Between Heaven and Earth explores the relationships
men, women, and children have formed with the Virgin Mary and the
saints in twentieth-century American Catholic history, and
reflects, more broadly, on how people live in the company of sacred
figures and how these relationships shape the ties between people
on earth. In this boldly argued and beautifully written book,
Robert Orsi also considers how scholars of religion occupy the
ground in between belief and analysis, faith and scholarship.
Orsi infuses his analysis with an autobiographical voice steeped
in his own Italian-American Catholic background--from the devotion
of his uncle Sal, who had cerebral palsy, to a "crippled saint,"
Margaret of Castello; to the bond of his Tuscan grandmother with
Saint Gemma Galgani.
Religion exists not as a medium of making meanings, Orsi
maintains, but as a network of relationships between heaven and
earth involving people of all ages as well as the many sacred
figures they hold dear. Orsi argues that modern academic theorizing
about religion has long sanctioned dubious distinctions between
"good" or "real" religious expression on the one hand and "bad" or
"bogus" religion on the other, which marginalize these everyday
relationships with sacred figures.
This book is a brilliant critical inquiry into the lives that
people make, for better or worse, between heaven and earth, and
into the ways scholars of religion could better study of these
Table of Contents
You are viewing the table of contents
You do not have access to this
on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.