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Seminars and Conferences

Conference | Bento de Jesus Caraça and the Cosmos Project  then and now

18 Nov 10:00
Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência

On the 18th of November, a conference will be held on “Bento de Jesus Caraça and the Cosmos Project – then and now”, at the Natural History and Science, with the participation of Professor Carlos Bastien (ISEG).

Professor Bento de Jesus Caraça (1901-1947) was one of the most important Portuguese personalities during the 20th century, with a unique work in the civic, cultural, social, and scientific fields. Despite the restrictions imposed by the Salazarist dictatorship, his work has always been publicised and has been regularly cited and studied over the years.

The conference is organised by the Bento de Jesus Caraça Association, which was founded in 2018 by a group of citizens who thought that what had been carried out over the past years, although praiseworthy, was insufficient, as it had not fully explored the thoughts and work of Bento de Jesus Caraça. The Association was founded to help correct this deficit of information regarding this unique figure in Portuguese culture.

Accordingky, the aim of the Bento de Jesus Caraça Association is to make known the work of Bento de Jesus Caraça in all its facets and promote debate about his ideas, especially among those generations that are ignorant of his work and thinking, promoting integral culture through the dissemination of the Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts in their various expressions, and the publication of works in this light, as well as the organisation of congresses, seminars, conferences, debates and exhibitions. Members are committed to bring about an education system whose ultimate aim is to educate citizens in the values of Integral Culture, as advocated by Benedict de Jesus Caraça his work entitled “The Integral Culture of the Individual”

The conference aims to study and analyse the great Cosmos Library Project. From 1941 up until the death of Bento de Jesus Caraça in 1948, 114 books in this collection were published, some of them multiple times, with an extraordinary print run of the time of almost 7,000 copies per book. They covered a wide variety of topics, spread over seven series: “Science and Techniques”, “Arts and Languages”, “Philosophy and Religions” and “Peoples and Civilisations”, “Biographies”, “Human Epics” and “Problems of Our Time”. The purpose of this collection, as expressed by its creator, was to “provide a real service to its readers and through this to a cause that we have fought for for many years: the creation of a free mentality and scientific knowledge among Portuguese citizens”.


9.30 – 10.00     Reception
10.00 – 10.10   Opening – Luis Saraiva (Chairman of the Board of ABJC, CIUHCT, U. Lisboa), representative of MNHNC
10.10 – 11.00   António Pita (FLUC/CEIS20, U. Coimbra) – The polyphony of culture: Bento de Jesus Caraça and the notion of the encyclopaedia.
11.00 – 11.30   Coffee break
11.30 – 12.20   Luis Crespo Andrade (FCSH-UNL, CHAM – Humanities Centre) – The Cosmos Library and the political and social representations of encyclopaedic diffusion.
12.20 – 13.10   Helena Neves (CEIS 20, U. Coimbra) – The roots of Cosmos: from the Monde de Barbuse to the Litoral journal
13.10 – 15.00   Lunch
15.00 – 15.50   João Oliveira Duarte (IHA-Instituto de História de Arte of U. Nova de Lisboa) – The Cosmos Library: a suffering and subversive knowledge
15.50 – 16.40   Joaquim Garrido (Livraria Cosmos-Edições Cosmos) – Bento de Jesus Caraça- the seed of the ethics of freedom
16.40 -1 7.10   Coffee break
17.10-18.00     Carlos Bastien (ISEG, U. Lisboa) – The Economics books published by Cosmos
18.00-18.50     Augusto Fitas (U. Évora / IHC- cehfci) – The Scientific books published  by Cosmos0-19.00     João Caraça (Chairman of the Board of ABJC, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) – Closure of the Conference

Participation is subject to enrolment and costs €15.
To enrol, send an email to, indicating that you wish to attend the Conference, with proof of payment by bank transfer (IBAN – PT50 0035 0027 00085552 130 93).

For further information about how to become a member of the Bento de Jesus Caraça, Associação, visit:

Poster (pdf)