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Cultures in Conflict

Religion, History and Gender in Northern Europe c. 1800–2000

by Alexander Maurits (Volume editor) Johannes Ljungberg (Volume editor) Erik Sidenvall (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 220 Pages

Table Of Content


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Foreword

The aim of this volume is to offer an overview of the main conflict areas in modern Western societies where religion is a central element, ranging from popular movements and narratives of opposition to challenges of religious satire and anticlerical critique. Special attention is paid to political struggles and gender troubles. With this theme, we want to provide an applicable and elaborate compilation on religious conflict areas in modern European religious history.

We are grateful that a number of esteemed colleagues and friends from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Sweden have agreed to contribute to this volume. This has enabled us to draw together a volume characterised by exceptional research and the thorough knowledge of its contributors. The chapters in this volume analyse historical conflicts and conflicts within the field of historiography from various perspectives. Particular emphasis is placed on the impact of religious conflicts on various political struggles and vice versa. Themes covered include anti-Catholicism, gender, popular piety and memory. Chronologically, the chapters cover the period from c. 1650 until the present day. Dealing with different periods and different geographical locations within Northern Europe, this volume reaches over a variety of confessional contexts, thus reflecting the religious plurality in Western Europe.

In addition to the contributing authors, we are indebted to the editorial team at Peter Lang for all their efforts, especially Commissioning Editor Ute Winkelkötter. Finally, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Gunvor and Josef Anér Foundation, the Hilda and Håkan Theodor Ohlsson Foundation, the Pleijel Fund, and the Lund University Book Fund for financially supporting the publication of this book.

Johannes Ljungberg, Alexander Maurits & Erik Sidenvall
Copenhagen, Lund & Växjö
April 2021

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About the Authors

OLAF BLASCHKE is professor of history at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. He has published several works on Catholicism in Modern Germany, launching a contested theory on the long nineteenth century (1830–1960) as a ‘second confessional age’. Most seminal is his dissertation on Catholicism and anti-Semitism (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 1997). Recently he has published Die Kirchen und der Nationalsozialismus (Reclam 2014, 2. edition: bpb, Bonn 2019) and together with Francisco Javier Ramón Solans Weltreligion im Umbruch: Transnationale Perspektiven auf das Christentum in der Globalisierung (Campus 2019).

ANDERS JARLERT is senior professor of church history at Lund University and director of the Archives of Ecclesiastical History at Lund University. He has published numerous books and articles on early modern and modern church history, among them Piety and Modernity: The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Northern Europe, 1780–1920 (Leuven University Press, 2012). He is the editor of Kyrkohistorisk årsskrift [Swedish Yearbook of Church History], a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, and the president of the Commission Internationale d’Histoire et d’Études du Christianisme (CIHEC).

INGER LITTBERGER CAISOU-ROUSSEAU is a reader in literary history. Her publications include Ulla Isakssons romankonst [The Fiction of Ulla Isaksson] (1996), Omvändelser: Nedslag i svenska romaner under hundra år [Conversions: One Hundred Years of Swedish Novels] (2004) and Över alla gränser: Manlighet och kristen (o)tro hos Almqvist, Strindberg och Lagerlöf [Breaching the Boundaries: Masculinity and Christian (Un-)belief in Almqvist, Strindberg and Lagerlöf] (2012).

JOHANNES LJUNGBERG is a postdoc in history at the Centre for Privacy Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He received his doctorate at Lund University with his dissertation Toleransens gränser: Religionspolitiska dilemman i det tidiga 1700-talets Sverige och Europa [The Limits of Toleration: Swedish Pietist conflicts in a European perspective c. 1700–1730]. For his postdoctoral research, Ljungberg is funded by the Danish National Research Foundation within a major research program exploring notions of privacy and the private in eleven cities of early modern Europe. Ljungberg is a part of the interdisciplinary case teams working with Helmstedt and Altona.

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ALEXANDER MAURITS is a senior lecturer in church history at Lund University. In his research, Maurits has primarily dealt with the role of the churches in Western and Northern Europe, especially the Church of Sweden, modernity and gender. He is one of the editors of Kyrkan och idrotten under 2000 år: Antika, medeltida och moderna attityder till idrott [Church and Sports over 2000 years: Antique, Medieval, and Modern Approaches to Sport] (Universus Academic Press 2015) and Classics in Northern European Church History over 500 Years (Peter Lang Verlag 2017).

HUGH MCLEOD is a professor emeritus of church history at the University of Birmingham and the former president of Commission Internationale d’Histoire et d’Études du Christianisme (CHIEC). In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate at Lund University. His research mainly investigates the social history of religion in Western Europe, not least the topic of secularisation. Among his publications are The Religious Crisis of the 1960s (Oxford University Press 2007). He was editor of World Christianities c. 1914–c. 2000 (Cambridge University Press 2006).

FRANZISKA METZGER is professor of history at the University of Teacher Education Lucerne, and since 2011 chief editor of Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Religions-und Kulturgeschichte. She has published extensively on memory culture in relation to politics, religion and culture in the nineteenth century. Her publications include Religion, Geschichte, Nation: Katolische Geschichtsschreibung in der Schweiz im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Kohlhammer 2010), as well as the co-edited volumes Ausdehnung der Zeit: Die Gestaltung von Erinnerungsräumen in Geschichte, Literatur und Kunst, ed. with Dimiter Daphinoff (Böhlau Verlag 2019) and Sacred Heart Devotion: Memory, Body, Image, Text -Continuities and Discontinuities, ed. with Stefan Tertünte (Böhlau Verlag 2021).

DENNIS MEYHOFF BRINK is an adjunct professor at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) in Copenhagen. In his research, Brink investigates the themes, tropes and devices of religious satire in modern Europe. Among his publications are ‘Affective atmospheres in the House of Usher’ in Journal of the Short Story in English (2016), ‘Fearing Religious Satire: Religious Censorship and Satirical Counter-Attacks’ in Comics and Power (Cambridge Scholars Press 2015), and Løgn og Latin: Spot, spe og religionssatire 1500–1900 (Storm P. Museet 2014).

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ERIK SIDENVALL is adjunct professor of church history at Lund University, where he also received his doctorate in 2002 with his dissertation Change and Identity: Protestant English Interpretations of John Henry Newman’s Secession, 1845–1864. In his research, Sidenvall analyses gender in religion and confessional identities. His publications include After Anti-Catholicism? John Henry Newman and Protestant Britain, 1845–c. 1890 (T&T Clark 2005) and The Making of Manhood among Swedish Missionaries in China and Mongolia, c. 1890–c. 1914 (Brill 2009).

TINE VAN OSSELAER is research professor in the history of spirituality, devotion and mysticism at the Ruusbroec Institute of the University of Antwerp. Among her publications are The pious sex: Catholic constructions of masculinity and femininity in Belgium, c. 1800–1940 (Leuven University Press 2013) and Christian homes: Religion, family and domesticity in the 19th and 20th centuries (Leuven University Press 2014). She was the principal investigator of ‘Between saints and celebrities. The devotion and promotion of stigmatics in Europe, c. 1800–1950’, a project financed by the European Research Council.

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Johannes Ljungberg, Alexander Maurits & Erik Sidenvall

Interconnected Conflicts: Religion,
History, and Gender

Conflicts are often the given starting-point in historical research. Sources of various kinds, to be interpreted and contextualised by the present-day scholar, not infrequently emerge from within conflicts. The memory of past clashes − social, political or ideological − are often kept alive within any given society for an extended period of time, a fact which adds both urgency and a surprising complexity to the study of conflicts in history.

Since the Second World War, the international community of historians have increasingly adopted an overall interpretative framework inspired by Marxist theory. Conflicts are understood to be adjacent to, and a necessary ingredient of, social change. However fruitful such a perspective has proven to be, it has tended to direct the scholarly gaze towards particular kinds of conflicts while leaving others aside. Given the alignment of conflicts and social change, research inspired by Marxist theory of conflict has tended to focus on contests on a collective, societal level.

Within the field of religious history, studies inspired by a Marxist understanding of conflict have given valuable insights into the role of churches and other religious organisations in aiding or opposing movements of change and liberation. Some scholars, most notably E.P. Thompson,1 have also seen religion as a major explicatory force. Yet the overall impact of Marxist theory has been to downplay the role of religion in understanding social change. This tendency has been most clearly seen in studies dealing with the so-called modern era.

In recent years, however, there has been a renewed interest in studying religion as a major cultural force and the origin of identity formation. This tendency is notable even in the studies dealing with supposedly ‘secular’ societies. Even though this gradual shift of attention cannot solely be explained by recent political events, the wars in former Yugoslavia, the terrorist attack of 9/11, the rise and fall of ISIS, and its tragic aftermath, have further underscored the need not to leave religion altogether out of the equation.

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Indeed, from a variety of perspectives religion is a tangible factor in many conflicts. We need only think of issues associated with freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Such conflicts often highlight the relationship between minority religious groups and majority culture (both secular and religious). We can also see how controversy follows in the wake of popular religious movements, often advancing notions that run counter to what is understood as dominating values of society. The role of religion also becomes visible when we consider the encounter between various identity constructs in both past and present societies. Clashes between such formative expressions can be seen in virtually every part of the globe. Far from being a mere remnant of the past, religion has shaped, for better and for worse, our ways of understanding ourselves and the society we live in. To a considerable extent we find religion at the very roots of our mindset.

With increasing recognition of how religion has contributed (and still contributes) towards the shaping of modern societies, the need to understand the ways in which churches, or other religious organisations, interact with society at large has gained a renewed sense of urgency. Focusing on Europe, we see clearly how the rise of industrialism, nationalism, secularism, liberalism and democracy triggered complex and radical reactions within the dominating churches, a majority of which were moulded to suit the needs and desires of an ancien régime. On the part of the churches alternative strategies had to be explored and developed in order to find a suitable place within rapidly changing societies. These responses by the churches had both profound cultural and political repercussions.

An increasing number of historians have focused on how escalating inter-confessional rivalry and an often heightened sense of contention between religious and supposedly secular values became a feature of modern Europe. Contention and opposition can be seen as integral parts of a peculiar understanding of society according to which divisions along confessional and/or denominational lines were seen as lying at the root of the social order. These conflicts can sometimes be understood within a paradigm infused with Marxist theoretical thinking; at other times such a framework tricks the contemporary scholar to leave certain peculiarities aside. With the inevitable idiosyncrasies of an edited volume, this book hopes to shed new light on a period during which religious strife and contention were not only seen as unwanted remnants of a trouble past, but as central expressions of identity and way of life.

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Catholic – Protestant – Secular: Interconnected Conflicts

Anti-Catholicism, nationalism and secularism belong to the interconnected conflicts treated in this volume. As a consequence of the internecine religious controversies that arose during the era of Reformation and the subsequent religious wars that were to haunt the European continent until the first half of the seventeenth century, aggression and a widespread suspicion towards the Roman Catholic church came to be dominating features among the Protestant nations. Such notions were often sharpened by the fierce condemnations of all brands of Protestantism issued by the Catholic hierarchy; fears of Catholic coups d’état triggered even more violent responses on the part of Protestant political elites. In countries such as Denmark, Sweden and England, anti-Catholicism was to be an integral part of nascent early-modern national sentiment. In these countries Catholics were often seen as alien elements threatening the fabric of society. Legal measures were put in place that severely restricted Catholic faith and practice within Protestant domains; to secede from Protestant national religion and to enter the Roman Catholic Church was an act that seemed similar to treason. Among the clergy, an anti-Catholic attitude was seen as a vital part of the Protestant creed. Sermons became a vehicle for the propagation of anti-Catholicism among the people at large. To a considerable extent, the fear of Catholicism often to be found among both political and ecclesiastical elites was echoed among the lower ranks of society, even though a later strand of research has demonstrated how fierce rhetoric did not exclude a peaceful inter-confessional coexistence on a day-to-day basis.2

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In predominantly Protestant countries enlightenment ideas of religious toleration and of natural law led to a gradual mitigation of rather severe religious legislation during the eighteenth century.3 The vision of the Catholic foe gradually receded into the background and, especially after the tumultuous events of 1789, new enemy images emerged. When it came to new measures of social outreach a new spirit of inter-Christian collaboration became visible in many religiously divided regions of Europe. Yet, increased religious toleration and further political reforms during the first half of the nineteenth century triggered conservative reactions. Measures that seemed to compromise the Protestant nature of society were often met with verbally ferocious expressions of ‘no Popery’. The rise of Roman Catholic triumphalism in the form of Ultramontanism only added to the ire of Protestant publics.

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To be sure liberal-minded reformers themselves were not immune to the lure of anti-Catholicism. For them Catholicism often seemed to be a symbol of the bigoted, hierarchical society they struggled to overcome. However, the luring dangers of Catholicism were not only to be found within the Papal Church. Even in countries of a manifest Protestant character, anti-Catholicism easily turned into a hostile attitude to everything associated with clerical, ‘priestly’, powers. Hence there are links between anti-clericalism and anti-Catholicism. For example, British anti-clericalism, originating from within the mental universe of Protestant dissent, could offer a scathing criticism of the tenets and position of the established Church.4 In contrast, in countries with a strong Catholic presence the struggle for a secular constitution often became imbibed with expressions of anti-clericalism and bitter opposition towards the power of the Roman Church. In France this resulted in the long-lasting conflict between two markedly different visions of society: secular republicanism and royalist Catholicism. In the end a radical separation of church and state ensued. The ideal of laïcité has been in the forefront of French religious politics since the Third Republic.5 Another well-known example of a similar kind of confrontation is to be found in the German Reich of Otto von Bismarck (1815–1898). Measures imposed to reduce the influence of the Roman Catholic Church within the recently unified German nation, especially during the pontificate of Pius IX (1792−1878), are still known under the heading Kulturkampf.6 In the Netherlands the opposition between Protestants and Catholics (and indeed the more liberal-minded) resulted in the emergence of separate, parallel, societies divided along politico-religious lines, so-called pillarisation (verzuiling).7 Inspired by scholars like Urs Altermatt, Karl Gabriel and Olaf Blaschke,8 Swedish historian Yvonne Maria Werner has adopted and further developed the concept of counter-culture to understand the position of above all the Roman Catholic Church within Nordic societies. In her research, Werner has successfully applied this concept to analyse the situation of growing, albeit marginalised, Roman Catholic communities in the Scandinavian countries.9 In her research she dealt with both a religiously motivated female counter-culture as well as so-called processes of ‘re-masculinisation’, in relation to nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century confessionalisation.10

Yet there were groups of people who did not easily fit into such a polarised framework or suffered severely from the antagonism that lay at its root. Anders Jarlert looks to the east of Europe in his chapter included in this book. The fate of the Masurian Lutherans in eastern Poland belong to the tragedies of modern Europe. This chapter monitors the various, and often contradictory, attempts to transform a group that many times escaped attempts at cultural and political classification.

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In spite of attempts to mobilise popular hostility towards the Roman Church, or to resort to images of a lurking Catholic danger, there is ample evidence to suggest that anti-Catholicism was receding or losing some of its former strength during the last decades of the nineteenth century. The secularisation of politics in most formerly Protestant nations rendered the language of anti-Catholicism increasingly out of date. Twentieth-century Christian ecumenism together with the more open accepting attitude that was demonstrated during Vatican II (1962−1965) effectively made formerly accepted expressions of inter-church vitriol seem like the slightly embarrassing remnants of a troubled ecclesiastical past. This is not to say that all expressions of anti-Catholicism have vanished, or have been relocated to a Protestant lunatic fringe. In the political landscape of today other fundamental divisions, lacking clear denominational connotations and divisions (such as those illustrated by the GAL-TAN scale), seem to be more relevant when trying to grasp underlying conflicts. Yet, anti-Catholic sentiment has a tendency to lay dormant in formerly Protestant nations. The election of John F. Kennedy (1917−1963) to the U.S. presidency was probably not the last occasion when anti-Catholic rhetoric was heard in public in a, so-called, Western country once again. With the rise and subsequent global dissemination of a militant conservative Evangelicalism, anti-Catholicism may once again reappear as a political force to be reckoned with.11 Hugh McLeod’s contribution to this volume gives another testimony to the continued importance of religious/religious-secular conflicts. He argues that there are repercussions of religious conflicts still visible within the field of historiography. His chapter offers a historiographical overview of recent research addressing the relationship between religion and the rise of modern sports. Historians have tended to put forward contradictory lines of argument when trying to explain their many times complex relationship. His analysis of this field of research reveals how the interpretation and evaluation of historical events is often influenced by the historian’s political or religious convictions.

Historiographical Perspectives

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Protestant anti-Catholicism constitutes in itself a vast field of research. We will here offer some national perspectives. For an overview of the secular-Catholic conflicts in nineteenth-century Europe a collected volume, edited by Christopher Clark and Wolfram Kaiser, remains the authoritative guide.12 Studies of British anti-Catholicism have been produced since the late 1960. The works of E.R. Norman, D.G. Paz, John Wolffe, Colin Haydon, Walter Ralls, C.Z. Wiener, Erik Sidenvall and others have revealed the varied nature of British anti-Catholicism.13 Even though British anti-Catholicism took various cultural expressions (in art, literature and popular festivities), present-day research tends to emphasise its importance in periods of political uncertainty. It is also evident that anti-Catholicism rose to the surface during times of perceived Roman Catholic ‘advances’. The political scene of what was to become Germany was of course radically different when compared to Britain, and hence anti-Catholicism came to have different subtexts. In particular the Kulturkampf of the Bismarck era has remained a particularly elusive phenomenon with different and overlapping meanings. Valuable studies are found in the works of, for example, Michael B. Gross, Olaf Blaschke, Claudia Lepp and Helmut Walser Smith.14 When it comes to the solidly Lutheran Nordic countries, studies of anti-Catholicism have been relatively sparse. Above-mentioned Swedish historian Yvonne Maria Werner has explored the nature of Nordic anti-Catholicism in a number of articles, thereby adding to our knowledge of the intersection between Protestant identity and nationalism.15

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Scholars dealing with the Kulturkampf have also mapped out transnational processes of anti-Catholicism, anti-clericalism and secularism across the European continent. Manuel Borutta and Lisa Dittrich offer comparisons and transnational studies involving Bismarckian Germany and states with a predominantly Catholic population –France, Spain and Italy. Borutta focuses our attention on how papal power became an international anti-symbol of modernity and paved the way for a discursive narrative of secularisation. Dittrich demonstrates how Vatican I (1869–1870), together with peculiar scandals in the Vatican, triggered a circulation of anti-clerical motives and images across national borders and fostered a largely shared European perception of anti-clericalism.16 In his contribution to this volume, Dennis Meyhoff Brink discusses in a similar way how anti-clerical satire, from the age of reformations to the nineteenth century, was connected to a discourse on citizenship. Such issues have a direct bearing on current conflicts evolving around the legitimate use of satire in European society.

Anti-Catholicism was also related to the dynamics and extension of popular Catholicism. Olaf Blaschke and Tine Van Osselaer have contributed with several studies, including their contributions to this volume, on the popular movements that took form around pilgrimages and new saints in mid-nineteenth-century Europe. These movements contributed to the coordination and homogeni-sation of Catholic believers that seemed to confirm the opinions and fears of their opponents.17 As Blaschke mentions in his contribution to this volume, Ultramontanism was first formulated as a pejorative term, but was from the mid-nineteenth century proudly employed by Catholics belonging to these popular movements. As Van Osselaer shows, these collective movements, seemingly contradictory, often managed to connect to the then current focus within Catholicism on subjective and emotional experiences, for example, though the cult of the Sacred Heart, within Eucharistic piety and as demonstrated in popular visits to stigmatics. Just as was the case with secular movements, they were transmitted and propelled across national borders by new media. A reflection of this devotional universe is found in Alexander Maurits’ contribution to this volume. In the Protestant tradition, the trade and commerce that surrounded different aspects of Catholic spirituality was regarded as something obnoxiously alien. In Lutheran Sweden the criticism of these aspects of Catholicism became an essential component of anti-Catholic rhetoric during the final decades of the nineteenth century. To Swedish Lutheran theologians such aspects of Catholic spirituality were regarded as superstitious and as ways for the Catholic clergy to deceive ordinary people.

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A gender perspective adds dimensions to our understanding of both devotional practices and the religious strife of modern Europe. Gendered language permeated the religious conflicts of the era. As is often the case, gendered language provides the means to rehearse, allocate and negotiate notions of power within any given society. As has been demonstrated by several of the scholars involved in the project Christian Masculinity –a paradox of modernity?, headed by Yvonne Maria Werner, to defend one’s faith was seen as an expression of ‘masculinity’; opponents, on the other hand, were portrayed as ‘feminine’. This overall pattern was repeated with endless variations. For example, towards the end of the nineteenth century notions of Swedish Lutheran masculinity were strongly associated with the act of overcoming religious/philosophical doubt and uncertainty. Men who withstood such a test were able to recast themselves in the form of a religious hyper-masculinity.18 Yet, the period also knew various expressions of ‘gender-bendering’; religion could provide the means with which boundaries of sex and of gender could be challenged and transgressed, temporarily or more long-lastingly. Van Osselaer’s chapter in this volume points at the alleged ‘gender shift’ that has often been linked to the stigmatic’s imitation of the body of the suffering Christ. The theme of going beyond traditional notions of gender returns in Inger Littberger Caisou-Rousseau’s study of nineteenth-century Swedish artist Therese Andreas Bruce (1808–1885).

During the past 200 years, motives deriving from Christianity have transformed into non-religious discourses through sacralisation of language, ritual practices and narrative plots. In the last contribution to the volume, Franziska Metzger demonstrates how discourses of apocalyptic memory were expressed in times of crises during the nineteenth century in art and popular novels. Chronological continuity, teleological narratives and synchronisation of different historical times were constructed on the basis of widely recognisable examples. Metzger’s contribution encapsulates something essential for this volume.

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In order to improve our understanding of topical issues relating to freedom of expression, nationalism, revivalism, gender issues and various anti-movements, it is clarifying to study their historical roots in the often interconnected conflicts. This is not least essential in a historical time that still seems to be governed by continuously accelerating change, but nevertheless is built on the historical experience of generations.

Sources

Altermatt, Urs, Katholizismus und Moderne. Zur Social-und Mentalitätsgeschichte der Schweizer Katholiken im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Zürich 1989.

Aston, Nigel & Matthew Cragoe (eds), Anticlericalism in Britain: c. 1500–1914, Sutton 2000.

Blaschke, Olaf (ed.), Konfessionen im Konflikt. Deutschland zwischen 1800 und 1970: ein zweites konfessionelles Zeitalter, Göttingen 2002.

Blom, J.C.H. & J. Talsma (eds), De verzuiling voorbij. Godsdienst, stand en natie in de lange negentiende eeuw, Amsterdam 2000.

Borutta, Manuel, Antikatholizismus: Deutschland und Italien im Zeitalter der europäischen Kulturkämpfe, Göttingen 2010.

Champion, J.A.I., The Pillars of Priestcraft Shaken: The Church of England and Its Enemies, 1660–1730, Cambridge 1992.

Clark, Christopher & Wolfram Kaiser (eds), Culture Wars: Secular−Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Cambridge 2003.

Dittrich, Lisa, Antiklerikalismus in Europa: Öffentlichkeit und Säkularisierung in Frankreich, Spanien und Deutschland (1848–1914), Göttingen 2014.

Gabriel, Karl, Christentum zwischen Tradition und Postmoderne, Freiburg 1994.

Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm & Klaus Große Kracht (eds), Religion und Gesellschaft: Europa im 20. Jahrhundert, Köln 2007.

Gross, Michael B., The War Against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Germany, Ann Arbor 2004.

Haydon, Colin, Anti-Catholicism in Eighteenth-Century England, c. 1714−80: A Political and Social Study, Manchester 1993.

Jenkins, Philip, The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice, New York 2003.

Kaplan, Benjamin J., Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge, MA, 2007.

Lepp, Claudia, Protestantisch-liberaler Aufbruch in die Moderne: Der deutsche Protestantenverein in der Zeit der Reichsgründung und des Kulturkampfes, Gütersloh 1996.

Modéer, Kjell Å. & Helle Vogt (eds), Law and the Christian tradition in Scandinavia: The Writings of Great Nordic Jurists, London 2021.

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Norman, Edward Robert, Anti-Catholicism in Victorian England, London 1968.

Paz, Dennis G., Popular Anti-Catholicism in Mid-Victorian England, Stanford, CA, 1992.

Poulat, Emile, Liberté, laïcité: la guerre des deux Frances et la principe de la modernité, Paris 1987.

Ralls, Walter, ‘The Papal Aggression of 1850: A Study in Victorian Anti-Catholicism’, Church History 43:2 (1974), pp. 242–256.

Sidenvall, Erik, After anti-Catholicism?: John Henry Newman and Protestant Britain, 1845−c. 1890, London 2005.

Smith, Helmut Walser (ed.), Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in Germany, 1800−1914, Oxford 2001.

Thompson, E.P, The Making of the English Working Class, New York 1964.

Tjeder, David, ‘Crises of Faith and the Making of Christian Masculinities at the Turn of the Twentieth Century’, in Yvonne Maria Werner (ed.), Christian Masculinity: Men and Religion in Northern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Leuven 2011, pp. 127–145.

Van Osselaer, Tine, The Pious Sex: Catholic Constructions of Masculinity and Femininity in Belgium, c. 1800−1940, Leuven 2013.

Van Osselaer, Tine, ‘Reform of Piety in the Southern Netherlands/Belgium’, in Anders Jarlert (ed.), Piety and Modernity: The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Northern Europe 1780−1920, Leuven 2012.

Werner, Yvonne Maria, ‘Between Secularization and Milieu Catholicism: Danish Converts and Scandinavian Catholicism in a Comparative Perspective’, in Ulf Görman (ed.), Towards a New Understanding of Conversion, Lund 1999.

Werner, Yvonne Maria, ‘ “The Catholic Danger”: The Changing Patterns of Swedish Anti-Catholicism 1850−1965’, in Yvonne Maria Werner & Jonas Harvard (eds), European Anti-Catholicism, pp. 135−148.

Werner, Yvonne Maria (ed.), Christian Masculinity: Men and Religion in Northern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Leuven 2011.

Werner, Yvonne Maria & Jonas Harvard (eds), European Anti-Catholicism in a Comparative and Transnational Perspective, Amsterdam & New York 2013.

Werner, Yvonne Maria, Kvinnlig motkultur och katolsk mission: Sankt Josefsystrarna i Danmark och Sverige 1856–1936, Stockholm 2002.

Werner, Yvonne Maria, Katolsk manlighet: det antimoderna alternativet –katolska missionärer och lekmän i Skandinavien, Göteborg 2014.

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Werner, Yvonne Maria, ‘Liberal Theology and Anti-Catholicism in Sweden’, in John Wolffe (ed.), Protestant-Catholic Conflict from the Reformation to the 21st Century: The Dynamics of Religious Difference, Basingstoke 2013, pp. 226−254.

Werner, Yvonne Maria, Världsvid men främmande: den katolska kyrkan i Sverige 1873–1929, Uppsala 1996.

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1E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, New York 1964.

2For a useful introduction, see Benjamin J. Kaplan, Divided by Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge, MA, 2007, pp. 15−124.

3Kjell Å. Modéer & Helle Vogt (eds), Law and the Christian Tradition in Scandinavia: The Writings of Great Nordic Jurists, London 2021.

4Nigel Aston & Matthew Cragoe (eds), Anticlericalism in Britain: c. 1500–1914, Sutton 2000; J.A.I. Champion, The Pillars of Priestcraft Shaken: The Church of England and Its Enemies, 1660–1730, Cambridge 1992.

5See Emile Poulat, Liberté, laïcité: la guerre des deux Frances et la principe de la modernité, Paris 1987.

6See Michael B. Gross, The War Against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Germany, Ann Arbor 2004.

7See J.C.H. Blom & J. Talsma (eds), De verzuiling voorbij: Godsdienst, stand en natie in de lange negentiende eeuw, Amsterdam 2000.

8Urs Altermatt, Katholizismus und Moderne: Zur Social-und Mentalitätsgeschichte der Schweizer Katholiken im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Zürich 1989; Karl Gabriel, Christentum zwischen Tradition und Postmoderne, Freiburg 1994, pp. 127−202; Olaf Blaschke (ed.), Konfessionen im Konflikt. Deutschland zwischen 1800 und 1970: ein zweites konfessionelles Zeitalter, Göttingen 2002.

9Yvonne Maria Werner, Världsvid men främmande: den katolska kyrkan i Sverige 1873–1929, Uppsala 1996.

10Yvonne Maria Werner, Kvinnlig motkultur och katolsk mission: Sankt Josefsystrarna i Danmark och Sverige 1856–1936, Stockholm 2002, pp. 9−17; Yvonne Maria Werner, ‘Between Secularization and Milieu Catholicism: Danish Converts and Scandinavian Catholicism in a Comparative Perspective’, in Ulf Görman (ed.), Towards a New Understanding of Conversion, Lund 1999; Yvonne Maria Werner, Katolsk manlighet: det antimoderna alternativet –katolska missionärer och lekmän i Skandinavien, Göteborg 2014; Yvonne Maria Werner (ed.), Christian Masculinity: Men and Religion in Northern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Leuven 2011.

11Philip Jenkins, The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice, New York 2003.

12Christopher Clark & Wolfram Kaiser (eds), Culture Wars: Secular−Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Cambridge 2003.

13Edward Robert Norman, Anti-Catholicism in Victorian England, London 1968; Dennis G. Paz, Popular Anti-Catholicism in Mid-Victorian England, Stanford, CA, 1992; John Wolffe, The Protestant Crusade in Great Britain, 1829−1860, Oxford 1991; Colin Haydon, Anti-Catholicism in Eighteenth-Century England, c. 1714−80: A Political and Social Study, Manchester 1993; Walter Ralls, ‘The Papal Aggression of 1850: A Study in Victorian Anti-Catholicism’, Church History 43:2 (1974), pp. 242–256; Carol Z. Wiener, ‘The Beleaguered Isle. A Study of Elizabethan and Early Jacobean Anti-Catholicism’, Past & Present 51 (1971), pp. 27–62; Erik Sidenvall, After anti-Catholicism?: John Henry Newman and Protestant Britain, 1845–c. 1890, London 2005.

14Gross 2004; Blaschke 2002; Claudia Lepp, Protestantisch-liberaler Aufbruch in die Moderne: Der deutsche Protestantenverein in der Zeit der Reichsgründung und des Kulturkampfes, Gütersloh 1996; Helmut Walser Smith (ed.), Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in Germany, 1800−1914, Oxford 2001.

15Yvonne Maria Werner, ‘Liberal theology and anti-Catholicism in Sweden’, in John Wolffe (ed.), Protestant-Catholic Conflict from the Reformation to the 21st Century: The Dynamics of Religious Difference, Basingstoke 2013, pp. 226−254; Yvonne Maria Werner, ‘ “The Catholic Danger”: The Changing Patterns of Swedish Anti-Catholicism 1850−1965’, in Yvonne Maria Werner & Jonas Harvard (eds), European Anti-Catholicism in a Comparative and Transnational Perspective, Amsterdam & New York 2013.

16Manuel Borutta, Antikatholizismus: Deutschland und Italien im Zeitalter der europäischen Kulturkämpfe, Göttingen 2010; Lisa Dittrich, Antiklerikalismus in Europa: Öffentlichkeit und Säkularisierung in Frankreich, Spanien und Deutschland (1848–1914), Göttingen 2014.

17Blaschke 2002; Tine Van Osselaer, The Pious Sex: Catholic Constructions of Masculinity and Femininity in Belgium, c. 1800−1940, Leuven 2013; Tine Van Osselaer, ‘Reform of Piety in the Southern Netherlands/Belgium’, in Anders Jarlert (ed.), Piety and Modernity: The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Northern Europe 1780−1920, Leuven 2012.

18David Tjeder, ‘Crises of Faith and the Making of Christian Masculinities at the Turn of the Twentieth Century’, in Yvonne Maria Werner (ed.), Christian Masculinity: Men and Religion in Northern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Leuven 2011, pp. 127–145.

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Olaf Blaschke

Types of Pilgrimages in Germany between Early and High-Ultramontanism: The Examples of Trier (1844) and Marpingen (1876)

Abstract: Ultramontanism had a gradual, transforming, impact on Catholicism during the nineteenth century. This article traces its influence through an in-depth study of its multiform impact on pilgrimages. It is argued that ultramontanism contributed to an increasing control of the devout masses, but also that its shifting political ambitions altered the character of pilgrimages.

Introduction

For the debates about the ultramontanization of Catholicism in the course of the nineteenth century the contrast of an early example of pilgrimages and a later case during the heyday of ultramontanism can be revealing. Though similar in social and gender aspects there are differences on the level of organization, inherent ultramontanism and transnational traits. The phenomenon of pilgrimages is approached in three steps. Firstly, the issue should be embedded in the context of scholarly debates concerning German Catholicism in the nineteenth century, secondly a system of in sum fourteen variations of pilgrimages can be unfolded, and finally the two prominent examples of Trier (1844) and Marpingen (1876) should find a place in this framework.

1.Scholarly debates and context

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Pilgrimages have been studied long before the phrase ‘religious turn’ in history was coined and later was also adapted to a ‘religious turn’ in gender history.1 For Germany, the phenomenon is embedded in four major academic contexts: 1) in the 1970s, the social history of religion asked about the social and political function of pilgrimages; 2) in the 1980s the discussion about the modernity of Catholicism was taken up again, although pilgrimages were but a small element of this question; 3) parallel to this the structures of Catholic self-exclusion, among them patterns of self-representation such as pilgrimages, were analysed; and 4) the debate about ultramontanism, of which centralized pilgrimages were a part, was enriched with new perspectives, among them transnational dimensions.

1)Already in the 1970s, the social history of religion discovered pilgrimages as a calculated strategy of clerical circles. Sociologists and socal historians wondered: how did Church authorities organize the people’s piety, including pilgrimages? In the language of the 1970s it was all a matter of how to legitimize ecclesiastical power and how to manipulate the Catholic flocks in the nineteenth century. The important contributions of Wolfgang Schieder in 1974 and Michael N. Ebertz in 1979 emphasized the ‘targeted calculation’ of clerics directed at social mechanisms which dramatized the extraordinary.2

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2)The late 1980s established the second important context of discussion. It touched upon the modernity and anti-modernity of Catholicism. While some historians emphasized the hostility of Catholicism against modern times, among them Hans-Ulrich Wehler in 1987, others triggered a vivid discussion about the ambivalence between modernity and anti-modernity.3 Most prominent for this question were Thomas Nipperdey in 1988, Wilfried Loth in 1990, and Urs Altermatt in 1989 for Switzerland.4 They agreed that Catholics were very protective against modern challenges and distrusted modern times. In his encyclical ‘Mirari Vos’ Gregory XVI in 1832 condemned contemporary liberalism and religious indifferentism. Ultramontane Catholicism was anti-modern through and through but at the same time it used modern means to reach its anti-modern goals. Pilgrimages were seen as one marginal contribution and one manifestation of this attitude. They were ambivalent too. On the one side they revitalized traditional and pre-modern practices, on the other side they served as a modern instrument in the hands of the hierarchy fulfilling anti-modern purposes. Pilgrimages were important for those who could afford to join them and for the merchants in the places the pilgrims visited. But those who focus on the relevance of pilgrimges should at the same time realize that other things were of higher relevance. Much more important than organized pilgrimages, comprising many more people for many more years, were general assemblies, which happened regulary in Germany from 1848, furthermore political parties and exclusive associations for Catholics, Catholic newspapers and bookshops, missionary crusades, not forgetting the uniformization of Marian devotions. Pilgrimages requiring a long journey were usually an activity people undertook once in a lifetime, whereas the participation in Catholic associations could happen weekly, the consumption of Catholic newspapers even daily. The minor relevance of pilgrimages –though certainly of huge importance for places of pilgrimage like Santiago de Compostela or Lourdes –has to be seen in relation to the general picture and other sorts of commitment of and influence on Catholics.5

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3)These strategies to erect a Catholic micro-cosmos seemed not to be really suitable for integrating Catholics into civil Protestant and secular society; on the contrary, they were aiming to separate them from the majority, especially in countries where Catholics formed a minority as in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, and thus tended to establish a parallel society, a milieu of its own. Catholic parties and Catholic trade unions, Catholic forms of piety –and among them organized pilgrimages –served as tools to protect the believers against the impositions of modernity. They had the effect of social disintegration, and in the end they even led Catholics to build a milieu; in Switzerland they talk about sub-society, while in Austria the key-word is camp and in the Netherlands it is pillar and pillarization, a phenomenon also observed in Belgium where three pillars (Catholics, Socialist, liberal bourgeoisie) bore up the house of the nation. This phase of social and anti-modern disintegration ranged from the 1850s to the 1960s, when the pillars started to tumble and the milieus eroded rapidly. The debate about the fatal political effects of milieus in Germany, unable to find a compromise in the Weimar Republic, was triggered off by a now classical article, written by the sociologist M. Rainer Lepsius in 1966.6

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4)The three debates mentioned –about mass-manipulating priests, about modernity, and patterns of milieu inclusion and exclusion –were always closely linked with the ongoing debate about the nature of ultramontanism. After the eighteenth century this term came in use to describe those Catholics north of the Alps who were loyal to the Pope in Rome beyond the Alps (ultra montes). The pope who nourished ultramontanism and anti-liberalism was Gregory XVI (1831−1846), paving the way for the most prominent ultramontane pope, his successor Pius IX (1846–1878). The term ultramontanism was first an ascription used by those who were against the authoritarian developments, but since the mid-nineteenth century it was also proudly employed by Catholics in order to emphasize their allegiance to Rome, especially since the risorgimento, the Italian movement to unite the nation and to decimate the Papal States, which succeeded in 1861 and made Rome the capital of Italy in 1871. At the same time ultramontanism reached its boiling point when in 1870 to the first Vatican Council dogmatized the infallibility of the pope. In addition, the hierarchical aspect ultra-montanism included an ideological component (against the dominance of the modern state and of liberalism), a strong culture of homogenized piety (Heart-of-Jesus cult, pilgrimages), and finally an organizational dimension (tightening the structures of the Church and its mechanism of control; Catholic associations and media).7

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Like other concepts of the saddle time (Reinhart Koselleck’s ‘Sattelzeit’), the term and the phenomenon of ultramontanism was contested from its very beginnings. Liberals identified all Catholics with sweeping stereotypes, insinuating that their capital was Rome instead of Berlin or Paris. They suspected Catholics of trying to lead society back into the Middle Ages. The concept of ultramontanism remained contested in the twentieth century: Scholarly controversies find their starting point in the book of Hans Buchheim, who in 1963 claimed ultramontanism to be the pioneer of Christian democracy. In 1991 Christoph Weber prominently refuted the ultramontane potential for democracy and even argued that ultramontanism was nothing other than fundamentalism. Recent debates have a rather transnational perspective and take up the question of whether ultramontanism come from the periphery or whether it was a clever strategy originating in Rome –or whether this vertical perspective should rather be complemented with a transnational perspective taking into account border-crossing circulations of ideas.8 Taking the examples of pilgrimages for the purpose of understanding ultramontanism better, it is suitable to present the two most prominent cases of mass pilgrimages in Germany: the eminent example of the Holy Robe in Trier in 1844 and the case of Marpingen in 1876, located about 50 kilometres south-east of Trier.

Both situations have been very well analysed by specialists interested in pilgrimages. This does not mean that there were no other locations –on the contrary, there were thousands of them in Germany and other European countries. Most historians focus on the three ‘peregrinationes maiores’, Rome, Jerusalem, and Santiago de Compostela, but also on other highlights like Fátima and Lourdes.

2.A typology of pilgrimages

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It is possible and useful, though the simple amount of pilgrim places remains unclear, to approach the field in a systematic way. Based on the criteria of the content of pilgrim places, three categories are usually distinguished: Mary, Holy Cross and others. For our purpose another systematic approach seems more appropriate, because we wonder what was modern about pilgrimages in the nineteenth century. If we, accordingly, try to classify forms of nineteenth-century pilgrimages, in the end we might distinguish 14 different variations of them, and then we might see whether and where our examples fit in. We can distinguish individual pilgrimages, group and mass pilgrimages. None of these phenomena was new or genuinely modern. Mass pilgrimages already occurred in medieval times.9 The first pilgrimage to the Holy Robe in Trier in 1512 attracted 110,000 pilgrims in 23 days. For pre-modern times –given the low population of Europe and the complicated circumstances for long-distance pilgrimages –these numbers are enormous. The participants had to be able to afford such a long journey. In the nineteenth century, not only bishops, priests and aristocrats could join an extensive pilgrimage. Mass pilgrimages were becoming a phenomenon of the lower classes.10

Furthermore, we should separate unorganized pilgrimages from those meticulously organized by the Church. Still, in the case of group and mass pilgrimages, many –families for example –kept making their way autonomously. Even mass pilgrimages consisted of uncontrolled numbers of people independent from Church leadership and from clerical control, as we shall see later. The organization of pilgrimages could be centrally managed by the heads of a diocese, or the organization was de centralized, in the periphery of a parish Church. So far we have seven variations of pilgrimages: individual (1), group not organized (2), group organized de-centralized (3) and centralized (4), masses not organized (5), organized de-centralized (6) and centralized (7). Since all of these seven variations could be judged and can be judged as pre-modern, archaic, traditional practices and at the same time as renewed and modern ways to articulate piety, and as in fact we find traditional and modern ways of individual and group pilgrimages, in the end we have fourteen variations (7x2) of pilgrimages as can easily be recognized at the bottom of the graph on the next page. Some individuals, for example, arrived at the pilgrim place on foot in the traditional way people have done for hundreds of years, while others combined a comfortable journey by train with the pleasures of modern tourism. Given that there were always mixtures of modern and pre-modern elements, we should even add a further seven variations, but the scheme tries to draw ideal distinctions.

Every variation was manifest in the nineteenth century and can be distinguished by the form in which people accomplished their journey. Did individuals or groups take the traditional way, by foot or by horse-drawn coach, or did they use modern means of transportation like steamships or trains, buses or cars? One can say that these distinctions are of little importance. If people use telephones or trains they are not modern per se. On the other hand, some

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Table 1: Typology of Pilgrimages.

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Catholic contemporaries were critical that the traditional character of pilgrim journeys was violated. Trains were contested, even though the Church promoted them. The cloister in Einsiedeln (canton Schwyz) could be reached directly by train in the 1870s. Anti-clerical voices in Einsiedeln complained that it is unfair to reduce the tariff for tickets for pilgrims, which was perceived as being against the law.11 Modern means of transportation opened the space for a much wider participation. Were the mass pilgrimages of the nineteenth century a result of modern transportation alone? As we shall see in the example of Trier in 1844, they were not.12 The Trier pilgrimage was modern because the flow of pilgrims was perfectly organized top-down, and all that without railways, all that in the early nineteenth and not the late nineteenth century. Marpingen, on the contrary, in the last quarter of the century, was more of a bottom-up phenomenon, fairly chaotic and hard to control by clerics. But it still was a manifestation of ultramontane traits and hopes.

3.Trier 1844 and Marpingen 1876

Among thousands of more or less prominent pilgrim places in Germany none was so vehemently brought into focus as Trier in 1844 and Marpingen in 1876. Both events offer the chance to illustrate the patterns about pilgrimages in the nineteenth century and allow us to draw conclusions of the questions concerning pilgrimages in the context of the social history of religion, the modernity and milieu structures of Catholicism and the nature of ultramontanism.

1)Trier 1844

In 1844, there was no ralilway station in Trier, located on the river Mosel and close to the border of Luxembourg. People had to come either –if they could afford it –by steamship from the city of Koblenz, where the Mosel meets the Rhine, or by carriage, or, as most of them did, on foot.13 The first train in Germany went from Nuremberg to Fürth in 1835. Trier was only connected to the railway network heading south towards Saarbrücken in the year 1860, to Luxembourg in 1861, to Cologne in 1875, the line leading to Koblenz just under construction. Coming to Trier for the first two mass pilgrimages in 1810 and 1844 was nearly as exhausting as in the preceding 2000 years, while for the third mass pilgrimages in 1891 Trier could be comfortably reached by train.14

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The Holy Robe in Trier represents the tunic Jesus Christ wore on his last day (John 19, 23–24), and the legend from the twelfth century says that it was brought from Palestine around the year 327 or 328 by Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Alongside the shroud in Turin, the Robe is one of the most important relics of Christianity. It was exposed publicly for the first time in 1512, and, in order to commemorate this, for the last time 500 years later in 2012. The year 1810 was the first time in 155 years that the Robe was shown again. The occasion was that the Robe came back to Trier in 1810 after having been protected against French revolutionary troops and hidden in Bamberg and Augsburg. The pilgrimage, well organized by Bishop Charles Mannay (1802–1816), attracted about 100,000 believers and demonstrated the capacity to reorganize the Church, whose aristocratic character was smashed in the secularization.

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The great sensation happened in 1844. It turned out to be the biggest mass event in pre-revolutionary Germany. Every day, thousands of pilgrims passed through the Cathedral in order to see the Holy Robe. Under the conditions of restoration and censorship it was not easy to bring together any crowd of people. The other and more famous mass event of the period was the Hambach Festival in 1832, when about 30,000 people in the Palatinate demonstrated for more freedom and a united Germany, and for a united Europe against the ruling aristocracy. In the light of this oppositional event it was important for any mass gathering to avoid a similar impression. Nevertheless, a dozen years later, the mass meeting in Trier was allowed by the authorities and was able to mobilize more than twenty times as many participants as the Hambach Festival. Contemporary statistics counted over one million people in only seven weeks, while careful estimations of the 1970s claim about half a million people because some of them might have gone into the Cathedral twice so they were counted twice,15 though it was strictly forbidden to come more than once, and the priests led their people straight out of the church to another church and back home. Recent studies estimate between one million and more than 500,000 pilgrims, so that something like the number of 700,000 seems quite plausible.16 While in 1810 about 100,000 people were mobilized, with a daily average of more than 10,530, in 1844 the daily average amounts to 14,000. This daily flood of pious people was nearly equal to the population of the city of Trier which had 15,064 inhabitants (incorparating the outskirts and villages it counted 25,000 inhabitants).

Bishop Wilhelm Arnoldi (1842–1864) planned the event meticulously with the organizational talent of his general vicar Johann Georg Müller and the intellectual support of Jakob Marx, professor of theology in Trier.17 Their blueprint was the pilgrimage of 1810. Both cases choreographed pilgrimages from above. Before that, in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, pilgrimages were primarily organized by religious fraternities, not by the Church itself. This changed dramatically in the early nineteenth century, and the events of 1810 and 1844 opened the door for the Church hierarchy to exert a concerted influence on the masses, an influence they scarcely enjoyed before.18 In the preparatory phase of organizing the pilgrimage, Arnoldi used a newspaper in Luxembourg to campaign for the pilgrimage, because the Prussian censorship was quite restrictive. Arnoldi himself was even behind the foundation of this newspaper, the Luxemburger Zeitung, in July 1844.19 Each mass pilgrimage was accompanied by written and iconic propaganda from both sides: the Church and its opponents.20

The famous image painted in 1847 by August Gustav Lasinsky shows pilgrims within reach of Trier but does not reveal that nearly 60 per cent of the pilgrims in the nineteenth century were women.21 The feminization of piety is widely discussed in the literature. In this picture, though, the relationship between male and female is 50:50.22

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Fig. 1: Wallfahrt zum Heiligen Rock im Jahr 1844, Painting by August Gustav Lasinsky, 1847.

Source: Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Trier im Simeonstift.

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How did Arnoldi channel the masses to Trier? Everything was exactly planned, the project a logistic masterpiece. First, the Catholics from Trier, parish after parish, were allowed to see the relic when the exposition started on 18 August 1844. Then the parishes in each deanery of the diocese were allowed to come, on two different days remote from each other. They had to register in advance and received some sort of ticket. They arrived, always under the tutelage of a priest, at certain meeting points in Trier, had to walk a prescribed way to the Cathedral and, passing the Robe, out of the Cathedral and out of town back home.23 The exposition ended on 6 October 1844.

The enlightened absolutistic state saw pilgrimages as a waste of time. Pilgrims were widely banned and then again suppressed in the 1820s and 1830s. During the restoration after 1815 the dukes of the states were sceptical about crowds of people. Even the bishops raised in the enlightened times were afraid of euphemistic pietists out of control. Arnoldi’s predecessor, Bishop Joseph Hommer (1824–1836), tried to prevent Catholics from wild pilgrimages. The Archbishop of Cologne, August Graf von Spiegel, had warned his flock in a pastoral letter in 1826 against neglecting their work duties. He forbade pilgrimages which took several days.24 Also the bishop of Münster prohibited pilgrimages in 1826. Moral and economic arguments from the eighteenth century were accompanied in the early nineteenth century by anti-revolutionary political arguments. The result was that in fact the Rhine area experienced a decrease in pilgrimages between 1826 and 1835.25 When Bishop Arnoldi in 1844 initiated the pilgrimage, he made a complete U-turn against the policy of his predecessors and counterparts. He felt the need of the believers but wanted to take personal control of the situation. Arnoldi discussed the re-vitalization of the Trier pilgrimage personally with Klemens Wenzel Lothar von Metternich in 1842 and had to ask the president of the Prussian Rhine province for permission.26 From his ultramontane position and in the context of states trying to bring the Church under tutelage, Arnoldi wanted to show the state the autonomy of the Church, which had no intention of any revolt against the state but to cooperate with it on equal terms.

For liberals, the whole theatre was archaic, a giant leap back into medieval times. They mocked the superstition of stupid Catholics going on a pilgrimage and adoring an old undergarment. The historian Heinrich von Sybel amused himself at the expense of the Holy Robe in Trier and the other twenty Holy Robes –in Galatia, Safed and Jerusalem, Argenteuil, Lateran, Bremen and Loccum, Stantiago, Ovideo, Westminster and Mainz, Gent, Flines, Corbie and Tournus, Cologne, Frankfurt, Friaul and Thiers, Constantinople, Georgia and

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Fig. 2: The other twenty Holy Robes, according to the table of contents of Johann Gildemeister /Heinrich von Sybel, Der heilige Rock zu Trier und die zwanzig andern heiligen ungenähten Röcke: Eine historische Untersuchung, Düsseldorf 1844.

Moscow.27 In a caricature from 1844 Rome is the spider in the ultramontane web thrown over Europe. It is all about profit, gained from naive and uneducated poor people who are blind marionettes in the hands of the priests.

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Fig. 3: Der Heilige Rock zu Trier (1844).

Source: Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, image no. 30028996.

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Was the mass event of 1844 a manifestation of the growing piety of the people, an indicator for the religious renaissance of the early nineteenth century? Or can the mass pilgrimage be considered as opposing the Prussian police state, as Joseph Görres interpreted it already in 1845?28 Or was it rather a sign of the alliance between altar and throne in times of monarchical restoration? This was the heated debate that broke out in the 1970s between Wolfgang Schieder and Rudolf Lill. Schieder, a social historian at the University of Trier, did not want to view the event in the traditional line of interpretation as an expression of religious custom, old or renewed. The mass event was not spontaneous but thoroughly organized with certain interests of the Church hierarchy. For Schieder, it was more than an instrument for inner-ecclesiastical renewal but rather a calculated political demonstration of the Church, representing itself as a bulwark against revolutions. It was the staging of the revolutionary slogan liberté, égalité, fraternité but with a counterrevolutionary intention. Liberté for the Church confronted with the state, fraternité among the priests and the pilgrims, and égalité, suggesting a prevailing harmony of different classes, genders and generations united before the Holy Robe, as the painting of Lasinsky illustrated impressively. The fact is, not all the classes were there. The unity that Görres tried to demonstrate in 1845 was incomplete. The pilgrims were mostly poor, stemming from the lower classes, more women than men, accompanied by some bishops, plenty of priests and some noble women and men, while the educated bourgeoisie was largely missing. The ultramontane unity was only simulated. Schieder emphasizes that the notion of égalité was mere propaganda. In the end, the event of 1844 deepened the ultramontane connection between Catholics, priests and bishops on a very hierarchical level.29

Rudolf Lill, by this time professor of history in Cologne, reacted rigorously. He accused Schieder of having made many mistakes and of being no real expert.30 Schieder concentrated on ‘peripheral aspects’ of the pilgrimages, ignoring the religious and emotional dimension of the issue, an image which has been fostered during the Enlightenment. Bishops did not manipulate pilgrimages, Lill insinuated, on the contrary, they have suppressed pilgrimages in the years before 1844. And why did they suppress them? Because they knew of the emotional need of the believers. The growing ultramontanism and awakening devoutness were more important than social-historical facts. The religious inclination of the people was the ‘primary motivation’ of the pilgrims, 31

In recent decades, scholars have tended to see both sides, the manipulative and the religious, the social and the pious. But in the 1970s the social approach was still too new for many historians.32 The next pilgrimage in 1891 under

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Fig. 4: Souvernir Plate, 1891, from Villeroy Boch

Bishop Felix Korum (1881–1921) was a political demonstration against trade unions and socialism. As in the case of 1844, we find pictural manifestations of both interpretations, affirmative and critical: the pious side of the 1891 pilgrimage is manifest in the souvenir plate. In contrast to this the image, ‘Auf nach Trier’ in the Kladderadatsch dwells on the topos of ecclesiastical materialism and people’s stupidity. The priests are luring the masses to Trier, while, as the poem says, the offertory box is filled with more and more money from dull believers. The other caricature about the ‘Gimpelfang’, a few weeks later, plays with the same motive but this time the hotels and taverns are those who make the profit. The bullfinch (Gimpel) was easy to catch and had the reputation of being naive. The bird Gimpel in German is also called Dompfaff, which means priest of a cathedral. Both caricatures have this reproach of materialism in common and both show very disciplined mass movements towards Trier.

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Fig. 5: Franz A. Jüttner & Gustav Brandt, ‘Auf nach Trier’, in Kladderadatsch, 44, No. 30, 26. 7. 1891, p. 120

After the end of the culture war and after the revocation of the anti-Socialist laws in 1890, this pilgrimage of 1891 was a signal for Catholic workers to stay loyal to the Church instead of joining the Socialist Party. So, each pilgrimage had its core function besides the mere religious one. In 1891 again, they used the organizational concept of the previous pilgrimage of 1844, with a scheme for each parish and with prescribed ways to enter and to leave Trier. People could come by train now. No wonder that the numbers grew from 700,000 to 1.9 million.33

The graph of pilgrims to the Holy Robe in Trier 1810–2012 shows the total number of visitors (indicated on the left side) and the daily average (on the right). The all-time record of visitors was achieved in July 1933. After this, the attraction of this sort of event declined. Each pilgrimage had a slightly different

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Fig. 6: Franz A. Jüttner (1865−1926): ‘Der große Gimpelfang in Trier’, in Kladderadatsch, 44, No. 33, Beiblatt, 16. 8. 1891.

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Table 2: Pilgrims to the Holy Robe in Trier 1810−2012.

content because of its different historical contexts. The number of visitors depended only partly upon the transport possibilities at the time. The decline in the number of visitors in 1959 is therefore all the more conspicuous, since it was so much easier to reach Trier than in 1844, now also with one’s own car, but nevertheless the numbers kept falling and falling. Even the length of time this pilgrimage of 1959 was open –a record of two months –did not help. Once again: pilgrimages are not a matter of modern vehicles and not a result of modern means of transport. Finally, in 2012, less than a third of the number of people of 1959 made their way to Trier.

Parallel to the enormous rise of total numbers of visitors from 1810 to 1933, the average number of daily visitors increased, from over ten thousand in 1810 to about 43,000 in the first months of Adolf Hitler’s regime. Then they fell after World War II. In 2012 only 18,000 people arrived per day. The average-per-day curve is important because the pilgrim events comprised different lengths of time and it would be unfair to compare the 19 days of 1810 with the 44 days of 1844 and the 64 days of 1959. Nevertheless, the form of both curves –total and daily –is that of a parabola, and the curve covers the space from approximately the beginning to the end of the second confessional era and the age of Marian devotion.34 The next example is clearly located in this Marian context.

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2)Marpingen 1876

Marpingen was a small village of 1,600 inhabitants in the middle of the 1870s, located close to the French border, about 25 kilometres north of Saarbücken and twice as far away from its episcopal city of Trier in the north-west. The definitive book about Marpingen, by David Blackbourn, appeared in 1993. Everything we ever wanted to know about Marpingen can be found there, but twenty-five years ago historians did not explicitly ask transnational questions.35

What happened at dusk on 3 July 1876 in the forest east of Marpingen? Three girls thought they saw a woman in white. After returning to the village, they shared their experience. Communication with female adults encouraged them to believe it was the Virgin Mary. After that, Mary appeared frequently to them and miraculous cures happened. Within days, Catholics from neighbouring locations were informed, pilgrims from the Saarland and from places much further away visited Marpingen. They came with their sick people in carts, hoping for grace and cure. Some spoke of 20,000 people in the first week, exceeding the numbers at Lourdes in 1876. It took a few days before the authorities became aware that it was time to react. Ten days after the first apparition, armed infantry invaded the village, expelling the pilgrims by force. But Mary and the pilgrims were unstoppable. The parish priest Jakob Neureuter was under great stress because he remained sceptical about the authenticity of the apparitions. They needed to be approved by the authority, but there was no bishop in the diocese in those years because of the culture war. Catholic and liberal newspapers in all Germany reported the events from different angles.

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Fig. 7: Marpingen and Trier in Stieler’s Karte von Deutschland in 25 Blatt, Gotha 1875.

The parish priest and several villagers were arrested and put on trial for fraud and breaching public peace, while the three girls who started it all were subjected to intense interrogations. Nevertheless, the events extended into the next year. July and August of 1877 saw between 600 and 1,200 believers daily taking communion in the parish church. Finally, the apparitions stopped on 3 September 1877.

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While Lourdes had been the blueprint for Marian apparitions since 1858, Marpingen tried to become the ‘German Lourdes’.36 Because the French events were a big topic in the media during these years, especially since the first organized German pilgrimage to Lourdes in 1875, France offered a role model for later events. The reference to Lourdes is a transnational aspect of the story. Marpingen was deeply immersed in Marian adoration, and the girls were familiar with the transnational text Lourdes had presented. People did not need to be in Lourdes personally but of course there were border-crossing movements. National pilgrimages to Lourdes, often on special trains, were organized from Belgium in 1873, from Poland, Italy, and Germany in 1875, from Spain and Ireland in 1876. When a statue in honour of the Virgin was consecrated, 100,000 Catholics were present in Lourdes, among them 35 bishops and 5,000 priests. This event happened on 3 July 1876 –on the very same day when, 894 kilometres away from Lourdes as the crow flies, three girls in the Härtel forest had a vision of a white figure in the early evening.

The second transnational aspect is that Marpingen happened at the peak of Marian apparitions in Europe, not as a local endemic phenomena but as a European tendency. A first wave started in the wake of the French Revolution, especially in the Vendée, followed by a set of weeping statues in Italy. A second wave happened during the pre-revolutionary times before 1848, but the strongest wave occurred during the Italian and German unification wars in the decade between 1866 and 1877. Mary appeared in times of crisis –just as she did later on in the Cold War.37

The third transnational dimension, ultramontanism, went along with the standardization of orthodoxy and orthodox practices. Ultramontanism was clearly a global movement, where the interest of Roman centralization met the needs for orientation among the Catholic flock.38

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Table 3: Marian Apparitions in Europe 1803−1917.

If we compare the pilgrimage to Trier in 1844 with the event in 1876/1877, three aspects are striking. While the pilgrimage to the Holy Robe in Trier in 1844 fits very well into the scheme, representing the type of strictly organized mass pilgrimage, Marpingen is about the opposite. It belongs to several types of individual and not organized group pilgrimages. The events were never approved by Church authorities, thus the conflux of pilgrims never was operated centrally. Single persons and families came, mostly un organized and if organized then never centrally. Marpingen would contradict any teleological idea that the degree of organization was increasing during the nineteenth century.

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The second comparative observation is that the enthusiasm in 1876 displayed even more ultramontane traits than the pilgrimage of Trier in 1844. While Trier exposed the specialty of the Holy Robe, an object nobody else should claim to have, Catholics in Marpingen –the village belonging to the same diocese –shared what Catholics around the world were sharing: Mother Mary. She had gained new prominence since the dogma of 1854, followed by the apparitions in Lourdes in 1858. Marpingen was more ultramontane considering this content but also considering the fact that the pilgrims had already inherited ultramontane values. They came on their own initiative and did not need to wait for a bishop to centrally orchestrate a mass maneuvre. Anyway, there was no bishop in Trier between 1876 and 1881. Other characteristics of the events in Marpingen underline the ultramontane traits. As in Trier thirty-two years before, it was mainly women who were involved and mainly poor, uneducated people. Marpingen’s farmers were poor ‘goat peasants’, and the pilgrims flooding Marpingen represented a low social image. Again, the bourgeoisie was missing, though there were some prominent aristocrats like the mother of the Bavarian King.

The third aspect refers again to the transnational dimension of Marpingen. Globalization had been gaining momentum since the 1840s. The events of Trier in 1844 were observed in the newspapers in France, Belgium and even Ireland. They shared a transnational component.39 But only a few pilgrims from other countries could join the pilgrimage, most of them from Luxembourg. Marpingen was different. It manifested many transnational traits and allowed people even from Spain and Mexico to come to this tiny village in the Saar region.

Conclusion

In the nineteenth century, pilgrimages as such were by no means modern. Parts of what made them modern in the nineteenth century, for instance mass transportation, were not essential characteristics or motivitations. What added a modern aspect to them was a centralized ecclesiastical organization, as had already happened in 1810 and most saliently in 1844 in Trier. But mass pilgrimages continued without being centrally organized. Marpingen in 1876 is one such example of ‘wild’ mass pilgrimage. The apparitions were never approved by the Church, the events were never centrally organized, but the attraction still lured thousands into this remote village. What we might call modern means of anti-modernity in pilgrimages are not the pilgrimage and not the masses, but rather the disciplined organization and control over the masses.

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Ultramontanism changed its character, as the comparison between an early event of 1844 and those in the 1870s and 1890s reveals. Early ultramontanism in 1844 still tried to establish harmony between state and Church, while ultramontanism in the second half of the nineteenth century was increasingly involved in conflicts with the state during the culture wars. Pilgrims participated in each of these phases. After generations ultramontanism took deep root in the hearts even of the remotest Catholics in the remotest villages in Saarland.

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1Sue Morgan, Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Britain, London 2010, p. 2, quoted in Linda Woodhead, ‘Wie der Feminismus die Religionsforschung revolutioniert hat’, in Kornelia Sammet, Friederike Benthaus-Apel & Christel Gärtner (eds), Religion und Geschlechterordnungen, Frankfurt 2017, pp. 37−48, 40.

2Wolfgang Schieder, ‘Kirche und Revolution: Sozialgeschichtliche Aspekte der Trierer Wallfahrt von 1844’, in AfS, Vol. 14, 1974, pp. 419−454; Michael N. Ebertz, ‘Die Organisierung der Massenreligiosität: Soziologische Aspekte der Frömmigkeitsforschung’, in JVK, Jg. 2, 1979, pp. 38−72; Volker Speth, Katholische Aufklärung, Volksfrömmigkeit und ”Religionspolicey”: Das rheinische Wallfahrtswesen von 1816 bis 1826 und die Entstehungsgeschichte des Wallfahrtsverbots von 1826. Ein Beitrag zur aufklärerischen Volksfrömmigkeitsreform, Diss., Frankfurt 2008, pp. 13−32; Volker Speth, Katholische Aufklärung und Ultramontanismus, Religionspolizey und Kultfreiheit, Volkseigensinn und Volksfrömmigkeitsformierung: Das rheinische Wallfahrtswesen von 1826 bis 1870. Teil 2: Die staatliche Wallfahrtspolizey im nördlichen Rheinland, Frankfurt am Main 2011; Gottfried Korff, ‘Formierung der Frömmigkeit: Zur sozialpolitischen Intention der Trierer Rockwallfahrten 1891’, in Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 3 Jg. 1977, Heft 3, pp. 352−383; Gottfried Korff, ‘Zwischen Sinnlichkeit und Kirchlichkeit: Zum Wandel populärer Frömmigkeit im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert’, in Jutta Held (ed.), Kultur zwischen Bürgertum und Volk, Berlin 1983, pp. 136−148.

3Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, Vol. 1: Vom Feudalismus des Alten Reiches bis zur Defensiven Modernisierung der Reformära 1700–1815, München 1987; Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte, Vol. 2: Von der Reformära bis zur industriellen und politischen ‘Deutschen Doppelrevolution’ 1815–1845/49, München 1987.

4Thomas Nipperdey, Religion im Umbruch: Deutschland 1870–1918, München 1988; Wilfried Loth, ‘Der Katholizismus –eine globale Bewegung gegen die Moderne?’, in Heiner Ludwig & Wolfgang Schroeder (eds), Sozial-und Linkskatholizismus: Erinnerung, Orientierung, Befreiung, Frankfurt 1990, pp. 11−31; Urs Altermatt, Katholizismus und Moderne: Zur Sozial-und Mentalitätsgeschichte der Schweizer Katholikem im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Zürich 1989, p. 236.

5Roberto di Stefano & Francisco Javier Ramón Solans (eds), Marian Devotions, Political Mobilization, and Nationalism in Europe and America, Houndmills 2016.

6M. Rainer Lepsius, ‘Parteiensystem und Sozialstruktur: zum Problem der Demokratisierung der deutschen Gesellschaft [1966]’, in M. Rainer Lepsius, Demokratie in Deutschland: Soziologisch-historische Konstellationsanalysen, Göttingen 1993, pp. 25−50; ‘Arbeitskreis für kirchliche Zeitgeschichte (AKKZG), Münster, Katholiken zwischen Tradition und Moderne. Das katholische Milieu als Forschungsaufgabe’, in WZ 43 (1993), pp. 588−654; Olaf Blaschke & Frank-Michael Kuhlemann (eds), Religion im Kaiserreich: Milieus, Mentalitäten, Krisen (= Religiöse Kulturen der Moderne Vol. 2), Gütersloh 1996; 2. Ed. 2000; Wilfried Loth, ‘Milieus oder Milieu? Konzeptionelle Überlegungen zur Katholizismusforschung’, in Othmar Nikola Haberl & Tobias Korenke (eds), Politische Deutungskulturen: FS Karl Rohe, Baden-Baden 1999, pp. 123−136.

7Heribert Raab, ‘Zur Geschichte und Bedeutung des Schlagwortes ”Ultramontanismus” im 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhundert’, in Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres Gesellschaft, 81, 1962, pp. 159−173. Klaus Schatz, ‘Ultramontanismus’, in Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, Bd. 10, Freiburg 2006, pp. 360−362; Victor Conzemius, ‘Rom und nicht nur Rom, Papsttum, Volksfrömmigkeit und Moderne im 19. Jahrhundert’, in Renovatio 52, 1996, pp. 201−207; Victor Conzemius, ‘Ultramontanismus’, in Theologische Realenzyklopädie vol. 34, Tübingen 2002, pp. 253−263. Gisela Fleckenstein & Joachim Schmiedl (eds), Ultramontanismus: Tendenzen der Forschung, Paderborn 2005. Francisco Javier Ramón Solans, ‘Le triomphe du Saint-Siège (1799−1823). Une transition de l’Ancien Régime à l’ultramontanisme?’, in Siècles: Cahiers du Centre d’histoire ‘Espaces et Cultures’, 43, 2016: Transferts culturels et politiques entre révolution et contre-révolution en Europe (1789−1840), p. 1-12: https://journals.openedition.org/siecles/3047. Austin Gough, Paris and Rome: The Gallican Church and the Ultramontane Campaign 1848−1853, Oxford 1986; Olaf Blaschke, ‘Der Aufstieg des Papsttums aus dem Antiklerikalismus: Zur Dialektik von endogenen und exogenen Kräften der transnationalen Ultramontanisierung’, in Römische Quartalschrift für Christliche Altertumskunde und Kirchengeschichte, Bd. 112, 2017, pp. 60−73.

8Karl Buchheim, Ultramontanismus und Demokratie: Der Weg der deutschen Katholiken im 19. Jahrhundert, München 1963, pp. 9, 108; Christoph Weber, ‘Ultramontanismus als katholischer Fundamentalismus’, in Wilfried Loth (ed.), Deutscher Katholizismus im Umbruch zur Moderne, Stuttgart 1991, pp. 9−45; Vincent Viaene, Belgium and the Holy See from Gregory XVI to Pius IX (1831−1859): Catholic Revival, Society and Politics in 19th-century Europe, Leuven 2001; Olaf Blaschke & Francisco Javier Ramón Solans (eds), Weltreligion im Umbruch: Transnationale Perspektiven auf das Christentum in der Globalisierung, Frankfurt 2018. Cf. Fleckenstein & Schmiedl (eds) 2005.

9In the year 1064, between 7,000 and 12,000 believers followed Archbishop Siegfried of Mainz and other bishops on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. RI III,2,3 n. 351, in: Regesta Imperii Online, URI: http://www.regesta-imperii.de/id/1064-11-00_1_0_3_2_3_351_351 (Accessed on 9 June 2017).

10Richard Laufner, ‘Logistische und organisatorische, finanzielle und wirtschaftliche Aspekte bei den Hl-Rock-Wallfahrten 1512 bis 1959’, in Erich Aretz et al. (eds), Der Heilige Rock zu Trier: Studien zur Geschichte und Verehrung der Tunika Christi, Trier 1996 (2. Ed.), pp. 457−481, 458.

11‘Die kirchlichen Wallfahrten –der Staat und die Eisenbahnen’, in Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 18. 8. 1873, quotation from Karin Kälin, Schauplatz katholischer Frömmigkeit: Wallfahrt nach Einsiedeln von 1864 bis 1914, Fribourg 2005, p. 44, 105. Cf. Altermatt 1989, p. 255.

12About the tendencies: Klaus Herbers, ‘Unterwegs zu heiligen Stätten –Pilgerfahrten’, in Hermann Bausinger et al. (eds), Reisekultur: Von der Pilgerfahrt zum modernen Tourismus, München 1999, pp. 23−31.

13Bernhard Schneider, ‘Wallfahrt, Ultramontanismus und Politik: Zu Vorgeschichte und Verlauf der Trierer Hl.-Rock-Wallfahrt von 1844’, in Erich Aretz et al. (eds), Der Heilige Rock zu Trier: Studien zur Geschichte und Verehrung der Tunika Christi, Trier 1995, pp. 237−280, 240; Bernhard Schneider, ‘Die Hl.-Rock-Wallfahrten von 1810 und 1844’, in Bernhard Schneider & Martin Persch (eds), Geschichte des Bistums Trier, Vol. 4: Auf dem Weg in die Moderne 1802–1880, Trier 2000, pp. 567−580; Laufner 1996, p. 468.

14Martin Persch, ‘Die Hl.-Rock-Wallfahrten 1891, 1933 und 1959’, in Bernhard Schneider & Martin Persch (eds), Geschichte des Bistums Trier, Vol. 5: Beharrung und Erneuerung 1881−1982, Trier 2004, pp. 720−730, 724.

15Schieder 1974, p. 421 f. Rudolf Lill, ‘Die Länder des Deutschen Bundes und der Schweiz’, in Roger Aubert et al. (eds), Die Kirche in der Gegenwart. Erster Halbbd.: Die Kirche zwischen Revolution und Restauration (= Hubert Jedin (ed.), Handbuch der Kirchengeschichte, Vol. VI/1), Freiburg 1971 (ND 1985), pp. 392−408; Schneider 1995.

16Schneider 1995, p. 268 f., methodologically holds the counting of 1 million pilgrims plausible, though some went twice into the Cathedral, and comes to the conclusion that there were ‘clearly more than 500,000’.

17About Müller: Laufner 1996, p. 469.

18Schieder 1974, p. 432.

19Schieder 1974, p. 438; Schneider 1995, p. 256; Bernhard Schneider, ‘Presse und Wallfahrt: Die publizistische Verarbeitung der Trierer Hl.-Rock-Wallfahrt von 1844’, in Erich Aretz et al. (eds), Der Heilige Rock zu Trier: Studien zur Geschichte und Verehrung der Tunika Christi, Trier 1996 (2. Ed.), pp. 281−306.

20Georg Patiss, Die Wallfahrten in ihrer providentiellen Bedeutung für unsere Zeit, Mainz 1875; Schneider 1996.

21Wallfahrt zum Heiligen Rock im Jahr 1844, Painting of August Gustav Lasinsky, 1847, Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Trier im Simeonstift, Inventarnr. III, 67; Speth 2011, p. 244 f.

22Bernhard Schneider, ‘Feminisierung der Religion im 19. Jahrhundert: Perspektiven einer These im Kontext des deutschen Katholizismus’, in Trierer Theologische Zeitschrift, Vol. 111, 2002, pp. 123−147; Bernhard Schneider, ‘Feminisierung und (Re-)Maskulinisierung der Religion im 19. Jahrhundert: Tendenzen der Forschung aus der Perspektive des deutschen Katholizismus’, in Michaela Sohn-Kronthaler (ed.), Feminisierung oder (Re-)Maskulinisierung der Religion im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert: Forschungsbeiträge aus Christentum, Judentum und Islam, Wien 2016, pp. 11−41; Olaf Blaschke, ‘The Unrecognised Piety of Men: Strategies and Success of the Remasculinisation Campaign around 1900’, in Yvonne Maria Werner (ed.), Christian Masculinity: Men and Religion in Northern Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Leuven 2011; Norbert Busch, ‘Die Feminisierung der ultramontanen Frömmigkeit’, in Irmtraud Götz von Olenhusen (ed.), Wunderbare Erscheinungen: Frauen und katholische Frömmigkeit im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, Paderborn 1995, pp. 203−220.

23Schieder 1974, p. 444; Laufner 1996.

24Schieder 1974, p. 435; Speth 2011. Cf. Nicole Priesching, Maria von Mörl (1812–1868): Leben und Bedeutung einer ‘stigmatisierten Jungfrau’ aus tirol im Kontext ultramontaner Frömmigkeit, Brixen 2004.

25Schneider 1995, p. 245. Speth 2011, p. 99.

26Schieder 1974, p. 441.

27Johann Gildemeister & Heinrich von Sybel, Der heilige Rock zu Trier und die zwanzig andern heiligen ungenähten Röcke: Eine historische Untersuchung, Düsseldorf 1844; for the confessional context of conflict: Wolfgang Schmid, ‘Die Wallfahrt zum Heiligen Rock (1844) und die evangelischen Gemeinden im Rheinland (Bonn, Koblenz, Trier, Winningen)’, in Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter, 77 (2013), pp. 86−117. For anti-clericalism in Europe cf. Manuel Borutta, Antikatholizismus: Deutschland und Italien im Zeitalter der europäischen Kulturkämpfe, Göttingen 2010; Lisa Dittrich, Antiklerikalismus in Europa: Öffentlichkeit und Säkularisierung in Frankreich, Spanien und Deutschland (1848–1914), Göttingen 2014; Wolfram Kaiser, ‘“Clericalism –that is our enemy!” European anticlericalism and the culture wars’, in Wolfram Kaiser & Christopher Clark (eds), Culture Wars: Secular-Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Cambridge 2003, pp. 47−76.

28Joseph Görres, Die Wallfahrt nach Trier, Regensburg 1845; cf. Jon Vanden Heuvel, A German Life in the Age of Revolution: Joseph Görres, 1776–1848, Washington 2001, pp. 337−339; Schneider 1995, p. 468.

29Schieder 1974, p. 425.

30Rudolf Lill, ‘Kirche und Revolution: zu den Anfängen der katholischen Bewegung im Jahrzehnt vor 1848’, in AfS, Vol. 18, 1978, pp. 565−575, 572, footnote 31, where Lill contrasts Schieder with experts in the field (Fachkreise).

31Lill 1978, p. 568, 572

32Schneider 1995; Andreas Holzem, ‘Religiöse Orientierung und soziale Ordnung: Skizzen zur Wallfahrt als Handlungsfeld und Konfliktraum zwischen Frühneuzeit und Katholischem Milieu’, in Reinhard Blänkner & Bernhard Jussen (eds), Institutionen und Ereignis: Über historische Praktiken und Vorstellungen gesellschaftlichen Ordnens (Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte, Vol. 138), Göttingen 1998, pp. 327−354; Andreas Holzem, Kirchenreform und Sektenstiftung: Deutschkatholiken, Reformkatholiken und Ultramontane am Oberrhein (1844–1866), Paderborn 1994.

33Laufner 1996, pp. 472−474.

34Cf. Olaf Blaschke (ed.), Konfessionen im Konflikt: Deutschland zwischen 1800 und 1970: ein zweites konfessionelles Zeitalter, Göttingen 2002; Olaf Blaschke, ‘Le XIXe siècle: un deuxième âge confessionnel ou un deuxième âge du confessionnalisme?’ in Catherine Maurer (ed.), La coexistence confessionnelle en France et dans les mondes germaniques du Moyen Âge à nos jours, Paris 2015, pp. 301−308; Martin Schulze Wessel, ‘Das 19. Jahrhundert als ”Zweites Konfessionelles Zeitalter”? Thesen zur Religionsgeschichte der böhmischen Länder in europäischer Hinsicht’, in ZS f Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 50, 2001, pp. 514−530.

35The following is based on David Blackbourn, Marpingen: Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a Nineteenth-Century German Village, New York 1993; David Blackbourn, Wenn ihr sie wieder seht, fragt wer sie sei: Marienerscheinungen in Marpingen –Aufstieg und Niedergang des deutschen Lourdes, Reinbek 1997. A more sophisticated version of my argument appeared as Olaf Blaschke, ‘Marpingen: A Remote Village and its Virgin in a Transnational Context’, in Roberto di Stefano & Francisco Javier Ramón Solans (eds), Marian Devotions, Political Mobilization, and Nationalism in Europe and America, Houndmills 2016, pp. 83−107.

36Cf. Andreas Johannes Kotulla, ‘Lourdes und die deutschen Katholiken: Über die frühe Rezeption eines katholischen Kultes im Deutschen Kaiserreich und die Anfängeder Wallfahrt bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg’, in Bernhard Schneider (ed.), Maria und Lourdes: Wunder und Marienerscheinungen in theologischer und kulturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive, Münster 2008, pp. 139−165.

37Numbers: Bernhard Schneider, ‘Marienerscheinungen im 19. Jahrhundert: Ein Phänomen und seine Charakteristika’, in Hubert Wolf (ed.), ‘Wahre’ und ‘ falsche’ Heiligkeit: Mystik, Macht und Geschlechterrollen im Katholizismus des 19. Jahrhunderts, München 2013, pp. 87–110, 91, based on: Gottfried Hierzenberger & Otto Nedomansky, Erscheinungen und Botschaften der Gottesmutter Maria: Vollständige Dokumentation durch zwei Jahrtausende, Augsburg 1998 (probably not complete).

38This aspect is about to be analysed in the project ‘Der Ultramontanismus als transnationales und transatlantisches Phänomen 1819–1914’ within the framework of the Exzellenzcluster ‘Religion und Politik’ at the Westfälische-Wilhelms-Universität WWU Münster. Cf. already Vincent Viaene, ‘Nineteenth-Century Catholic Internationalism and its Predecessors’, in Abigail Green & Vincent Viaene (eds), Religious Internationals in the Modern World: Globalization and Faith Communities since 1750, Houndmills 2012, pp. 82−110; Vincent Viaene, ‘International History, Religious History, Catholic History: Perspectives for Cross-Fertilization (1830–1914)’, in EHQ 2008, pp. 578−607. For a transnational approach cf. Thies Schulze (ed.), Grenzüberschreitende Religion: Vergleichs-und Kulturtransferforschung zur neuzeitlichen Geschichte, Göttingen 2012; Klaus Koschorke (ed.), Etappen der Globalisierung in christentumsgeschichtlicher Perspektive/Phases of Globalization in the History of Christianity, Wiesbaden 2012.

39Schneider 1996, p. 281.

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Tine Van Osselaer

Pain, Passion and Compassion. Writing on Stigmatic Women in Modern Europe*

Abstract This chapter addresses the European stigmatics in the nineteenth and twentieth century and studies on the stigmatics’ (public) suffering and the eye-witnesses of these events. Addressing pain as both a subjective experience and cultural construction, the focus here is on pain as religiously meaningful. The analysis of the published eye-witness reports indicates a ‘productive’ pain on three levels: that of the stigmatic, of the writer and of the reader. Including both physical and emotional pain, the exterior and interior, it becomes obvious that the stigmatics were presented as an inextricable combination of passion and com-passion: a combination that brings the alleged ‘gender shift’ that has often been linked to the stigmatic’s imitating the body of the suffering Christ into question.

Interiority, Gender and Stigmata

Why study inwardness and gender through the lens of stigmatics in nineteenth-and twentieth-century Europe? Arguably, stigmata are one of the most external features, or effects, of Catholic piety. In this chapter, I will point out that studying exactly the ‘interior’ aspects of stigmatisation allows us to question the alleged ‘gender shift’ that has often been linked to stigmatics.1 Through an analysis of the stigmatics’ contemplation of Christ’s suffering, we get a more complex story than the (female) stigmatics ‘imitating’ the suffering (male) body of Christ.

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Stigmatics have been studied from a gender perspective before and, roughly summarised, two perspectives have dominated the analyses.2 A first line of research emphasised gender-confirmative aspects. The majority of the modern stigmatics were female (unlike Christ and Saint Francis, the first case of stigmatisation). This predominance of female stigmatics has been used by their contemporaries and the scholars who studied them, as an argument in the explanation of the phenomenon as something ‘typically feminine’. The emphasis is thereby put on ‘women’s alleged feeble nature’, their bodily disposition (ruled by their menstrual cycle) and concurrent tendency towards ‘hysteria’. Such discourses are perfect examples of the nineteenth-century corporealisation, essentialisation, of gender norms and ideas. Supported by medical findings and anthropological research, ideas of femininity became biological destiny. In its most extreme forms (e.g. in anti-Catholic discourses of the late nineteenth century) this association of women’s religion with hysteria has had a negative impact on the reputation of Catholicism and especially Catholic mysticism.3 A telling example is the following paragraph from the introduction to the psychiatrist Wilhelm Jacobi’s book Die Stigmatisierten (1923). He claimed the following:

The higher number of stigmatized women is probably caused by woman’s deeper emotional life, in her higher tendency towards religious rapture, in the special corporeal disposition of the female sex conditioned through menstruation and its greater disposition towards hysteria and similar nervous disorders.4

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Another approach within this rather gender-confirmative stand has a more positive take on the references to women’s bodies. In particular, scholars have pointed out how stigmatics (and other mystics) could use their bodies to get a voice within a male-dominated culture. Within the Catholic Church women could not obtain authority through their office. They could, however, claim a certain authority by referring to their own (corporeal) religious experience − hence the importance of visible signs of this experience.5

Secondly, scholars have studied the stigmatics’ non-confirmative potential. Paula Kane’s work on visiting lay stigmatics at home is of particular importance here. She has noted that these women did not fit the dominant Catholic lay feminine ideal of domestic motherhood. Not only were they not married, they were not domestic, secluded, women either. On the contrary, some of them received thousands of visitors. While ‘suffering’ was perceived as women’s natural role, the public setting of their redemptory suffering (I will return to this term later on) was hard to rhyme with the idealisation of the angelic mother, secluded from the world. Still, so Kane stresses, whilst these women seemed to claim via this ‘redemptory suffering’, ‘masculine and spiritual power like Jesus, the man-God who triumphed over death’ theologians made clear that ‘victimhood did not convey any spiritual or sacramental authority upon women’.6

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The focus of this chapter is also on the stigmatics’ (public) suffering. More in particular, I study the experience of pain as a religious experience, thereby addressing pain as both a subjective experience and cultural construction. Or, physical sensations are only perceived as pain because we have learned to experience them as such. I follow Louise Hide, Joanna Bourke and Carmen Mangion who postulate that ‘Pain has meaning, which is formed out of the complex interactions taking place between the body, mind and culture. As a result, it differs from person to person, social group to social group, and it changes over time and space. It is profoundly influenced by personal beliefs as well as social mores and temporal contexts.’7 The physical and emotional experience of pain cannot be studied apart from one another, nor the body apart from the soul.8 As we shall see, the stigmatics suffered physically and emotionally, and both types of pain were inextricably tied up and considered as meaningful suffering.

How pain is interpreted from a religious perspective depends on the historical context. For my analysis here, the nineteenth-century Catholic take on pain is of particular importance. In her book on the story of pain (2014), Joanna Bourke argues that within Catholic and Protestant versions of Christianity bodily pain is equipped with a divine purpose. She mentions, among the theological explanations she could trace, ‘pain as the result of sin, a guide to virtuous behaviour, a stimulus to personal development, and a means of salvation’.9 As Xenia von Tippelskirch has noted, any such history of pain inevitably calls for a close analysis of the phenomenon of stigmatisation –if only because stigmata have only been reported since the thirteenth century and are almost exclusively tied up with Catholicism.10

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It is important to stress here that the type of stigmata differed throughout the various centuries. In the seventeenth century, for instance, invisible stigmata seem to have set the tone with the stigmatics suffering through Christ’s passion but not displaying physical marks on their bodies. In the modern era –an era eager for perceivable ‘proof’ − visible stigmata and the according suffering were ‘en vogue’.11 Stigmatics displayed either imitative or figurative stigmata on specific days (e.g. Fridays) or throughout their lives. As we shall see, this visibility could turn their religious experience also into a religious experience for those who witnessed their Passion episodes.

Details

Pages
220
ISBN (PDF)
9783631847312
ISBN (ePUB)
9783631847329
ISBN (MOBI)
9783631847336
ISBN (Book)
9783631829868
Language
English
Publication date
2021 (May)
Published
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2021. 220 pp., 6 fig. col., 9 fig. b/w.

Biographical notes

Alexander Maurits (Volume editor) Johannes Ljungberg (Volume editor) Erik Sidenvall (Volume editor)

Johannes Ljungberg is a Postdoctoral Fellow in History at the University of Copenhagen. Alexander Maurits is a Senior Lecturer in Church History at Lund University. Erik Sidenvall is Adjunct Professor of Church History at Lund University.

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Title: Cultures in Conflict