“Suspeitos na Fé”: Humanists at the Colégio das Artes in Coimbra, Portugal 1548-1555.
As part of João III’s (r. 1521-1557) educational reform, the establishment of the Colégio das Artes in Coimbra, Portugal, in 1548, brought to the country the methods of the prestigious University of Paris. However, it also brought to Portugal the complex intellectual and religious conflicts that pervaded sixteenth-century Europe, namely the humanist-scholastic debate and the threat of Reformation. Initially led by professors associated with Christian humanism and Erasmian ideas, the Colégio was out of place in a country that was increasingly dominated by conservative influences, and during 1548-1555 it would experience an ideological shift that reflected Portugal’s alignment with Catholic orthodoxy. Such a shift was demonstrated by the arrest and trial of the professors João da Costa, Diogo de Teive, and George Buchanan by the Portuguese Inquisition, the Colégio’s institutional and pedagogical changes, and its handover to the Society of Jesus. This thesis shows that the fear of Reformist ideas, either encapsulated in or confused with Christian humanist views, drove the Colégio’s ideological shift in the 1548-1555 period. But in eliminating those views, Portugal also backed away from the very humanistic ideals that the country had sought with its educational reform.