Latitude, Slaves and the Bible

Nexus Lecture Carlo Ginzburg

Microhistory deducts broad historical and sociological reflections from individual stories, as Auerbach did in Mimesis. How effective this method is becomes clear from Carlo Ginzburg’s treatment of the life of Jean-Pierre Purry (1675-1736), an impoverished Swiss civil servant and Calvinist, who made and executed schemes of colonization which he justified through the biblical story of Exodus. Purry’s case turns out to shed a light on the theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx.
Nexus Lecture 2002: Latitude, Slaves and the Bible. A Local Approach to Globalization