Crisis of presence and religious reintegration. Prefaced and Translated by Tobia Farnetti and Charles Stewart

Ernesto de Martino


This article is a translation of Ernesto de Martino’s “Crisi della presenza e reintegrazione religiosa,” which originally appeared in Aut Aut 31 (1956). De Martino’s publications combine social scientific methods and interrogatives with deep humanistic learning in philosophy, history, and literature. Drawing on materials from Greek tragedy, the Icelandic Poetic Edda, and ethnographic reports from Australia, this article illuminates one of de Martino’s most central and enduring ideas: the “crisis of presence,” a momentary failure of the Hegelian synthesis according to which the givens of the past and the present should become something novel in the future. Philosophically robust and ethnographically informed, this newly translated text will inspire a new generation of anthropologists in the English-speaking world and help initiate a new appreciation for the work of Ernesto de Martino.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14318/hau2.2.024