Thomas M. Cohen Headshot


  • History
  • School

  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Expertise

  • Brazil
  • Colonial Latin America
  • Early modern Europe
  • Jesuit missions
  • Thomas Cohen’s research focuses on the religious history of early modern Europe and colonial Latin America, and on the history of modern Texas.  From 1990 to 2017 he served as director and curator of the Oliveira Lima Library, the university’s collection of Portuguese and Brazilian books, manuscripts, and works of art.  Professor Cohen is currently writing a biography of Frances T. “Sissy” Farenthold.  He is the co-author (with Emanuele Colombo) of “Jesuit Missions” in Hamish Scott, ed., The Oxford Companion to Early Modern European History (2 vols., Oxford University Press, 2015). He is the author of The Fire of Tongues: António Vieira and the Missionary Church in Brazil and Portugal (Stanford University Press, 1998) and of book chapters and articles about early modern Catholic missions, the history of the Jesuits, and Christian-Jewish relations. Professor Cohen teaches courses on religion and culture in early modern Europe; colonial Latin America; Catholic missions in the early modern world; the comparative history of early modern European empires; California, Texas, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands; and Latinos in the United States.

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    Selected Publication

    • The Fire of Tongues

      The Fire of Tongues

      Thomas M. Cohen, The Fire of Tongues: António Vieira and the Missionary Church in Brazil and Portugal (Stanford University Press, 1998)

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