Thomas Worcester, SJ

B.A.; M.T.S.; Lic. Phil.; S.T.L.; Ph.D. 

Professor of Church History

Room 301; ext. 275

Teaching Level: Basic Degree, Full GCTS Full 
Specializations: Church History: early modern 

Born and raised in Burlington, Vermont, Thomas Worcester studied French language and literature at Columbia University before earning Master’s degrees in theology at Harvard Divinity School and Weston School of Theology. He received his Ph.D. in History from Cambridge University, where his dissertation focused on preaching and religious culture in early seventeenth-century France. In 2018 he was appointed Professor of History (status-only) at the University of Toronto.


For more than two decades he was a professor in the History Department at the College of the Holy Cross (Massachusetts), where his courses included Louis XIV’s France, Jesuits and Global Catholicism, Saints and Sinners, and The Papacy in the Modern World.


He was trained as a spiritual director at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California.

  • Research Interests and Expertise

    • Religion and culture in 17th-century France
    • Jesuit history
    • History of the papacy

  • Courses

    • RGH 3061H Saints as Cultural History
    • RGH3227HS/RGH6227HS Jesuits and Globalization

  • Publications


    Seventeenth-Century Cultural Discourse: France and the Preaching of Bishop Camus. Religion and Society, 38. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1997.



    The Cambridge Companion to the Jesuits. Cambridge Companions to Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.


    General Editor

    The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Jesuits, Cambridge University Press, 2017.



    Edited by James Corkery and Thomas Worcester. The Papacy since 1500: From Italian Prince to Universal Pastor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Introduction and Conclusion, co-authored with James Corkery, pp. 1-11, 243-51.


    Edited by Franco Mormando and Thomas Worcester. Piety and Plague: From Byzantium to the Baroque. Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies. Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2007.


    Edited by Gauvin Bailey, Pamela M. Jones, Franco Mormando, and Thomas Worcester. Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800. Worcester: Worcester Art Museum; distributed by University of Chicago Press, 2005.


    Edited by Pamela M. Jones and Thomas Worcester.  From Rome to Eternity: Catholicism and the Arts in Italy, ca. 1550-1650. Leiden: Brill, 2002. Intro. by Thomas Worcester, pp. 1-16.


    Co-Curated Art Exhibits

    Curated by Gauvin Bailey, Pamela M. Jones, Franco Mormando, and Thomas Worcester. Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800, Worcester Art Museum, April 3-September 25, 2005


    Curated by Franco Mormando, with Gauvin Bailey, Pamela M. Jones, John W. O’Malley, and Thomas Worcester.  Saints and Sinners: Caravaggio and the Baroque Image, McMullen Museum, Boston College, February 1-May 24, 1999.



    “Jesuit Time in Early Seventeenth-Century France, in Managing Time: Literature and Devotion in Early Modern France, ed. Richard Maber and Joanna Barker. Medieval and Early Modern French Studies, 15. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017. pp. 93-105.


    “St. Francis de Sales and Jesuit Rhetorical Education,” in Traditions of Eloquence: The Jesuits and Modern Rhetorical Studies, ed. Cinthia Gannett and John Brereton. New York: Fordham University Press, 2016. pp. 102-15.


    “Jesuit Studies in the Age of a Jesuit Pope,” Renaissance Quarterly 69 (2016): 1401-12.


    “A Restored Society of Jesus or a New Society of Jesus?” in Jesuit Survival and Restoration: A Global History, 1773-1900, ed. Robert Maryks and Jonathan Wright. Leiden: Brill, 2015. pp. 13-33.


    “Friends as Liabilities: Christophe de Beaumont’s Defence of the Jesuits,” in The Jesuit Suppression in Global Context: Causes, Events, and Consequences, ed. Jeffrey Burson and Jonathan Wright. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. pp. 65-79.