Norms beyond Empire

Law-Making and Local Normativities in Iberian Asia, 1500-1800


Volume Editor:
Norms beyond Empire seeks to rethink the relationship between law and empire by emphasizing the role of local normative production. While European imperialism is often viewed as being able to shape colonial law and government to its image, this volume argues that early modern empires could never monolithically control how these processes unfolded. Examining the Iberian empires in Asia, it seeks to look at norms as a means of escaping the often too narrow concept of law and look beyond empire to highlight the ways in which law-making and local normativities frequently acted beyond colonial rule. The ten chapters explore normative production from this perspective by focusing on case studies from China, India, Japan, and the Philippines.

Contributors are: Manuel Bastias Saavedra, Marya Svetlana T. Camacho, Luisa Stella de Oliveira Coutinho Silva, Rômulo da Silva Ehalt, Patricia Souza de Faria, Fupeng Li, Miguel Rodrigues Lourenço, Abisai Perez Zamarripa, Marina Torres Trimállez, and Ângela Barreto Xavier.
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Manuel Bastias Saavedra, Ph.D. (2012), is Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory and Lecturer at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is Principal Investigator of the European Research Council-Consolidator Grant (ERC-CoG) funded project ‘IberLAND’.
"The volume’s greatest strength is that while focused on one particular set of contexts in early modern Asia, it transcends its geographical and chronological limits, and invites the reader to reexamine old orthodoxies regarding the state, law and society, be they in Asia, Europe, or elsewhere". Stuart M. McManus, in Ler História, 81: 2022. (September 2022).
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1 Decentering Law and Empire: Law-Making, Local Normativities, and the Iberian Empires in Asia
Manuel Bastias Saavedra
2 Village Normativities and the Portuguese Imperial Order: The Case of Early Modern Goa
Ângela Barreto Xavier
3 The Principales of Philip II : Vassalage, Justice, and the Making of Indigenous Jurisdiction in the Early Colonial Philippines
Abisai Pérez Zamarripa
4 Catholics and Non-Christians in the Archbishopric of Goa
Provincial Councils, Conversion, and Local Dynamics in the Production of Norms (16th–18th Centuries)Patricia Souza de Faria
5 “Que los indios no puedan vender sus hijas para contraer matrimonio”: Understanding and Regulating Bridewealth and Brideservice in the Spanish Colonial Period of the Philippines
Marya Svetlana T. Camacho
6 The Janus Face of Normativities in a Global Mirror: Viewing 16th-Century Marriage Practices in Japan from Christian and Japanese Traditions
Luisa Stella de Oliveira Coutinho Silva
7 On Gentilidade as a Religious Offence: A Specificity of the Portuguese Inquisition in Asia?
Miguel Rodrigues Lourenço
8 Theology in the Dark: The Missionary Casuistry of Japan Jesuits and Dominicans during the Tokugawa Persecution (1616–1622)
Rômulo da Silva Ehalt
9 Finding Norms for the Chinese Mission: The Hat Controversy in the Canton Conference of 1667/1668
Marina Torres Trimállez
10 Time as Norm: The Ritual Dimension of the Calendar Book and the Translation of Multi-Temporality in Late Imperial China
Fupeng Li
All interested in legal history, the history of Christianity in Asia, the history of Spanish and Portuguese imperialism, early modern colonialism, missionary history, global history, and legal pluralism.
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