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Humanities and Social Sciences Colloquium - Ann Harrington

Almost a Miracle: stories and questions from the medical archives of Lourdes
When Jul 18, 2016
from 11:15 AM to 12:45 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminar Room
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97353
Attendees universitätsöffentlich / open to university members
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For 150 years, the small town of Lourdes has been the site of the most famous Catholic healing shine in the world. The shrine is a place of intense faith and alleged medical miracles. It is also, however, a place of institutionalized skepticism. Sitting on the grounds of the shrine is a unique investigatory medical office set up by the Church, whose charge is to investigate every claim of miraculous healing brought to its office.  More than 7,000 dossiers resulting from these investigations sit in an archive in Lourdes They have never been systematically analyzed. In this talk I will share some preliminary impressions of this archive, with the goal of catalyzing a conversation about the relationship between the politics of faith and the politics of skepticism, between the authority of personal experience and the authority of science, and between miracles and medicine, in an age when many expected that conversation to have been long finished.