This book recovers the religious roots of Europe's first global order, by tracing the evolution of a religious vision of empire through the lives of Jesuits working in the missions of early modern Brazil and India. These missionaries struggled to unite three commitments: to their local missionary space; to the universal Church; and to the global Portuguese empire. Through their attempts to inscribe their actions within these three scales of meaning- local, global, universal-a religious imaginaire of empire emerged.
This book places cultural encounter in Brazil and India at the heart of an intellectual genealogy of imperial thinking, considering both indigenous and European experiences. Thus, this book offers a unique sustained study of the foundational moment of early modern European engagement in both South Asia and Latin America. In doing so, it highlights the difference between the messy realities of power in colonial spaces and the grandiose discursive productions of empire that attended these activities. This is the central puzzle of the book: how European accommodation to local peoples and their cultures, the experience of give-and-take in the non-European world and their numerous failures, could lead to a consolidation of an enduring vision of cultural and political dominion.
Ananya Chakravarti, Assistant Professor, South Asian and Indian Ocean history at Georgetown University. Previously, she was the Abdelhadi H. Taher Professor in Comparative Religion at the American University in Cairo. Her work focuses on the intersection of religion and empire, and global and local historical methods. Her interests lie in early modern South Asia, the Portuguese empire, colonial Brazil, history of religions, the history of emotions and spatial history.
List of Figures
1. From Contact to 'Conquest'
PART I. IN SEARCH OF THE INDIES
2. Other Indies
3. The Living Books
PART II. ACCOMMODATIO AND THE POETICS OF LOCATION
4. José de Anchieta and the Poetics of Warfare
5. Christ in the Brahmapuri: Thomas Stephens in Salcete
PART III. RELIGION, ACCOMMODATIO AND THE IMAGINATION OF EMPIRE
6. Theatres of Empire: António Vieira and Baltasar da Costa in Brazil and India
7. The Empire of Apostles Epilogue
Glossary of Key Terms
About the Author