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Comparative Religion

Miracle Cures: Saints, Pilgrimage, and the Healing Powers of by Robert A. Scott

By Robert A. Scott

Iconic photographs of medieval pilgrims, similar to Chaucer’s making their arduous approach to Canterbury, conjure time while religion used to be the one shelter of the ailing and infirm, and millions traveled nice distances to wish for therapeutic. Why, then, in an age of complex biotechnology and drugs, do thousands nonetheless pass on pilgrimages? Why do trips to special non secular shrines—such as Lourdes, Compostela, Fátima, and Medjugorje—constitute an important undefined? In Miracle Cures, Robert A. Scott explores those provocative questions and reveals that pilgrimage keeps to supply solutions for plenty of. Its advantages can variety from a demonstrable development in well-being to accomplish restoration. utilizing examine in biomedical and behavioral technology, Scott examines debts of miracle therapies at medieval, early glossy, and modern shrines. He inquires into the ability of relics, apparitions, and the transformative nature of sacred travelling and shines new gentle at the roles trust, wish, and emotion can play in healing.

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Instead, it connotes clusters of memberships in different kinds of groups: households, neighborhoods, villages, parishes, guilds, and workshops, as well as counties, regions, and nationstates. 107 Religious belief and practice powerfully reinforced this sense of community. Early modern Christian communities centered on the parish and its teachings: belief in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, as well as the obligation of parishioners to confess their sins, take communion, and attend mass. ”108 Another historian writes: Life in the Middle Ages / 27 “Religious life for Medieval Christians was predominantly a communal experience.

Discussing the Chronica Majora, by Matthew Paris, which covers the years 1236–59, the historian Malcolm Barber comments: “No year passes . . without some comment on rain and floods, on drought, on wind and storms, on frost, hail and snow, on the state of the air and atmospheric disturbances, on the tides, on earthquakes . . [and] . . ”19 Another source, describing the years 1086–1348, speaks of the “precariousness of life, deriving . . ”20 Though few people seem to have actually starved to death, malnutrition was endemic.

This page intentionally left blank part one Appealing to Saints for Miracles This page intentionally left blank chapter one Life in the Middle Ages The German sociologist Max Weber once wrote: “The most elementary forms of behavior motivated by religious . . ”1 He identifies one of religion’s most important functions as offering the hope of protection and relief from suffering and distress. 5 This pithy phrase is accurate in many respects, but it obscures an important point. When we look back 3 4 / Appealing to Saints for Miracles on medieval times from the vantage point of the twenty-first century, we tend to focus on the things that we have that were lacking then: amenities, technologies, conveniences, public services, and civic institutions that most of us take completely for granted and consider essential to our existence.

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