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A study on belief in miracles in Colonial Brazil (16th, 17th and 18th centuries)

Grant number: 17/05380-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2017
Effective date (End): December 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Jean Marcel Carvalho França
Grantee:Lucas de Almeida Semeão
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


Ideas of believing in divine interventions, which were made both by people and objects considered sacred, were present in the Brazilian demotic routine from the 16th to the 18th century. Whether in big problems, like fighting against the French or Dutch invasions, or in daily ones, like finding a lost object at home, a miracle was often required by the Christian. This research aims to map some writings in Portuguese (letters, devoted biographies, chronicles and sermons) written over the first three centuries of colonial Brazil, in pursuit of locating miracles descriptions and reflections about belief in miracles present in those documents. In parallel, we also intend to understand what was considered a miracle at that time, who performed it and who used to narrate those miraculous events.

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