Born in 2011, the year of its first edition, the International Symposium on Inquisitive Studies has declared itself as a privileged space for academic dialogue and sharing ideas on the vast and complex universe of the Inquisition Courts in the medieval and modern Christian world.

Entering its fourth edition, the Symposium fully maintains its fundamental objective which is not only the debate the research already carried out, but also to discuss the new perspectives of approach and analysis of the configurations assumed by Inquisitions throughout history, as well as their relations with the societies that they were established and coexisted.

Having as its theme “Religion, Interculturality and Control of Consciousness in the Modern Age”, the Symposium requests the presentation of an advanced edition on the limits of action of the Inquisitor Courts, particularly in contexts of cultural exchanges that have promoted redefinitions, adaptations or the establishment of compromises in the religious realms, cultures and mentalities in a constantly improving spiritual, cultural, scientific and social (not to mention political and economic as well) universe, and presents itself as a permanent challenge to the control of  a conscience used by the Inquisitions of a reformist catholicity in process of expanding.

In addition to the opening and ending conferences, the IV Symposium is organized around roundtables and thematic panels (the latter being the only ones that open to receive communication notifications).

Six thematic panels at the symposium are intended to address the broad frameworks of inquisitorial history, whether they relate to a criminal matter of the court (New Christians, diaspora, sexuality), or to relations they regard as common societies, involved in various domains (society, power, economy), demonstrating the weight and influence of the institution.

Anticipating the bicentenary of the extinction of the Tribunal of the Holy Office in Portugal, ended by decree of the Courts dated 31 March 1821, one of the tables will precisely address the final period of the Portuguese Court under the motto “Inquisition: From Lights to Extinction”. “The thematic panels will be organized in four major topics, designed to reflect the main lines of research that have been developing in the universe of inquisitorial studies:

The thematic panels will be organized in four major topics, designed to reflect the main lines of research that have been developing in the universe of inquisitorial studies:

Topic I – It is directly connected to the historiographical work, proposing a reflection on the archival funds for the inquisitorial history, as well as its virtualities, difficulties and new approaches.

Topic II – It will address the institutional dimension of the Inquisition Courts, dividing itself into two panels, one focused on inquisitorial agents (the human machine that allowed the court to function) and the other focused on the financial dimension of the institutions, which ensures material of their plurisecular survival.

Topic III – it will focus on the criminal matters areas of the courts, consisting of four panels: one that will work on the court’s role on the issues of Judaism and the New Christian communities; a second focusing on the crimes of witchcraft and superstition; the third will address issues regarding gender and sexuality that were considered deviant; and the fourth focused on a more sensitive theological and doctrinal point, the crimes of heresy and heterodoxy.

Topic IV – It will analyze the performance of inquisitorial courts in the colonial territories of the Iberian Crowns, for which three panels will be organized: one dedicated to the American universe, the second focused on African and Asian territories and a third that will analyze the relationship between Inquisition and, lastly another central economic and social structure of modern history (and of great impact on Atlantic history), the slavery.

The IV Inquisitorial Studies Symposium also proposes, through a round table, to establish a state of the art of Inquisitorial Studies, conducted by academics from Latin American (Spanish and Spanish-speaking), Spain and Portugal. It will be an important space for a joint reflection, enriched by the debate, allowing us to think about the path taken by inquisitorial studies in the last decades and the future possibilities for investigation.