The Traditional Maya Worldview as Influenced by Later Evangelization

John D. Early

in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813040134
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043838 | DOI:
The Traditional Maya Worldview as Influenced by Later Evangelization

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This chapter develops a Weberian construct outlining a basic logic that underlies the traditional Maya worldview, both its pre- and post-Columbian forms. Maya metaphysics is a pantheistic theology based on the principle of emanation that differs from the principle of creation found in transcendent theologies. This accounts for the emanated cosmos. This cosmos includes numerous emanated gods in an invisible world. It also includes humans and their visible world. The relationship between the two worlds is governed by the logic of the Maya Covenant. This is the basis of both their moral order and an extensive ritual system. This worldview was the basis by which the Maya interpreted the Spanish evangelization and incorporated elements of Spanish Catholicism into their own covenant. This changed their meanings from those of Catholic orthodoxy.

Keywords: Maya worldview; pantheism; emanation; covenant; rituals; moral order

Chapter.  9769 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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