Karie Schultz (BSR; Queen’s, Belfast)
The universities of seventeenth-century Britain were essential for the maintenance of confessional orthodoxy during a time of intense religious and political conflict. These institutions were Protestant in teaching and students were required to subscribe a Confession of Faith to attend. Such restrictions forced Catholic students to migrate to continental Europe to obtain the confessionalised education that they could not receive at home. This paper examines the studies and experiences of English and Scottish students who moved to their national colleges in Rome between 1603 and 1707. Although these students lived at the English and Scots Colleges, they took courses with Catholic students of other nationalities at the Collegio Romano. This enabled them to form confessional communities which transcended geographic borders, challenged national identities and contributed to the development of international Catholicism. Drawing on archival research conducted during the BSR Rome Fellowship, this paper offers preliminary conclusions about how the education and networks of English and Scottish students in Rome informed their national and confessional identities at a time when the two frequently conflicted.