In 1996, Oporto, Portugal was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The city is one of the oldest within Europe and displays the legacies of the once powerful Portuguese empire, the antiquities of Portuguese culture, as well as a modern urban lifestyle. With support from UNH’s Center of International Education, I traveled to Oporto in August 2011, to meet with a group of scholars from a variety of disciplines—political science, history, anthropology, English, sociology— and from around the world. The group is collaborating on a book (with the working title of Imaging Faith, Culture and Politics in the Lusophone World) that examines the legacy of Portuguese colonialism in contemporary church/state relations. We conducted an informal symposium to discuss and organize our research as we prepare the introductory chapter of the co-edited work. From our examinations of the current Lusophone world, we are finding a varied and diverse religious and cultural reality: from the Roman Catholic Church’s former support of oligarchy in several countries to a civil-society oriented, populist institution in Angola, Brazil, Goa, East Timor, Mozambique, and to some extent, in Portugal as well.

Publication Date

Summer 2011


Center for International Education and Global Engagement

Document Type