Seminar on Legal History in the Iberian Worlds
Since 2010, this Seminar has become a forum to integrate guest researchers in our different projects and invite them to explore the central questions of the research agenda of Iberian Worlds research field.
The Seminar is interested to explore normative orders, which had grown in a European context, were reproduced, complemented, modified and adjusted in the contexts of the Iberian worlds. The encounter of alien cultures and religions as well as the long distances to Europe and within in the slowly measured continent produced new challenges for jurists. Europe and its understanding of law also changed. Well-known are the debates about human rights and political theory based on scholastic rationality in the 16th and 17th century. However, the Spanish monarchy had to develop forms of imperial governance. Without them, the reign over long distances would have been impossible. Legal pluralism, the integration or oppression of cultural diversity, the different spaces one encountered – this all gave the law its imprint. For the church and its law, a new world opened up, too. Mission was the central justification of this expansion. Religion was the fundament of the early modern era legal culture in the oversea territories of the Spanish and Portuguese monarchy. The experiences with these global dimensions of canon law, too, did not remain without backlashes on the canon law itself. It started to embrace imperial structures. The Latin American independence movements of the 19th century also stood in a worldwide context and affected Europe. This close attachment to Europe did not end. To the contrary: especially the Latin American criminal and civil law of the republican era features complex connections to many European states – not only Portugal and Spain anymore.
The variety of guest lectures presented at the Seminar on Legal History in the Iberian Worlds provide case studies to explore our central questions in this Field. For more information, please contact Pilar Mejía.