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Between saints and celebrities. The devotion and promotion of stigmatics in Europe, c.1800-1950

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 STIGMATICS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the STIGMATICS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "STIGMATICS" about.

trace    crises    living    secondly    symbolic    golden    larger    perception    nineteenth    moments    religion    century    medical    belgium    saints    engaged    religious    popular    commodities    attested    catholicism    silent    emphases    era    socially    examine    canonized    chronological    thirdly    pilgrims    political    interaction    differences    france    first    locations    cults    internationalized    attraction    victim    takes    special    communities    treatises    spain    selling    authorized    germany    countries    figures    souls    promotion    beatified    primarily    popularization    sign    emphasis    causes    practices    media    ways    hundreds    wants    celebrities    stigmatic    rebalance    perspective    bedridden    isolation    constructed    turned    historiographical    twentieth    age    stigmatics    carefully    discourse    commercialization    combining    least    became    historical    identities    calls    transnational    consumption    charismatic    move    debates    leader    construction    geographical    italy   

Project "STIGMATICS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: PRINSSTRAAT 13
postcode: 2000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Project website
 Total cost 884˙725 €
 EC max contribution 884˙725 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-04-01   to  2019-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT ANTWERPEN BE (ANTWERPEN) coordinator 884˙725.00


 Project objective

By far most of the historical studies on the 'golden age' of the stigmatics have focused on medical debates and religious treatises. This project wants to move beyond the traditional historiographical emphasis in at least three ways. First of all, it will focus on the popular perception of stigmatics in the nineteenth and early twentieth century and examine how they became symbolic figures of political and religious causes. Secondly, we will study the interaction of the 'victim souls' with their communities and examine how they were turned into 'living saints' through religious practices and discourse, and how some of them were eventually even beatified and canonized. Thirdly, we will address them as carefully constructed religious commodities (celebrities) and rebalance the research on the selling of religion that has adopted a top-down perspective and focused primarily on the popularization of authorized cults rather than on the impact of the commercialization from the bottom-up. Combining these three aspects in studying the stigmatics, the project will enhance our understanding of the role of (new) media and consumption practices in religious change and the construction of religious identities. As each of these emphases calls for a study that takes into account chronological and geographical differences, we will adopt a comparative approach and examine five of the countries where most of the (hundreds of) stigmatics have been attested (Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium). This will allow us to trace larger trends as changes in the type of stigmatic (e.g. bedridden silent 'sign' or a socially engaged charismatic leader) and moments and locations of increased attention (e.g. political crises). However, since this was the era of an internationalized Catholicism the countries will not be studied in isolation and special attention will be given to transnational attraction (e.g. pilgrims) and the related differences in promotion and perception.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Tine Van Osselaer
Stigmata, Prophecies, and Politics: Louise Lateau in the German and Belgian Culture Wars of the Late Nineteenth Century
published pages: 591-610, ISSN: 0022-4227, DOI: 10.1111/1467-9809.12545
Journal of Religious History 42/4 2019-09-06
2018 Tine Van Osselaer, Andrea Graus
On Commotions and Commodities Catholic Celebrities in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Europe: An Introduction
published pages: 485-491, ISSN: 0022-4227, DOI: 10.1111/1467-9809.12558
Journal of Religious History 42/4 2019-09-06
2019 Tine Van Osselaer
The many lives of Bertha, Georges and Jean: a transgender mystic in interwar Belgium
published pages: 1-22, ISSN: 0961-2025, DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2019.1590502
Women\'s History Review 2019-09-06
2019 Leonardo Rossi
‘Religious virtuosi’ and charismatic leaders. The public authority of mystic women in nineteenth-century Italy
published pages: 1-19, ISSN: 0961-2025, DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2019.1590500
Women\'s History Review 2019-09-06
2018 Andrea Graus
“Wonder Nuns:” Sor Patrocinio, the Politics of the Supernatural, and Republican Caricature
published pages: 568-590, ISSN: 0022-4227, DOI: 10.1111/1467-9809.12544
Journal of Religious History 42/4 2019-09-06
2019 Andrea Graus
A ‘divine mission’ to sanctify the laity: French mystic laywomen and the lay apostolate before Vatican II
published pages: 1-18, ISSN: 0961-2025, DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2019.1590501
Women\'s History Review 2019-09-06
2019 Tine Van Osselaer, Leonardo Rossi, Kristof Smeyers, Andrea Graus
Charismatic women in religion. Power, media and social change
published pages: 1-17, ISSN: 0961-2025, DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2019.1595200
Women\'s History Review 2019-09-06
2018 Leonardo Rossi
Oltre i confini del chiostro e delle mura domestiche. Donne carismatiche alla conquista dello spazio pubblico dell’Italia del XIX-XX secolo
published pages: 47-58, ISSN: , DOI:
Donne del mediterraneo. Dinamiche di potere, Marco Marino and Giovanni Spani (eds.) 2019-09-06
2018 Leonardo Rossi
‘Lucrezia Gambara: “femmina visionaria e fanatica’
published pages: 303-308, ISSN: , DOI:
Dizionario di eretici, dissidenti e inquisitori nel mondo mediterraneo 2019-09-06
2018 Tine Van Osselaer
‘Valued most highly and preserved most carefully’: Using saintly figures’ houses and memorabilia collections to campaign for their canonisation
published pages: 94-111, ISSN: 1936-9816, DOI: 10.1080/19369816.2018.1429097
Museum History Journal 11/1 2019-09-06
The ‘Affair of the Photographs’: Controlling the Public Image of a Nineteenth-Century Stigmatic
published pages: 1-23, ISSN: 0022-0469, DOI: 10.1017/S0022046917000665
The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 2019-09-06
2016 Andrea Graus
A Visit to Remember: Stigmata and Celebrity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
published pages: 55-72, ISSN: 1478-0038, DOI: 10.1080/14780038.2016.1237411
Cultural and Social History 14/1 2019-09-06
2017 Tine Van Osselaer
Stigmatic women in modern Europe. An exploratory note on gender, corporeality and Catholic culture
published pages: 269-289, ISSN: , DOI:
M. Mazoyer and P. Mirault, eds., Évolutions et transformations du mariage dans le christianisme (Cahiers Disputatio) 2017 2019-09-06

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