Historian and philosopher Ernest Renan exerts great influence - today somewhat forgotten - on a large part of the Brazilian intellectual elite that is engaged in reforms and movements which characterize the transition of a Monarchy to a Republic. Among these, abolitionist Luiz Gama stands out as the sole case of a former autodidact slave, who achieves a projection in the political scenario, and in the Republic of Letters. An early reader of Vida de Jesus, a seminal work of the French philosopher, the slaves’ attorney is one of the first to refer to the work, which counted with a first-hand, unprecedented Brazilian translation, shortly after its publication in France. Finally, we shall see the appropriation of Renanian ideas on the part of various personalities from the social and racial point of view, while establishing a parallel between Luiz Gama and Joaquim Nabuco.
Luiz Gama; Ernest Renan; Joaquim Nabuco; Abolitionism; Republicanism; Slavery; Free-masonry; 19th Century São Paulo; Vida de Jesus