The Persistence of the Sacred: German Catholic Pilgrimage, 1832–1937
Available: August 2022© 2022
360 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in, 47 b&w illustrations, 3 b&w maps, 5 b&w tables
Not Yet Published
For millions of Catholic believers, pilgrimage has offered possible answers to the mysteries of sickness, life, and death. The Persistence of the Sacred explores the religious worldviews of Europeans who traveled to Trier and Aachen, two cities in western Germany, to view the sacred relics in their cathedrals.
The Persistence of the Sacred challenges the narrative of widespread secularization in Europe during the long nineteenth century and reveals that religious practices thrived well into the modern period. It shows both that men were more active in their faith than historians have realized and how clergy and pilgrims did not always agree about the meaning of relics. Drawing on private ephemeral and material sources including films, photographs, postcards, correspondence, and souvenirs, Skye Doney uncovers the enduring and diverse sacred worldview of German Catholics and argues that laity and clergy had very different perspectives on the meaning of the pilgrimage.
Recovering the history of Catholic pilgrimage, The Persistence of the Sacred aims to understand the relationship between relics and religiosity, between modernity and faith, and between humanity and God.
Select Dates in German Catholicism: 1813–1939
1. What They Practiced: Prayer, Songs, and Processions
2. Modern Miracles
3. The Sacred Economy
4. Rending Religiosity: Johannes Ronge and the 1840s Trier Controversy
5. Clerical Crossroads: Medical Verifiability of the Sacred
6. Historical Authenticity as Presence
Conclusion: Verifying Presence
Appendix 1: Selected Pilgrim Songs in Translation, 1839–1933
Appendix 2: Daily Pilgrim Totals in 1891
Appendix 3: Daily Pilgrim Totals in 1933
Appendix 4: Holy Coat Songs in Trier Hymnal, 1846–1955
Appendix 5: Pilgrimage Dates
Appendix 6: 1933 Trier Pilgrimage Sick Pilgrim Complaints
Appendix 7: 1867 Aachen Closing Ceremony Procession