Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Reading Notes

An example of the use of fear and theatre in religious compliance comes from "1491" written by Charles C. Mann. Of the Mesoamerican city that existed between 800BC and 200 AD, he says, " Its most important feature, a ceremonial temple…was a master piece of architectural intimidation. Using a network of concealed vents and channels, priests piped loud, roaring sounds at those who entered the temple. Visitors walked up three flights of stairs, growls echoing around them and into a long, windowless passage. At the end of the corridor, in a cross-shaped room that flickered with torchlight, was fifteen foot-high stone figure with a cat-like face, taloned fingers, fierce tusks and Medusa hair. Immediately above it, hidden from visitors' eyes, sat a priestly functionary, who provided the god's voice." Not unlike our present day churches, their architecture and d├ęcor, and ceremonies. John Ayers

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