much as religious identity is constructed, cultivated, and sustained by language. Language creates both common identities and separation and exclusion. Since the rise of modern nationalism, speaking and writing in the vernacular have been a part of the collective identity of a people or a nation, just as previously a more universal or less geographically rooted and restricted language had been part of the identity of elites: Latin for scholars and clergy throughout European Christendom; French for aristocrats and intellectuals in northern and eastern Europe, where
the archiepiscopate of Canterbury, to graft his teaching and his worship onto the existing beliefs and practices of his potential flock, building new churches on old pre-Christian sacred sites, not in order to obliterate those sites but to secure continuity with existing religious loyalties. The Christian church when it began proselytising in South America, followed the same practice. 50 Both clergy and laity in Reformation and post-Reformation Europe employed similar devices of continuity with sacred sites in nature, although the cultivation of continuity between
such a clear resource of traditional costumery. Medieval warriors distinguished themselves with heraldry, but they also disguised themselves, if kings, with duplication, an early response to the lethal or potentially lethal consequence of the extremes of identity distinction. Heraldry says who you are, uniform, like livery, says whom you serve. There have been times when senior clergy dressed not distinctively as clergy, but distinctively as rich and powerful members of a superior layer of the population. Uniforms are a feature of societies where identity is
blame them?’ (Bremner 2013).
On the Larzac Plateau, north-west of the Cévennes, the incomers have had an
even greater effect. In 1970 locals who publicly opposed plans to expand massively
a military camp there were joined by Maoists, anarchists, socialists, hippies, ecologists, revolutionaries, pacifists, intellectuals, and members of the Catholic clergy.
The years of ultimately successful protest led to many activists finally residing there,
and becoming a beacon of the antiglobalisation movement. The zone has today
achieved a quasi-mythical status throughout Europe