Relics, altars and other sacred things in the juridical construction of religious spaces in Ibero-America (15th-17th centuries) 
Benedetta Albani (Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte)
Osvaldo Rodolfo Moutin (Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History)
Otto Danwerth (Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte)
Antifeatro 1, Piso 0
Friday 19 July, 11:30-13:15, 14:30-16:15 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

Between 15 and 17 century, new Christian communities were constituted in the new discovered lands. This panel wants to analyze the juridical tools, practices and norms acting and developed in order to built and set up sacred spaces for the proper catholic worship and the missionary activities.

Long Abstract

With the arrival of a small handful of Europeans at the new discovered lands in Africa, America and Asia between the 15 and 17 century, new Christian communities were de facto constituted. These communities needed suitable spaces, instruments and facilities for the proper catholic worship. At the same time, missionary activities also required a materialization and definition of these spaces, according to the thousand-year-old Christian tradition, the typical structures of ecclesiastical institutions and the stratification of the ruling normativity.

These conceptions came along with the Europeans, but new realities required adjustments and changes for the configurations of sacred spaces and of the ecclesiastical institutions. The strictness and flexibility of European canonical and liturgical norms were sized up. Places and furnishings designated for divine worship, such as churches, shrines, hermitages, relics, altars, images, sacred vestments, sacred music, liturgical and devotional books, as well as the field of the practice of ecclesiastical authority - parishes, cathedrals, chapters of canons, Tribunals -experimented changes appreciable in historical sources.

Purpose of this panel is to make these changes explicit, to study how sacred spaces were built and expressed through juridical practices, and to analyze the coexistence of accords and disputes of men and institutions in these spaces. Our focuses will be the relationship of the new Churches with the European authorities and the interaction of rights and traditions of old and new Christians.

Although Ibero-America will be our centre of interest, papers concerning other territories under Spanish and Portuguese authority will be welcome.

Accepted papers: