Between Resignation and Intransigency: The Friar as seen by Freyre


This article is part of a broader research project about the multiple aspects of conservative Brazilian thought. It approaches two of them – ultramontanism and culturalist conservatism, correspondingly represented by Dom Vital and Gilberto Freyre – with the purpose of discussing the meaning of Freyre’s compliments on the actions of the bishop of Olinda during the Religious Question. How to reconcile the accommodatist reasoning which emanates from his thesis about the Brazilian social formation – among which we emphasize the discussion about colonial lyric Catholicism – with ultramontanist intransigency? The key to understand this apparent paradox, we propose, is twofold: it lies both in Freyre’s reiterated criticism to the liberal agenda and to his efforts to frame Dom Vital’s formation into the limits of patriarchic society.

Brazilian social thought; conservatism; Religious Question; ultramontanism; Gilberto Freyre

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