Economics and the Making of “Natural Resources”

Frédérique Apffel-Marglin

in Subversive Spiritualities

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199793853
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919246 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

Economics and the Making of “Natural Resources”

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Chapter 3 focuses on the pre-modern European oral peasantry and their gift economy and rituals on the commons. The chapter argues that the eradication of this world is in great part due to the enclosure movement and the rise of the market economy. The transition from the gift (or moral) economy to the market economy is said to play a central role in the de-spiriting of the non-human world. The work of Elizabeth Potter on the debate between Robert Boyle and the hylozoist Franciscus Linus, and the defeat of hylozoism, a non-dualistic, non-mechanistic worldview, is presented. Using other historical works, it is argued that hylozoism was the worldview of those who lost out in the struggles of the times, namely the peasantry, the working classes, the heretics, and the “witches.” The new order required a new worldview, the dualist mechanistic one we have inherited.

Keywords: commons; enclosure movement; gift economy; moral economy; peasantry; heretics; witches; market economy

Chapter.  8984 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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