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Open Access The Role of Science in the History of Portuguese Anti-Jesuitism

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The Role of Science in the History of Portuguese Anti-Jesuitism

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When dealing with the expulsion of the Jesuits from Portugal and with the building of anti-Jesuitism in the eighteenth century, historians usually focus on their alleged involvement in the attempt to murder king Dom José I and on the complex economical questions related with the foundation of the state trade company in Brazil. However, the Pombaline accusation of obscurantism and scientific illiteracy also played a central role in the history of anti-Jesuitism in Portugal, mainly due to its wide acceptance and longevity. This argument was not only directly relevant for the expulsion of the Jesuits in the eighteenth century but it was also a keystone of the anti-Jesuit propaganda that eventually led to the expulsion of the Society of Jesus from Portugal in the twentieth century.

Affiliations: 1: ciuhct, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, leitao.henrique@gmail.com; 2: ciuhct, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, franciscomesquitella@gmail.com

When dealing with the expulsion of the Jesuits from Portugal and with the building of anti-Jesuitism in the eighteenth century, historians usually focus on their alleged involvement in the attempt to murder king Dom José I and on the complex economical questions related with the foundation of the state trade company in Brazil. However, the Pombaline accusation of obscurantism and scientific illiteracy also played a central role in the history of anti-Jesuitism in Portugal, mainly due to its wide acceptance and longevity. This argument was not only directly relevant for the expulsion of the Jesuits in the eighteenth century but it was also a keystone of the anti-Jesuit propaganda that eventually led to the expulsion of the Society of Jesus from Portugal in the twentieth century.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22141332-00201004
2015-02-26
2017-10-23

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