PD Dr. Christiane U. Birr
Christiane U. Birr
Assoziierte Wissenschaftlerin - Goethe Universität Frankfurt
Telefon: +49 (69) 789 78 - 161
Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 - 169
Dr. José Luis Egío García
José Luis Egío García
Assoziierter Wissenschaftler - Goethe Universität Frankfurt
Telefon: +49 (69) 789 78 - 192
Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 - 169


Project The School of Salamanca



17736 1550476393

“Just dominion: whatever may have been the right and justice in the beginning”

  • Beginn: 10.04.2019
  • Ende: 12.04.2019
  • Organisation: Christiane Birr, José Luis Egío (Goethe Universität)
  • Ort: MPIeR
  • Raum: Z01

Reading Course of Alonso de la Vera Cruz’
Relectio De dominio infidelium et iusto bello

The discovery and conquest of America in the Early Modern era gave rise to intense debate among European jurists, theologians, and philosophers. Due to the leading role played by the Spanish monarchy in this process of conquests and assimilation of American indigenous peoples, most of the Iberian ‘intellectuals’ took part in the polemic. One of the major figures of this debate – as well as of the School of Salamanca – was the Augustinian monk and professor of theology Alonso de la Vera Cruz († 1584). First holder of the chairs of Sacred Scripture and S. Thomas at the newly established University of Mexico, he can be considered as the teacher who first introduced western philosophy in America.

Vera Cruz wrote the Relectio De dominio infidelium et iusto bello for the inauguration of the University of Mexico (1553). The text is a polemical reflection about the dilemmas related to the process of conquest and subordination of native American peoples which was then still in progress. Having always in mind the famous Relectio De Indis (1539) held by Francisco de Vitoria at the University of Salamanca some years before (with Vera Cruz already overseas), we will discuss the similarities and differences between the legal and political thinking of both authors.

The Reading Course addresses advanced students, doctoral students and post-docs from legal studies, philosophy, history, theology, and political sciences. Working language will be English.

Participants working on a research project of their own (master or doctoral thesis) are invited to present and discuss their work during a special section of the Reading Course.

Applications should be sent until March 17, 2019 to

Required documents for the application are a CV, a letter of motivation, and, if applicable, a project summary.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Advanced students, early-stage graduates, PhD candidates, post-docs
  • Working knowledge of English is required; German is not a prerequisite
  • Basic knowledge of Latin is of advantage


There is no participation fee. Accommodation will be provided by the organisers. Participants, however, will be responsible for covering their travel expenses.

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