Apocalypse and Salvation: Faith in Catholic Miracles in Twentieth-Century Germany

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From World War I until the late 1950s, Catholics in Germany reported more instances of stigmata and visions of the Virgin Mary than at any time in modern history. This lecture emphasizes the stigmata of the charismatic Therese Neumann of Bavaria and the Cold War apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the small town of Heroldsbach. Neumann’s story in particular reveals much about the fall of German democracy in the 1920s and the relation of Catholics to the Third Reich. These case studies will illuminate why the Catholic minority in Germany is significant to the country’s social and political history. They will also highlight how women could accumulate power within orthodox Catholic communities.


Michael OSullivan




Michael E. O’Sullivan is Professor of History at Marist College where he teaches courses about Modern Europe. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina and has authored several articles and book chapters about twentieth-century German Catholicism. Dr. O’Sullivan published Disruptive Power: Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918-1965 with University of Toronto Press in 2018. It was recently awarded the Waterloo Centre for German Studies Book Prize for 2018.



Friday, September 24, 2021 - 7:30pm


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