The School of Salamanca: A Case of Global Knowledge Production


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Over the past few decades, a growing number of studies have highlighted the importance of the ‘School of Salamanca’ for the emergence of colonial normative regimes and the formation of a language of normativity on a global scale. According to this influential account, American and Asian actors usually appear as passive recipients of normative knowledge produced in Europe. This book proposes a different perspective and shows, through a knowledge historical approach and several case studies, that the School of Salamanca has to be considered both an epistemic community and a community of practice that cannot be fixed to any individual place. Instead, the School of Salamanca encompassed a variety of different sites and actors throughout the world and thus represents a case of global knowledge production.

Contributors are: Adriana Álvarez, Virginia Aspe, Marya Camacho, Natalie Cobo, Thomas Duve, José Luis Egío, Dolors Folch, Enrique González González, Lidia Lanza, Esteban Llamosas, Osvaldo R. Moutin, and Marco Toste.
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Thomas Duve is director at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory (Frankfurt am Main) and professor for Comparative Legal History at the Goethe University Frankfurt. He is one of the directors of the research project The School of Salamanca. His research focuses on the legal history of the early modern age and the modern era.

José Luis Egío is member of the research project The School of Salamanca (Academy of Sciences Mainz, MPI, Goethe University). He has published monographs and articles on the history of philosophy, law and theology in early modern Spain, France and Mexico.

Christiane Birr is coordinator of the research project The School of Salamanca (Academy of Sciences Mainz, MPI, Goethe University). Her research areas are the School of Salamanca, canon law, learned law, and constitutional law (14-16th centuries).
"Insgesamt stellen die beiden Sammelbände einen bedeutenden Beitrag nicht nur zur iberoamerikanischen Geschichte und zur Rechtsgeschichtedar. Wie mit Normen und ihrer Widersprüchlichkeit umgegangen wurde, wie Normen aus der Praxis heraus entstanden und wiederum für die praktische Anwendung zur Verfügung gestellt wurden, diese Fragen besitzen in der gegenwärtigen Frühneuzeitforschung ein hohes Maß an Aktualität. Die Beiträge liefern hier eine Vielzahl wertvoller methodischer und inhaltlicher Erkenntnisse, die in dieser Besprechung nur ansatzweise dargelegt werden können."
Martin Biersack. In: Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, Vol. 50, No.1 (2023), pp. 151-152.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

1 The School of Salamanca
A Case of Global Knowledge Production
  Thomas Duve

2 Salamanca in the New World
University Regulation or Social Imperatives?
  Enrique González González

3 Observance against Ambition
The Struggle for the Chancellor’s Office at the Real Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala (1686–1696)
  Adriana Álvarez Sánchez

4 The Influence of Salamanca in the Iberian Peninsula
The Case of the Faculties of Theology of Coimbra and Évora
  Lidia Lanza and Marco Toste

5 From Fray Alonso de la Vera Cruz to Fray Martín de Rada
The School of Salamanca in Asia
  Dolors Folch

6 Creating Authority and Promoting Normative Behaviour
Confession, Restitution, and Moral Theology in the Synod of Manila (1582–1586)
  Natalie Cobo

7 “Sepamos, Señores, en que ley vivimos y si emos de tener por nuestra regla al Consejo de Indias”. Salamanca in the Philippine Islands
  Osvaldo R. Moutin

8 “Mirando las cosas de cerca”: Indigenous Marriage in the Philippines in the Light of Law and Legal Opinions (17th – 18th Centuries)
  Marya Camacho

9 The Influence of the School of Salamanca in Alonso de la Vera Cruz’s De Dominio Infidelium Et Iusto Bello
First Relectio in America
  Virginia Aspe

10 Producing Normative Knowledge between Salamanca and Michoacán
Alonso de la Vera Cruz and the Bumpy Road of Marriage
  José Luis Egío

11 Legal Education at the University of Córdoba (1767–1821). From the Colony to the Homeland
A Reinterpretation of the Salamanca Tradition from a New Context
  Esteban Llamosas


All interested in the legal history, the history of knowledge, book history and history of philosophy and theology in early modern times, especially with regard to colonial Ibero-America and Asia.
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