This work attempts to explain how the small French town of Lourdes became the greatest of all Christian healing shrines despite unpromising beginnings, prospering in an age supposedly given over to secularism, growing as attendance at church fell, and continually expanding in the midst of official onslaughts on the position of the Church. The book offers an inter-disciplinary examination of this episode in French history, from mass travel and the burgeoning pilgrimage movement, to the cultural and spiritual traditions of mid-19th-century France, and the central position of women in the spiritual movement.
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A magisterial history of the world's greatest Catholic healing shrine and the remarkable devotion it inspires
In 1858, near the tiny French town of Lourdes, a young peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous witnessed the Virgin Mary in a grotto. Since then, every year millions of pilgrims from all over the world have traveled there to take part in the procession to a shrine whose waters have made it a synonym for healing. Historian Ruth Harris traces this shrine's incredible development, placing Lourdes at the center of nineteenth-century debates on religion, science, and medicine -- debates that continue today. She examines the pivotal role of women and children as visionaries, devotees, and advocates, and addresses issues of mysticism and nonorthodox faith that speak to our own era of spirituality. Above all, she explores how, at a moment in French history when the Catholic Church was under attack, this place of pilgrimage improbably prospered.About the Author:
Ruth Harris is Fellow and tutor in modern history at New College, Oxford.
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Descrizione libro Penguin UK, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0140263276
Descrizione libro Penguin UK, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 140263276