The Italian historian of religions and anthropologist Ernesto de Martino (1908-1965) is widely renowned in Italy and France and the bibliography on him produced by Italian scholars is enormous – although most of it is purely hagiographic whitewash or philosophical musing2. His reputation is chiefly based on his peculiar theory of magic and his politically engaged ethnographies of South Italian folk-religion In his attempt to integrate the results of various disciplines and approaches (Croce’s absolute historicism, Antonio Gramsci’s new science of folklore, psychoanalysis, existentialist philosophy, ethnopsychiatry) into a sort of metahistory labelled as “reformed” or “historical” ethnology based on a method of “differentiating comparison” and “critical ethnocentrism”, he gave impetus to anthropological research in post-war Italy. In the heterogeneous circle of his Italian followers he has been triumphantly acclaimed as the inventor of “field research” (in Italy) – which is partially true – and “anthropological team research” (at the international level), which is definitely false.

Ernesto de Martino at home and abroad: Fortunes and misfortunes

CASADIO, Giovanni
2014

Abstract

The Italian historian of religions and anthropologist Ernesto de Martino (1908-1965) is widely renowned in Italy and France and the bibliography on him produced by Italian scholars is enormous – although most of it is purely hagiographic whitewash or philosophical musing2. His reputation is chiefly based on his peculiar theory of magic and his politically engaged ethnographies of South Italian folk-religion In his attempt to integrate the results of various disciplines and approaches (Croce’s absolute historicism, Antonio Gramsci’s new science of folklore, psychoanalysis, existentialist philosophy, ethnopsychiatry) into a sort of metahistory labelled as “reformed” or “historical” ethnology based on a method of “differentiating comparison” and “critical ethnocentrism”, he gave impetus to anthropological research in post-war Italy. In the heterogeneous circle of his Italian followers he has been triumphantly acclaimed as the inventor of “field research” (in Italy) – which is partially true – and “anthropological team research” (at the international level), which is definitely false.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4293855
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