Lankan Imperial Projects and the Politics of Catholic Universalism
Chapter 4 explores the ways in which rulers and princes across Sri Lanka followed Bhuvanekabāhu’s initiative and engaged diplomatically with the Portuguese empire. Conversion to Catholicism became a key diplomatic tool during the 1540s. This served the interests of Lankan rulers and princes in the short term, helping them to transfuse imperial ideas into the Portuguese sphere, but also prepared the ground for larger transformations in the longer run, driven by Catholic Universalism. Sri Lanka as a territory of the mind began to emerge among the Portuguese, combining Lankan ideas of the island as a repository of cakravarti emperorship with a novel notion of spiritual conquest. This chapter explores a range of local contexts including diplomacy in Sītāvaka, Kandy, Jaffna, and smaller polities such as Batticaloa. Emphasis is again on local diplomatic agency.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.