Laying Catholicism's Foundation

Thomas A. Tweed

in America's Church

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199782987
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897384 | DOI:
Laying Catholicism's Foundation

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The story of the planning, fundraising, and construction of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a node in that consolidating transnational network, is a tale about how multiple motives propelled diverse Catholics to respond to local, national, and transnational influences as they enacted their devotion to the Virgin Mary through donation and—as soon as devotees could make out walls amid the scaffolding—through pilgrimage. This chapter tells that story, offering an overview that frames the subsequent chapters by answering four preliminary questions: What does the building look like? How did it get built? What did its promoters want? Who supported it by giving or going? It begins by attending to the building's appearance, its design and size, as well as the planners' understanding of religious architecture and the promoters' strategies for reaching supporters, both the Shrine's donors and users. It also considers why the clergy wanted to build it and how the laity responded.

Keywords: design; Catholics; Virgin Mary; devotion; pilgrimage

Chapter.  15420 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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