Chapter

“Going to See Mary Magdalene”

Anna Fedele

in Looking for Mary Magdalene

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199898404
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980130 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199898404.003.0001

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

“Going to See Mary Magdalene”

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This chapter introduces the three organized pilgrimage groups the author accompanied during her fieldwork: an Italian group led by Celso Bambi, an exclusively female group of Spanish and Catalans led by Dana and a group of Americans and British led by Roger Woolger. All three groups visited the most important sites related to Mary Magdalene’s supposed stay in Southern France: La Sainte-Baume, Sainte-Maximin-en-Provence and Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The life histories of the pilgrims and their leaders focus on their religious upbringing and the conversion from Catholicism to Neopagan and so-called New Age theories, with special attention to each participant’s decision to join the pilgrimage. The chapter lays out the main spiritual theories and practices used by the pilgrims and analyzes their strategies for spiritual discernment.

Keywords: France; life histories; La Sainte-Baume; Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer; Catholicism; conversion; Neopagan; New Age; discernment; Woolger

Chapter.  13771 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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