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Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France (Oxford Ritual Studies)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the Award for Excellence in Religion: Analytical-Descriptive Studies from the American Academy of Religion

Anna Fedele offers a sensitive ethnography of alternative pilgrimages to French Catholic shrines dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork, she describes how pilgrims from Italy, Spain, Britain, and the United States interpret Catholic figures, symbols, and sites according to theories derived from the international Neopagan movement. Fedele pays particular attention to the pilgrims' life stories, rituals and reading. She examines how they devise their rituals, how anthropological literature has influenced them, and why this kind of spirituality is increasingly prevalent in the West. These pilgrims cultivate spirituality in interaction with each other and with textual sources: Jungian psychology, Goddess mythology, and "indigenous" traditions merge into a corpus of practices centered upon the worship of the Goddess and Mother Earth, and the sacralization of the reproductive cycle. Their rituals present a critique of Roman Catholicism and the medical establishment, and question contemporary discourse on gender.

Synopsis:

Anna Fedele offers a sensitive ethnography of alternative pilgrimages to French Catholic shrines dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork, she describes how pilgrims from Italy, Spain, Britain, and the United States interpret Catholic figures, symbols, and sites according to theories derived from the international Neopagan movement. Fedele pays particular attention to the pilgrims' life stories, rituals and reading. She examines how they devise their rituals, how anthropological literature has influenced them, and why this kind of spirituality is increasingly prevalent in the West. These pilgrims cultivate spirituality in interaction with each other and with textual sources: Jungian psychology, Goddess mythology, and "indigenous" traditions merge into a corpus of practices centered upon the worship of the Goddess and Mother Earth, and the sacralization of the reproductive cycle. Their rituals present a critique of Roman Catholicism and the medical establishment, and question contemporary discourse on gender.

About the Author

Anne Fedele is a research fellow at the Center for Research in Anthropology, Lisbon University Institute.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

INTRODUCTION

1. GOING TO SEE MARY MAGDALENE: STARTING OUT ON A PILGRIMAGE

2. THE LOST CONNECTION WITH THE FEMININE

3. THE SAINTE-BAUME AND ITS MANY LAYERS

4. PILGRIMS DEALING WITH THEIR CHRISTIAN BACKGROUNDS

5. CELEBRATING MENSTRUAL BLOOD

6. WOUNDED MAGDALENES

7. EMBRACING THE DARKNESS

8. ENDING THE PILGRIMAGE AND RETURNING HOME

CONCLUSION

REFERENCES

MAPS

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199898404
Author:
Fedele, Anna
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
Catholicism
Subject:
Religion & Theology | Symbol, Ritual & Practice
Subject:
Christianity - Catholicism
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
6.25 x 9.5 x 0.8 in 1.6 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General

Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France (Oxford Ritual Studies) New Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199898404 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Anna Fedele offers a sensitive ethnography of alternative pilgrimages to French Catholic shrines dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. Drawing on more than three years of fieldwork, she describes how pilgrims from Italy, Spain, Britain, and the United States interpret Catholic figures, symbols, and sites according to theories derived from the international Neopagan movement. Fedele pays particular attention to the pilgrims' life stories, rituals and reading. She examines how they devise their rituals, how anthropological literature has influenced them, and why this kind of spirituality is increasingly prevalent in the West. These pilgrims cultivate spirituality in interaction with each other and with textual sources: Jungian psychology, Goddess mythology, and "indigenous" traditions merge into a corpus of practices centered upon the worship of the Goddess and Mother Earth, and the sacralization of the reproductive cycle. Their rituals present a critique of Roman Catholicism and the medical establishment, and question contemporary discourse on gender.
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