Currents of Faith, Places of History: Connections, Moral Circumscriptions and World-Making in the Atlantic Space


Project Summary

The goal of this project was to develop ‘a research activity that brings together four intensely debated issues which, surprisingly, have not been understood in combination so far: religion, mobility, place, and cultural heritage in the Atlantic space.’

For this, a team of anthropologists, historians and religious studies specialists was formed, working across four European institutions: The Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Portugal, host institution), the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands), the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and the University of Oxford (United Kingdom).

Each team member conducted empirical (ethnographic, historical) case studies, under the common goal of:

  • promoting a debate concerning Europe’s place in the world, namely concerning the Atlantic history
  • producing an innovative theory of religious mobility, encounters and cultural heritage in the Atlantic space
  • publicly disseminating the history of religious and cultural mobility/exchange in the Atlantic space
  • contributing towards a better understanding of transnational cultural heritage processes

Each of the four partner institutions designed a subtheme that simultaneously responded to these concerns and addressed the following working concepts:

  • Connections/disconnections
  • Moral circumscriptions
  • World-making
    • Portugal: Encounters, historical acknowledgement and moral landscapes
    • The Netherlands: Atlantic spirits, religion, heritage and the making of the Atlantic world through Winti and Candomblé
    • Belgium: Slave trade transatlantic heritagescapes. Reconnection and world-making in Guinea-Conarky and the Mexican Gulf
    • United Kingdom: A king in the Atlantic. Centripetal and centrifugal forces in the making of a Kongo heritage

The case studies addressed lesser-known contexts and movements in the history of the Atlantic. Consequently, through the case studies the project covered several geographical areas which revealed distinct connections and directionalities in the Atlantic space:

  • Africa: Angola, DR Congo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali
  • America: USA (New Orleans), Cuba, Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, Bahía, Maranhão), Peru, Surinam
  • Europe: the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal

Dr Ruy Blanes

Project Leader

University of Lisbon
Portugal


Project Partners

Dr Ruy Blanes

Project Leader

University of Lisbon
Portugal

Email

Dr David Berliner

Université Libre de Bruxelles
Belgium

Email

Prof. Birgit Meyer

Utrecht University
Netherlands

Email

Prof. Ramon Sarró

University of Oxford
United Kingdom

Email

  • University of Lisbon

    University of Lisbon

  • Université Libre de Bruxelles

    Université Libre de Bruxelles

  • Utrecht University

    Utrecht University

  • University of Oxford

    University of Oxford

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