António Vieira

Six Sermons

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Mónica Leal da Silva, Liam Brockey
Mónica Leal da Silva
Liam Brockey
  • Oxford, England: 
    Oxford University Press
    , April
     256 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Richard Hoffman Reinhardt forthcoming.


This volume is the first English translation and annotation of the sermons of António Vieira, a major cultural figure in the Portuguese-speaking world. Born in Lisbon in 1608, Vieira was a Jesuit who lived and worked in both Europe and Brazil in the service of the church and the Portuguese crown. His sermons are among the most renowned pieces of baroque oratory in the Portuguese language. 

These carefully selected sermons offer insight into Vieira's visionary thought on social and spiritual matters. In the Sermon for the Success of Portuguese Arms against the Dutch, Vieira inveighs against God for His apparent abandonment of the Portuguese and begs for divine intervention. His Sermon of St. Anthony is an allegory that addresses the inequities that he witnessed in Brazil. The Sexagesima Sermon parodies literary clichés from his time while prescribing a more effective, if harsher, style of preaching. The Sermon of the Good Thief is a rebuke to the imperial officials who used their positions for personal enrichment, and a warning to kings against complicity with corruption. Vieira's Sermon XXVII addresses African slaves and their Brazilian masters, attempting to comfort the first group in their trials and to admonish the second for their brutality. Finally, the Sermon called Arm tells the story of the relic of Francis Xavier's arm sent from India to Italy in 1614, and pays tribute to the obedience of Vieira's Jesuit predecessor.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Mónica Leal da Silva was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and educated at the University of Lisbon. She has taught Portuguese language and literature at the elementary, secondary, and university levels for over twenty years. Since emigrating to the United States, she has taught at Princeton University and Michigan State University. Mónica Silva is the author of three acclaimed works of children's literature, as well as works of cultural criticism, published in Portugal. She has also translated works of historical scholarship in the United States and the U.K. In addition to teaching and writing, Mónica Silva has contributed to published forums on social and educational issues. 

Liam Matthew Brockey is an historian of Early Modern Europe, and a specialist in the history of Roman Catholicism and the Society of Jesus. Educated at the University of Notre Dame and Brown University, he has written extensively on Jesuit missions in China, Japan, and India, as well as on the Portuguese empire. He is the author of two monographs, Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579-1724 and The Visitor: André Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia, and many journal articles. Liam Matthew Brockey recently served as President of the American Catholic Historical Association, and was elected to the Academia Portuguesa da História.

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