The goal is to understand how the episcopate
and its network of agents, as well as its administrative and judicial structures, were
formed, operated and contributed to the process of shaping of Christianity in
the Portuguese seaborne empire.
The project aims at:
1 - Reconstructing and understanding the activities of the overseas episcopate in the evangelization process, a field in which the historiography has been monopolized by the actions of the regular clergy
2 - Understanding, from the perspectives of comparative history and connected history how bishops, following the model of the kingdom's dioceses, operated in areas as diverse as the Atlantic islands, Brazil, Africa, and Asia
3 - Determining the bishops role in the process of confessionalization and the assertion of royal authority in the empire
4 - Assessing how bishops and secular clergy interacted with populations and other agents responsible for the dissemination and control of Catholic orthodoxy, namely, the Inquisition and the regular clergy.