Marvin Harris was an American anthropologist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. A prolific writer, he was highly influential in the development of cultural materialism. In his work he combined Karl Marx's emphasis on the forces of production with Thomas Malthus's insights on the impact of demographic factors on other parts of the sociocultural system. Labeling demographic and production factors as infrastructure, Harris posited these factors as key in determining a society's social structure and culture. After the publication of The Rise of Anthropological Theory in 1968, Harris helped focus the interest of anthropologists in cultural-ecological relationships for the rest of his career. Many of his publications gained wide circulation among lay readers.
Over the course of his professional life, Harris drew both a loyal following and a considerable amount of criticism. He became a regular fixture at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association where he would subject scholars to intense questioning from the floor, podium, or bar. He is considered a generalist, who had an interest in the global processes that account for human origins and the evolution of human cultures.
Feast of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, Martyr, 1980 Commemoration of Paul Couturier, Priest, Ecumenist, 1953 Counter-culture's glad tidings of revolution by consciousness are neither new nor revolutionary. Christianity has been trying to achieve a revolution by consciousness for two thousand years. Who would deny that Christian consciousness could have changed the world? Yet it was the world that changed Christian consciousness. If everybody adopted a peaceful, loving, generous, noncompetitive lifestyle, we could have something better than counter-culture -- we could have the Kingdom of God.