elmgren@helsinki.fi

The tenacious negative stereotypes of the Jesuits, conveyed to generations of Finnish school children through literary works in the national canon, were re-used in anti-Socialist discourse during and after the revolutionary year of 1917. Fear of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 paradoxically strengthened the negative stereotype of “Jesuitism,” especially after the attempted revolution by Finnish Socialists that led to the Finnish Civil War of 1918. The fears connected to the revolution were also fears of democracy itself; various campaigning methods in the new era of mass politics were associated with older images of Jesuit proselytism. In rare cases, the enemy image of the political Jesuit was contrasted with actual Catholic individuals and movements.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22141332-00501002
2018-12-21
2018-06-20

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