Polski Instytut Studiów nad Sztuką Świata [Editor]
Sztuka Ameryki Łacińskiej: studia o sztuce kolonialnej, nowoczesnej i współczesnej — 2.2012

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Mauro Maia Fragoso

Schwartz 2005 - S.B. Schwartz, Segredos internos: Engenhos e escravos na
sociedade colonial, Sao Paulo 2005.

Cultural dynamics of the society in the context of processes
of formation and disintegration of Benedictine properties
in Rio de Janeiro state (Benedictinos Fluminenses) in 1590-1820
Thanks to Edith Stein’s phenomenology, philosophy (including philosophy of
culture) cannot be perceived as a static knowledge, unconnected with other
fields of life and science. Based on such an assumption, research on cultural dy-
namics associated with functioning of the Benedictine order, which is present-
ed in this article, has been divided according to three theoretical problems. One
of them is the appearance of Benedictines (the first ones in Brazil) in Rio de Ja-
neiro state, treated not only in literal, physical sense, but also as a spiritual phe-
nomenon. The next part focuses on territorial borders - the area belonging to the
order and connected with its functioning. It describes donations which contrib-
uted to the creation of cohesive area of the order’s properties as well as its ac-
tivity. The last aspect that enables depiction of Benedictines’ presence in a so-
cial as well as territorial and cultural context is existence and functioning of the
house of slaves (/a casa de esclavos benedictina fluminense). What is particular-
ly worth describing in this respect is a specific relationship between “a master”
and “a slave” (señor y siervo) and an opportunity for individual development
of some slaves in accordance with their interests, as was the case of a master of
painting, Antonio Teles, or organists, Matias (known only by his first name) and
José Campistas. Without emphasizing a relationship between human actions and
the area of a social group’s activity, it would be impossible to point at the con-
tribution of an institution to the heritage of the region to which it belonged. Dy-
namic presence of the order is illustrated with photos of Sao Bento church as
well as a Benedictine monastery in Rio de Janeiro, being one of the most distin-
guished monuments of the metropolis, which is not only the evidence of bygone
splendour, but also a centre of present Benedictine activity.
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