In the course of history, cultures and civilizations were forged within a dialectics of meetings and divergences. Portuguese history and culture were built within the framework of a well-studied European heritage. Nevertheless, they also incorporate elements resulting from the dialogue with various world civilizations, especially with those that occupied the Portuguese territory and those that made up the former Portuguese colonies. At a time when emphasis is given to the damaging effects of globalization, especially those resulting from the risk of the standardization of cultures, customs and mentalities, it will be important to analyze, within a historical perspective, how Portugal was able to harmonize the different influences it received. Portugal’s role in this mix of peoples and continents will also be highlighted: from its contribution to the European scientific revolution of the 16th century to the role of the Portuguese in the construction of today’s Europe and of the Portuguese-speaking countries, or in the role of those who made contact with the Portuguese culture and kept it alive. In this respect, and on the basis of the comparative dimension of history, increased emphasis is given to the following questions: the issues of religious tolerance and intolerance, as well as those of social inclusion and exclusion, also including gender issues; the population mobilities and the migration phenomena and their effects; the reception and transposition of institutional, political and cultural models with a European nature and their adaptation to the territories of the Portuguese expansion.
Coordinator – Maria Helena da Cruz Coelho