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CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS, THEORETICAL ADVENTURES: THE JESUIT MISSIONS TO THE NEW WORLD AND THE JUSTIFICATION OF VOLUNTARY SLAVERY

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Abstract:

This article analyses the development of the subjective concept of rights amongst Jesuit missionaries in Brazil during the sixteenth century, in the context of their cultural encounters with the Tupi Indians, and the ensuing debates over the justification of the natives' voluntary slavery. Usually associated with Hugo Grotius' natural law theory, the subjective concept of rights was originally developed by Jesuit theologians in Portugal, and justificatory practices in the missionary enterprise overseas formed the context in which this concept became current within the Society of Jesus. This article traces such a development in the missions in Brazil.

Keywords: Indian slavery; Jesuit Missions in Brazil; Jesuit political theory; Luis de Molina

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor of Political Science, Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro -- IUPERJ, Universidade Candido Mendes -- UCAM, Brazil. jeisenberg @iuperj.br

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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