This article deals with the work of the Italian anthropologist, ethnographer, and historian of religions Ernesto De Martino (1908–1965) and, more specifically, with his ‘ethnographic expeditions’ in Southern Italy in the 1950s. Here, in some of the poorest regions of Italy, De Martino carefully examined the intermingling of popular religion, magic rituals, and official Catholicism. Beyond the specific context of post-World War II Southern Italy, De Martino’s work offers a sophisticated framework to study humanity’s relationship with the sacred, which can be helpful to historians, anthropologists, and sociologists examining religious practices, beliefs, and experiences across time, space and place. More specifically, De Martino’s framework can encourage scholars to better foreground the influence of historical contexts on cultural forms and psychic constellations, the stratification and intersection of popular and official forms of religion, and the cultural and symbolic role of magic and religion.

Magic, religion, and the South: Notes on Ernesto De Martino / Forlenza, R. - In: JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL PRACTICE. - ISSN 2056-6093. - 4:2(2018), pp. 137-155. [10.1080/20566093.2018.1439806]

Magic, religion, and the South: Notes on Ernesto De Martino

FORLENZA R
2018

Abstract

This article deals with the work of the Italian anthropologist, ethnographer, and historian of religions Ernesto De Martino (1908–1965) and, more specifically, with his ‘ethnographic expeditions’ in Southern Italy in the 1950s. Here, in some of the poorest regions of Italy, De Martino carefully examined the intermingling of popular religion, magic rituals, and official Catholicism. Beyond the specific context of post-World War II Southern Italy, De Martino’s work offers a sophisticated framework to study humanity’s relationship with the sacred, which can be helpful to historians, anthropologists, and sociologists examining religious practices, beliefs, and experiences across time, space and place. More specifically, De Martino’s framework can encourage scholars to better foreground the influence of historical contexts on cultural forms and psychic constellations, the stratification and intersection of popular and official forms of religion, and the cultural and symbolic role of magic and religion.
Ernesto De Martino; ritual magic; popular religion; Catholicism; Southern Italy; crisis of presence
Magic, religion, and the South: Notes on Ernesto De Martino / Forlenza, R. - In: JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL PRACTICE. - ISSN 2056-6093. - 4:2(2018), pp. 137-155. [10.1080/20566093.2018.1439806]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/192477
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