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Os bispos açorianos no Oriente português

Os bispos açorianos no Oriente português

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Azorean bishops were chosen by Portugal as most convenient or appropriate intermediaries for the spiritual colonialism. Whites and with no other language and culture than Portuguese, they were considered more reliable to handle the souls of the Asians. Even when dozens of Goan native clerics were consecrated bishops to take charge of various dioceses of India, Azoreans were still preferred pastors in the Portuguese colonial empire till the very end.
Azorean bishops were chosen by Portugal as most convenient or appropriate intermediaries for the spiritual colonialism. Whites and with no other language and culture than Portuguese, they were considered more reliable to handle the souls of the Asians. Even when dozens of Goan native clerics were consecrated bishops to take charge of various dioceses of India, Azoreans were still preferred pastors in the Portuguese colonial empire till the very end.

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Published by: Teotonio R. de Souza on Jan 29, 2009
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01/30/2014

 
The Socio-Cultural Perspective in ISIPH Seminars: Assessing 25 Years of Performance
1
 Indo-Portuguese Históry: Global Trends,
[Proceedings of XI-Seminar on Indo-Portuguese History,Goa, 21-23 Sept. 2003]
Eds Fátima da Silva Gracias, Celsa Pinto, Charles J BorgesGoa, 2005, pp. 31-57The Socio-Cultural Perspective in ISIPH Seminars:Assessing 25 years of Peformance
 — 
 
Teotónio R. de Souza
 I have the privileged but also the daunting task of presenting an assessment of theperformance of the ISIPH seminars during the past ten sessions along the past 25 years from asocio-cultural perspective. My two distinguished colleagues and long-term associates in this projectof ISIPH seminars, Prof. K.S. Mathew and Prof. Artur Teodoro de Matos, are presenting their ownassessments from other perspectives. Whatever the shortcomings, there is little doubt that what hasbeen achieved over two and half decades is remarkable. It is a great achievement to see a group likeours, so diverse in its composition and with no dearth of conflicting interests and personalitiesamong us, survive 25 years of a solid collaboration and output. Hence, rather than finding faultswith our past performance, I shall rather try to present my conceptual understanding of socio-cultural perspective and leave it to each and all to find out what we may have missed and where wecould improve. In the second part of my presentation I shall try to work out a case-study as anillustration of my conceptual model.
 
Teotónio R. de Souza
2
Part IUnderstanding Socio-Cultural Perspective
 
To define my understanding of 
socio-cultural perspective
I have taken the cue from areport entitled
Para Abrir as Ciências Sociais
[To Open the Social Sciences], published in Lisbon in1996 by a Gulbenkian Committee for Res-structuring the Social Sciences in the new millennium.The Committee was constituted in 1993, consisting of eleven scholars of great repute, coveringvarious areas of knowledge and various nationalities. It was headed by Immanuel Wallerstein. Thereport surveys the evolution over time of social sciences as autonomous disciplines. It points to anongoing struggle among scholars on three fronts, namely intellectual, ideological and political, inorder to sustain the claims for objectivity and universality. This on-going conflict among the socialscientists is explained as motivated by concrete historical situations which are always characterisedby specific social systems, based on institutions and practices which are historical, and therefore,transient or contingent. As opposed to natural sciences [which till recent times and before the
concept of ―the arrow
 
of time‖ was grasped ], despite the attempts of social sciences to imitate them
to reach universally valid conclusions, it was increasingly realised that the object of social sciencesincluded the researchers themselves. There were thus constant questioni
ngs of the type: ―Your analysis may be good for your society, but it is not adequate to comprehend us‖. Converted into amore radical denunciation of universalism, they meant to say: ―You are imposing a point of view of a dominant minority‖, ―whose objectivity are you talking about?‖ It meant ―Eurocentric‖ under the
colonial dispensation. Ever since the Euro-American political and economic domination began to becontested, at least since 1914-1945, also the Western claims to intellectual superiority anduni
versality of its cultural beliefs and norms came to be openly denounced as ―orientalist‖
constructions aimed at political domination and economic exploitation. It was exposed as
―knowledge for power‖. The Gulbenkian report refers to the oft
-
repeated ―other‖ of the IberianDiscoveries, and comes to the conclusion that it cannot logically exist if it is part of ―us‖ as the
object of an impartial analysis. Consequently, the claims of scientific universalism can no longer bea disguise for particularisms of those in power and those who benefit from these particularisms.Greater objectivity and richer universality can only result from a multi-cultural and pluralistapproach in historical interpretations. Hence my first question: Have the ISIPH historians succeededin this goal of multi-cultural perception of the Portugal-led expansion? Are we at least consciously
 
The Socio-Cultural Perspective in ISIPH Seminars: Assessing 25 Years of Performance
3striving towards it? How much of the research conducted by the ISIPH scholars has taken intoaccount the Asian cultures, basing their findings upon local cultural and linguistic traditions? If it istrue that the Asian sources are scanty and do not correspond to the European type of sources, who isto judge the validity of the often cited accounts of the European travellers, missionaries andadministrators? We were fortunate to have among us some scholars who had mastered the sources insome Asian languages, but how many ISIPH scholars actively working today are qualified to do so?Is it sufficient to continue working in the European archives and with European languages? Therecan be no doubt that the western perceptions of Asia need to be balanced with the Asian perceptions.These can only be gleaned from the native sources and in native languages, both written and oral.Hence, I propose that the ISIPH scholars face this great challenge during the next phase of theirresearch activities. This may require a major shift in time-span and greater concentration on the latemodern and contemporary periods of history, which would help understanding better the emergenceof the Asian nation-states and the historic roots of their strengths and weaknesses. It is but naturalthat most Western scholars may feel important and also comfortable to continue researching aboutthe periods that were important for their national histories, or simply because they find abundantarchival material in their home countries, or due to any other short term political and economiccompulsions.I cannot resist quoting in this context and on this occasion a Goan pioneer of cultural history
in this country, D.D. Kosambi. According to him ―history must reflect man’s progress at satisfying
his needs in cooperation with all his fellowmen, not the success of a few at satisfying them at the
expense of most of their fellow men‖.
1
His
common people
were no different from those I tried todefine
in my presentation at the first ISIPH seminar as the ―voiceless in Goan historiography‖.
2
 Prof. Luis Filipe Thomaz revealed to us in his keynote address to this seminar how much we haveprogressed, and what are the challenges for future. I beg to translate these challenges as where wefailed to progress. The positivist and orientalist productions of the West do no longer impress thescholars of the non-
Western world, even if the ―orientalists‖ of E
urope continue to cultivate themodel and pride themselves as equal to themselves! At least the Indian historians may wish to listen
to D.D. Kosambi’s call to depart from the type of history of the European tradition, for whom the
history of other countries and their native peoples was just episodes in their national histories. His
1
D.D. Kosambi,
 An Introduction to the Study of Indian History,
Bombay, Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd., 1975, p. xii.

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