Lourdes Body and Spirit in the Secular Age PDF/EPUB ´

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Lourdes Body and Spirit in the Secular Age An interesting socio political historical account to the famous Marian Shrine I did not give up on this though I was tempted now and then The narrative puts the happenings at Lourdes into the religious and political context of 19th century France and maybe that cast the net a bit wider than I had expected Sturdy and thorough yet it never crossed the threshold into an enjoyable read for me An in depth history of the world's most famous healing shrine traces the dramatic influence of Lourdes on the Catholic Church and its faith from Bernadette Soubirous's 1858 visions of the Virgin Mary to his evolution into an important pilgrimage site Reprint Ruth Harris started off as a sceptic about the miracles of Lourdes but she brings out the constancy of Bernadette's witness in the face of enormous pressure Harris describes the political and social context and brings out some disturbing links between Catholicism and anti semitismWell written and very informative An impressively thorough and unbiased work Okay so I had to read this for grad school but I was really moved by it Recommended for the formerly Catholic or those bemused by religious fervor in modern society I was specifically interested in the pre Christian folklore of the region especially in relation to the connection between existing animistic customs and fairiesThe second half of the book is uite dry but less of an interest to me This is a very interesting read for someone like myself who grew up Catholic and is now simultaneously interested in Catholic history and French history Harris does a really great job presenting information in a non biased way and presenting all sides of the story Ms Harris tells the story of the wonderous events in the small town of Lourdes and relates them to the history of France in the second half of the 19th Century Her approach is to tell the story of the events through the lives of the people involved To do so she uotes from letters and diaries as well as official records In order to write in such depth she must have read everything ever written during this period about Lourdes Between the Notes and the Bibliography at the end of the book is a three page Dramatis Personae listing all the major people associated with the shrine Not just for Catholics the book devotes many pages to the role of women in 19th Century France and will be of great interest to anyone wanting to know about women's rights in France It is also a must read for people interested in French social history She also looks into the relationaship of anti Semitism to the Catholic piety of the time People are never presented two dimensionally to represent the ideals or concepts they championed Ms Harris treats the people she writes about with respect and intelligence As for Bernadette's vision and the miracles she tells what is known and she knows a lot and the reactions they caused without taking a stand one way or the other herself Truly a great work of historical writing Harris also puts Lourdes in the context of French political history and notes how pilgrimages increased after France’s defeat in the Franco Prussian war of 1870 71 Now people came to the shrine not just to pray for themselves but for their nation as a whole The number of sick people making the pilgrimage increased once the trains began traveling to Lourdes The easier it was to make the journey the often people who were suffering physical pain decided to go See my full review here