Our Lady of Emmitsburg, Visionary Culture, and Catholic Identity: Seeing and Believing

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9781498523554: Our Lady of Emmitsburg, Visionary Culture, and Catholic Identity: Seeing and Believing
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This ethnography explores the community of believers in a series of Marian apparitions in rural Emmitsburg, Maryland, asking what it means to call oneself a Catholic and child of Our Lady in this context, what it means to believe in an apparition, and what it means to communicate with divine presence on earth. Believers fashion themselves as devotees of Our Lady in several ways. Through autobiography, they look backward in time to see their lives as leading up to their participation in the prayer group or in some cases moving to Emmitsburg. By observing and telling miracle stories, they adopt an enchanted worldview in which the miraculous becomes everyday. Through relationships with Our Lady, their lives are enriched and even transformed. When they negotiate institutional loyalty and individual autonomy, they affirm their own authority and Catholic identity. Finally, through social media, they expand their devotional networks in ways that shift authority structures and empower individuals. Individuals engage beliefs, practices, and attitudes both arising from and resisting elements of modernity, religious pluralism and religious decline, empowerment and perceived disempowerment, tradition and innovation, and institutional loyalty and perceived disloyalty to reveal one way of understanding Catholic identity amidst the shifts and flows of modern change.

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About the Author:

Jill M. Krebs is academic programs coordinator at McDaniel College.

Review:

Krebs’s Our Lady of Emmitsburg, Visionary Culture, and Catholic Identity: Seeing and Believing is a thorough study of the Catholic community that surrounds Our Lady of Emmitsburg. With this book, Krebs contributes to scholarship on Marian devotion and contemporary Catholicism in the United States, as well as to an increasing interest in prayer practices among scholars of religion.... Throughout this text, Krebs works carefully to point out the many binaries collapsed by the people in her study: between enchantment and modernity, between miraculous and empirical, between pre- and post-Vatican II, and between popular and official religion. The pay-off of this attention to nuance is a rich portrait of an under-studied subculture in contemporary American Catholicism. (Reading Religion)

Our Lady of Emmitsburg is a rich ethnographic account of an apparitional movement surrounding the visions of Giana Talone Sullivan, a Marian seer from Emmitsburg, Maryland.... Our Lady of Emmitsburg is the definitive work on an important Marian apparition. It is also required reading for anyone doing work on Marian apparitions or lived religion approaches to daily experiences of the supernatural. But perhaps the most important contribution of this work is that it models how to do ethnography about beliefs and practices that people are not comfortable discussing. This sort of work is necessary if we are ever to have an accurate understanding of the religious landscape. (American Catholic Studies)

The book is supported by a strong methodological section discussing the suspension of disbelief and the role of outsider-insider Krebs herself assumed as an ethnographer.... Krebs’ book is an extremely valuable addition to the literature on Marian apparitions, and will be read with interest by both scholars of Catholicism and of contemporary religious movements. (Nova Religio: The Journal Of Alternative And Emergent Religions)

Our Lady of Emmitsburg is a lovingly crafted and well-written account of an extraordinary woman, her apparitions of the Virgin Mary, and their devotees. Jill Krebs is a scholar who takes her interlocutors seriously. She listens to them, engages with them, shares her own thoughts with them. This is a wonderful study that methodologically shows us what engaged, embodied, and reciprocal ethnography can be. Krebs offers us a compelling and very important book about people whose beliefs and faith are made palpable to the reader. I highly recommend it. (Kristy Nabhan-Warren, University of Iowa)

Our Lady of Emmitsburg is the most insightfully described and theoretically informed accounts of one of America’s premier Marian apparition sites. (David G. Bromley, founder and director, World Religions and Spirituality Project)

Our Lady of Emmitsburg will be an important book in the corpus of scholarship on Marian devotion in general and Marian apparitions in particular. [It is] well researched, well organized, and engagingly written... the real and lasting contribution of this book comes in the author’s elucidation of the visual culture of apparition devotees. (Sandra Zimdars-Swartz, University of Kansas)

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Book Description Lexington Books, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This ethnography explores the community of believers in a series of Marian apparitions in rural Emmitsburg, Maryland, asking what it means to call oneself a Catholic and child of Our Lady in this context, what it means to believe in an apparition, and what it means to communicate with divine presence on earth. Believers fashion themselves as devotees of Our Lady in several ways. Through autobiography, they look backward in time to see their lives as leading up to their participation in the prayer group or in some cases moving to Emmitsburg. By observing and telling miracle stories, they adopt an enchanted worldview in which the miraculous becomes everyday. Through relationships with Our Lady, their lives are enriched and even transformed. When they negotiate institutional loyalty and individual autonomy, they affirm their own authority and Catholic identity. Finally, through social media, they expand their devotional networks in ways that shift authority structures and empower individuals. Individuals engage beliefs, practices, and attitudes both arising from and resisting elements of modernity, religious pluralism and religious decline, empowerment and perceived disempowerment, tradition and innovation, and institutional loyalty and perceived disloyalty to reveal one way of understanding Catholic identity amidst the shifts and flows of modern change. Seller Inventory # BTE9781498523554

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