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Discourse on the sex in Colonial Brazil

Grant number: 16/02408-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2016
Effective date (End): March 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Jean Marcel Carvalho França
Grantee:Fernando Eduardo Strabelli
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (FCHS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Franca. Franca , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/14786-6 - Writings on new worlds: a history of the construction of moral values in Portuguese, AP.TEM


Regulation and management of sensual delights and pleasures of the flesh constituted one of the main aspects of Brazilian Christian moral during the colonial times. The aim of this research is to evaluate the importance of religion in the moral development of Brazilian people, through a detailed analysis of the prescriptions about how to have an opinion related to sex according to Catholicism in the tropics, with special emphasis in the 18th century, when the Church reinforces its structures and systematizes its discourse. It attempts to evaluate the means by which the religious discourse equates sex, through a systematic description of the standards proposed by the Church towards the improvement of every individual's relation with themselves and with their own bodies. Succinctly, we seek to think how the Christian moralists described and established sex in the colony, mainly among the peasants, during 17th and 18th centuries. To do so, we will analyze several religious documents produced at that time (sermons, epistles, prayers, moral books, etc.) - documents suited to trace the sins and to propose virtuous standards of behavior - with the intent to extract some guidelines from the local Catholic Church on the matters of the pleasures of the flesh. We will give special attention to the First Constitution of the Archbishopric of Bahia (1707), a document that gives more visibility to the sensual delights, tracing systematically sentences to these "flaws".

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