The Maya Crisis and the Search for Answers

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 Maya Crisis and the Search for Answers

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While the Maya crisis had its taproot in their loss of land and the self-sufficiency it provided, the crisis was much more embracing. It was a crisis of physical survival with a very low life expectancy. It was a crisis of the legitimacy of their social organization as its civil and religious roles were undermined, and of the validity of their worldview from which they drew life's meaning, morality and their self-identity. It was a crisis of an entire culture. Communites sought divergent solutions. Some opted for ritual intensification as dictated by the traditional worldview. Others adopted Tridentine Catholicism either as orthodox Catholicism or a cyclic revitalization of the Maya covenant.

Keywords: Maya crisis; life expectancy; social organization; worldview and self-identity

Chapter.  4233 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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