Peasants and Religion (Routledge Studies in Development and by Mats Lundhal

By Mats Lundhal

This booklet examines the connection among economics, politics and faith throughout the case of Olivorio Mateo and the non secular stream he encouraged from 1908 within the Dominican Republic. The authors discover how and why the hot faith was once shaped, and why it used to be such a success. evaluating this situation with different peasant events, they express ways that folks faith serves as a reaction to specific difficulties which come up in peasant societies during periods of rigidity.

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Peasants live without much protection against unforeseen difficulties. It becomes natural to strive for order and security. Thus, they want to give meaning to the inconceivable and make the unpredictable predictable. 31 The village community means a great deal to the individual peasant: ‘in a peasant community men must often 30 Christian (1987), pp. 371–2. g. Lipton (1968), Roumasset (1976) and Scott (1976), for discussions of such algorithms. ’32 The difference in outlook between peasants and outsiders will loom large in the present work.

Wolf (1966), p. 99. Christian (1987), p. 371. , p. 372. Cohn (1970), p. 245. Cf. Berger (1979), pp. 195–213. Introduction 19 conceived of in analogy with the visible world. In this way, they assume a shape that is understandable for the human mind. 60 It then also becomes natural to communicate with the invisible beings. These spiritual entities may be deceased relatives, saints, any kind of supernatural forces, and they are more powerful than living beings, but at the same time they also display human characteristics.

See La Barre (1971) and Turner (1977), (1979). 65 Peasants face a world governed by forces over which they do not have full control. Droughts, insects or plagues can easily mean ruin and death for themselves and their families. Thus, they have to seek order in their lives; they try to make events predictable. In this they are surrounded by others who find themselves in exactly the same situation. The collective tradition of the community thus helps peasants to interpret their environment in a meaningful way.

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