Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Feel the chill from that shoulder! Posted by Hello

Leading Minoan archaeologist Nanno Marinatos hauls her fellow archaeologists over the coals for giving short shrift to religion:

"...[T] there has been a tendency to marginalize religion by the positivistic school of New Archaeology. Religion is elusive, it is claimed, in comparison to economy and subsistence. Statistics and quantification of data may yield more secure results than speculation on mental processes. Inherent in every attempt at reconstruction of rites is the danger of fantasy. And who can claim to understand a religion that has left no written sources behind?

"The skepticism is legitimate, but the resigned attitude is dangerous, for no ancient culture can be understood without its religion. If we reduce the study of culture to pottery classification and data quantification (with some spice from the socioeconomic sphere) the scope of the humanist may be lost to that of the pseudo-scientist."

This passage is from Nanno's Minoan Religion, which I give high marks for its careful and detailed scholarship. Unfortunately, copies are as scarce as hen's teeth.

Go here for the entire five-page excerpt.

Go here for reviews of Minoan Religion.


Morgaine said...

I had a vision about 10 years ago that my work was about reintegration. In the past, religon, art, drama, science and magick were one. Life and learning were a tapestry of complementary disciplines. Then the patriarchy came along with it's love of slicing and dicing, categorizing and cataloging and suddenly we had a world full of specialists with turf to protect.

An archaeologist trying to separate religion from any other aspect of life in any ancient culture is building a false model on a non-existent foundation. What kind of science is that?

It's time to bring it all back together, and use all parts of our brain. The only way to study or interact with the world is to see Her as a living entity and deal with the integrated whole.

Athana said...

Yes! "Reintegration" is a word that perhaps needs to live in the center of the web we're weaving. You got the image of a tapestry, and I'm getting an image of a spider web that extends over everything, and if you even breathe on a tiny part of it, the entire thing shimmers a bit. And I'm thinking, too, of whoever it was it who wrote about Science being a discipline that came out of the Inquisition, because men were allowed for the first time to carve up women's bodies, in the name of god, to see how the mysterious magical, birth-giving sex really worked. Slicing and dicing.

I feel conflicted about science these days. We can't do without it, of course, but ... I can't help thinking it's a runaway horse, or something of that nature. Needs some reigning in, some better integration into your "integrated whole."