ABSTRACT

Since Late Antiquity, relics have provided a privileged spiritual bond between life and death, between human beings and divinity. Royalty, nobility and clergy all tried to obtain the most prestigious remains of sacred bodies, since they granted influence and fame and allowed the cult around them to be used as a means of sacralization, power and propaganda. This volume traces the development of the veneration of relics in Europe and how these objects were often catalysts for the establishment of major pilgrimage sites that are still in use today.  

The book features an international panel of contributors taking a wide-ranging look at relic worship across Europe, from Late Antiquity until the present day. They begin with a focus on the role of relics in Jacobean pilgrimage, before looking at the link between relics and their shrines more generally. The book then focuses in on two major issues in the study of relics, the stealing of relics (Furta Sacra) and their modern-day scientific examination and authentication. These topics demonstrate not only symbolic importance of relics, but also their role as physical historical objects in material religious expression.

This is a fascinating collection, featuring the latest scholarship on relics and pilgrimage across Europe. It will, therefore, be of great interested to academics working in Pilgrimage, Religious History, Material Religion and Religious Studies as well as Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Cultural Studies.

chapter |10 pages

Introduction

Relics, holiness, and devotion
ByAntón M. Pazos

chapter 1|28 pages

Relics as historical objects

Overview, methods, and prospects*
ByPhilippe George

part Part 1|89 pages

The relics of St James in Europe

chapter 2|22 pages

Relics and pilgrimages of St James the Greater in France

ByAdeline Rucquoi

chapter 3|15 pages

Keeping the Angevin peace

The hand of St James in England
BySimon Yarrow

chapter 4|14 pages

Roncesvalles as a reliquary on the way to Santiago*

ByJosé Andrés-Gallego, Mercedes Unzu, María Peréx, Carlos Zuza, Nicolás Zuazúa, María García-Barberena

chapter 5|17 pages

Visiting the Apostle Santiago

Pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela in the 16th to 19th centuries
ByOfelia Rey Castelao

part Part 2|50 pages

Furta sacra

chapter 7|15 pages

The theft of relics in the Middle Ages

Arguments, typology, and legitimacy*
ByEdina Bozoky

chapter 8|18 pages

Furta sacra in southern Italy in the Middle Ages

ByAmalia Galdi

chapter 9|15 pages

The Three Magi

Places of worship in Cologne Cathedral
ByKlaus Hardering

part Part 3|44 pages

The resilience of relics and shrines

chapter 10|22 pages

Mobile martyrs and forgotten shrines

The translation and domestication of relics in post-reformation England
ByAlexandra Walsham

chapter 11|20 pages

The life of dry bones

Pilgrimage to relic shrines in Soviet Russia
ByStella Rock

part Part 4|40 pages

Relics and science

chapter 12|22 pages

The relics of the True Cross

An interdisciplinary approach
ByGeorges Kazan, Thomas Higham

chapter 13|16 pages

The relics of St John in the monastery on the island of Sveti Ivan near Sozopol, Bulgaria

Archaeological and scientific research
ByKazimir Popkonstantinov, Rossina Kostova