March 7, 2012 Lecture
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March 6, 2012
Aztec Cannibalism – flesh of victims ritualistically consumed (pepper, tomatoes, human flesh)
In consuming consecrated flesh of god impersonator the Mexican believed they were in communion
with gods themselves. Partaking of body/blood ingestion of psychotropic plants was similar etc. – sacred
mushrooms – flesh of gods
Only the aristocracy was entitles to consume human flesh which was considered consecrated. Spanish
priests regard Aztec as Satanic Inversion of Christianity and question practices of human sacrifice why
not birds or other animals? Receive sarcastic replies: those are offering of low poor men not nobles.
Ecological crises and Spanish conquests:
Recurrent earthquakes floods locusts and rodents droughts
Population strain from C 1200 to 1500 growth from roughly 120 000 to almost 100 000.
Protein defiency? Extinction of the mega fauna? Great famine of 1454 noble children sold into slavery
famine of 1502-4
Guerra Florida perhaps beginning to decline by 1500 as struggle for power intensifies, Aztec brutality
mounts client states and other allies grow rebellious
Spanish Conquest 1519 – 1521
Cortes and his 500 conquistadores, firearms
Also religious factors? End of a 52 year cycle in 1519 return of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent (and
white smoking mirror) Cortes offered vestments and human sacrifices.
Christ’s triumph over spawns of Satan “never was there a more idolatrous people or one so given to
killing and eating of men”
Cortes chaplain, lopez de Gomera.
The friars saw in Mesoamerica religion an inverted Satanic ecclesia: priesthood, temples, religious
calendar, penances, consuming of flesh/blood, liturgy.
Yahweh and Israelite Military Ethic
Monotheism and holy war
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are religions that are historical rather than cosmological in their primary
symbolization. There is a divine plan for history and war/violence, takes its meaning and purpose within
that plan. Holy war is a sign of god’s …as infidelity to or non-recognition of divine revelation.
In the monotheistic religions, primary responsibilities for the worlds sin…
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