Social Science Information 60 (1):107-130 (2021)

This article analyzes Bruno Latour’s transition from theology to sociology between the late 1960s and the mid-1970s. The study cross-analyzes the philosophical field of the 1970s with the progress of interaction rituals specific to disciplinary integration. By examining his Master’s degree in philosophy and a lecture carried out during his thesis, plus the report of his stay in Ivory Coast, it is possible to identify several stages of a disciplinary bifurcation. First anchored to the metaphysical sector of the philosophical field, Latour – like his masters André Malet, Jean Brun and Claude Bruaire – tried to dissolve the boundary between philosophy and theology. Nourished with Rudolf Bultmann’s hermeneutics – which generates a particularly powerful emotional energy –, the young philosopher drew from the new theological resources provided by Vatican II Council the instruments for a conversion to sociology. Before that, following in the Council’s focus on prayer as the very core of the practice of believers, he had tried to turn prayer into an adequate mode of litany for analyzing texts. He then drew on the post-colonial opening of Vatican II to engage in the field of sociology, the Council having exhausted classical metaphysical questions. His discovery of the effects of colonial domination also played a fundamental role in mobilizing once again some emotional energy. Latour’s disciplinary reclassification just before beginning his laboratory ethnography in California is based on a reassessment of the epistemological possibilities born from the theological innovations of Vatican II.
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DOI 10.1177/0539018420984053
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References found in this work BETA

Anti-Latour.David Bloor - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):81-112.
Deleuze and the Postcolonial.Simone Bignall & Paul Patton (eds.) - 2010 - Edinburgh University Press.
Sur Une Nette Inversion du Schème de la Fin des Temps.Bruno Latour - 2019 - Recherches de Science Religieuse 107 (4):601.

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