S. Federici, CALIBAN AND THE WITCH

“Although influenced by Eastern religions brought to Europe by merchants and
crusaders, popular heresy was less a deviation from the orthodox doctrine than a protest
movement, aspiring to a radical democratization of social life. Heresy was the equivalent
of “liberation theology” for the medieval proletariat. It gave a frame to peoples’
demands for spiritual renewal and social justice, challenging both the Church and secular
authority by appeal to a higher truth. It denounced social hierarchies, private property
and the accumulation of wealth, and it disseminated among the people a new, revolutionary
conception of society that, for the first time in the Middle Ages, redefined
every aspect of daily life (work, property, sexual reproduction, and the position of
women), posing the question of emancipation in truly universal terms. “- p. 33

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