Holy Tears, Holy Blood: Women, Catholicism, and the Culture of Suffering in France, 1840-1970 by Richard D.E. BurtonHoly Tears, Holy Blood: Women, Catholicism, and the Culture of Suffering in France, 1840-1970 by Richard D.E. Burton

Holy Tears, Holy Blood: Women, Catholicism, and the Culture of Suffering in France, 1840-1970

byRichard D.E. Burton

Hardcover | March 31, 2004

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In Holy Tears, Holy Blood, Richard D. E. Burton continues his investigation of Catholic France from Revolution to Liberation. From his focus in Blood in the City on public demonstrations of the cultural power of Catholicism, he now turns to more private rituals, those codes of conduct that shaped the interior lives of French Catholic women and determined their artistic and social presentation. "Here there is rather less blood, and considerably more weeping," Burton says. In portraits of eleven women, including Simone Weil and Sainte Thèrése, he traces the lasting power of particular expressions of suffering and sacrifice. How, Burton asks, does a rapidly modernizing society accommodate the cultural-historical legacy of religious belief, in particular the extreme conservative beliefs of ultramontane Catholicism? Burton pays particular attention to the doctrine of "vicarious suffering," whereby an individual suffers for the redemption of others, and to certain extreme forms of religious experience including stigmatization, self-starvation, visions, and apparitions.
Title:Holy Tears, Holy Blood: Women, Catholicism, and the Culture of Suffering in France, 1840-1970Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.39 inPublished:March 31, 2004Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801442079

ISBN - 13:9780801442070

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Editorial Reviews

"In Holy Tears, Holy Blood Richard D. E. Burton explores with great sensitivity a powerful current in modern Catholic devotional life, the doctrine of mystical substitution, which calls on innocent victims (generally women) to suffer sickness, hunger, poverty, and in extreme cases, the stigmata, in order to redeem a corrupt world. Through a series of eleven biographical sketches Burton shows the different paths that French women could take in embodying this ideal—including the 'little way' of Thérése Martin, the 'Little Flower' who accepted suffering but opposed self-mortification, and the harsh asceticism of Simone Weil. Burton's work combines a profound empathy for the women he writes about with a critical spirit that confronts the troubling dimension of a spirituality in which self-sacrifice approaches masochism. Readers of Holy Tears, Holy Blood enter a world that is both beautiful and appalling, and which has shaped the lives and thoughts of millions of Catholics over the last two centuries."—Thomas Kselman, University of Notre Dame