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Lecture 33 Cheese and the Worms concluded, Max Weber introduced.docx

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McMaster University
Antonio Sorge

rd Anthropology 2R03: Religion, Magic and Witchcraft April 3 2013 Lecture: Cheese and the Worms concluded, Max Weber introduced Cheese and the Worms - Menocchio keeps contradicting himself o What is true, what is a contradiction? o Why does he keep contradicting himself? He is not consistent in what he says  Partially self-preservation  Up against the inquisition, who want to execute him nd o Especially the 2 time – they are serious o Executed as a lesson to everyone else – an example of what will happen  Partially because Dealing with a miller – no formal education  Reads, but doesn’t write well  Doesn’t have at his disposition – rhetoric and logic that the inquisitors have via formal education  No benefit of an academic background  Because of this – contradictions because unaware of the things he is arguing o Pg 112  See the arugment being advanced in clear terms by the author  Reads whole paras:  “by his silence….oral tradition (we know then that he was interrogated under torture in order that he would name names of people he spoke with – didn’t inform on anyone)… not an idiot, but unschooled” nd  2 para: “it is this tradition… intolerant of dogma and ritual.. prechristian.. astrangement.. herdsmen Eboli” o Eboli – place in the 1700s where people had never heard of Christ – isolated villagers  Christianity had not permeated to the most remote places o Rural herdsmen  The world they understand is the world they live in  Talking about a man in the sky – whatever – I believe in the weather and the crops  “Barely human.. totally ignorant.. no knowledge of God” o In the end, he was made an example of  End of the book – last sentence/para nd  2 to last para o “It was impossible to resist such pressure… 6 of july 1601.. he had met an innkeeper who had told him that in town there was a certain man named marco who believed that when the body died the sould actually died with it”  So that means there are more people like Menocchio – more people who believe what he does – they live and die without a trace  So by the end of it, the Church didn’t solve the problem  Ultimately a story about a church trying very hard to permeate the society o Doesn’t do it though – there are these hardheaded peasants who won’t accept the doctrine – what to do with them – make an example? But there are still so many others o A powerful church not succeeding in permeating the society – forcing itself on the society violently and encouraging people to inform on one another etc. o Story focuses on organized religion in general, and more specifically on this part of the world  Geography – dealing with fairly isolated peasants  Italy – country to this very day where you have a bunch of villages that do these pagan rituals calendicraly  During carnival festivities – rites and rituals etc that go back to prechristian times o One of the central lessons of the book  That what people practice and believe they will keep doing despite the fact that it coincides well with the big religion  Symbolist perspective – if you want to understand rituals of any kind, understand what they do to society because half the time they don’t even understand why they are doing them - To study for exam o Main themes o Historical background o Why do we care about menocchio today – why is he apart of this course? o WHAT DOES MENOCCHIO TEACH US? o Gotta read it allllll and know it well Max Weber and the Rationalization Thesis - Secularism, rationalization, bureauacracy are the things that make modern society - Remainder of the course: Interest in asking the question of – how did we get to where we are here o How is it that
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