Preacher, politician, natural law theorist, administrator, diplomat, polemicist, prophetic thinker: Vieira was all of these things, but nothing was more central to his self-definition than his role as missionary and pastor. Articles in this issue were originally presented at a conference, "The Baroque World of Padre António Vieira: Religion, Culture and History in the Luso-Brazilian World", Yale University, November 7-8, 1997, commemorating the three hundredth anniversary of Vieira's death. Thomas Cohen is curator of the Oliveira Lima Library and associate professor of history at the Catholic University of America. He is author of The Fire of Tongues: Antonio Vieira and the Missionary Church in Brazil and Portugal (Stanford UP, 1998). Stuart B. Schwartz is professor of history at Yale University where he teaches Latin American history concentrating on Colonial Brazil. He was educated at Middlebury College and Columbia University.