The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe

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9780679442035: The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe

Toibin, a "collapsed" Catholic, offers an odyssey into his inner self as he reckons with the religious demons of his past. Here are the rituals, the pilgrimages, the shrines, the fanatics, the charlatans and the sincerely devout Toibin encountered on his journeys.

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About the Author:

Colm Toibin was born in Ireland in 1955. He is the author of five novels, most recently The Master which was shorlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize. His non-fiction includes Bad Blood, Homage to Barcelona and The Sign of the Cross. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. He lives in Dublin.

From Publishers Weekly:

Irish novelist Toibin (The Heather Blazing), a self-described "collapsed Catholic," evidently feels the tug of his semi-abandoned religion as he travels throughout Europe observing the variegated quality of Catholic practice and ritual. Like an investigative reporter, he explores the dramatically different observances of Holy Week, for example, in Poland, Spain and Italy. He demonstrates his own experience of the Catholic-Protestant divide in Belfast and Glasgow. We are privy to some cynicism about shrines and miracles at Lourdes (France) and Medjugorje (Croatia) and are enlightened by his assessment of nationalism-tinged Catholicism in post-Communist countries. More than a well-written travelogue punctuated with stops at pubs and taverns, this is also the journal of a personal quest for spiritual release, the finding of which the author describes to effect. An un-pious observer, Toibin is also a reflective recorder of the many faces of faith.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Toibin, Colm
Published by Pantheon (1995)
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