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Apulia’s Saints and Animals: Hagiographic Narratives and Popular Devotions



Apulia’s Saints and Animals: Hagiographic Narratives and Popular Devotions

Apulia’s Saints and Animals: Hagiographic Narratives and Popular Devotions
Tuesday, November 19th at 6pm
Italian Cultural Institute - 500 N Michigan Ave, Suite 1450

Presented by the Consulate General of Italy, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, ItalCultura, Loyola University, the Italian American Studies Program and the John Cardinal Cody Chair In Theology at Loyola University


Professor Edmondo Lupieri (Loyola University) will introduce this event and present the following speakers, who will address the topic, "Apulia’s Saints and Animals: Hagiographic Narratives and Popular Devotions:"

Laura Carnevale (University of Bari Aldo Moro)
Daniela Patti (University “Kore”, Enna)
Chiara Cremonesi (University of Padua)

Presenting popular devotions is something more than discussing the hagiographical narratives related to it, although these narratives prove often to be highly intriguing themselves and extremely interesting. When we deal with popular devotions, in fact, we don’t face only religious/hagiographical issues: history, anthropology, psychology, culture, economy and tourism are at stake, as well. This is even more true when the explored devotions imply, in a different way, not only humans (saints, believers), but also animals.
Starting from such considerations, and drawing from the investigations conducted during a 5-year national Italian Project on Sacred Spaces and Sacred Paths, we will discuss different features of some well-known Apulian cults: St. Michael at Mount Gargano (town of Monte Sant’Angelo), whose hagiographic narrative imply the prominent role of a bull; Saint Matthew at San Marco in Lamis (Gargano, as well), deemed capable of shielding humans and animals from dogs’ bites; St. Pio (Gargano, again), the Franciscan Friar and 20th century miracle-worker of Pietrelcina (Gargano, again); Saint Roch, in Salento, whose celebrations on August, 15th, are related with one of the last surviving “Taranta” performances in Apulia. The “Tarantism” has also been studied by Ernesto De Martino, in his substantial work “La Terra del Rimorso” (1961), which will also be critically reflected upon in our presentation.
In addition, reports and audio/video materials over an international (Italian-American) Archaeological Digging Experience in Gargano will be exhibited, showing how a scientific investigation can also turn into a great occasion of friendship and cultural exchange.
Laura Carnevale is Associate Professor of Early Christian History at the University Aldo Moro of Bari (Italy). Her research interests include Old Testament (e.g. Book of Job, Genesis 22) and its Jewish and Christian Reception; Patristic and Medieval exegesis; hagiography; female prophecy and women’s authority in the Early Christian Churches; sacred places, sacred spaces, and sacred objects; pilgrimage routes. She has been the Principal Investigator of the National Firb Project: “Sacred Spaces and Identity Paths” (2012-2017).

Chiara Cremonesi is Associate Professor of History of Religions at the University of Padua. Her research mainly focuses on religions of the classical world and late antiquity; the symbolic dimension of the body and healing rituals in a historical-comparative perspective, with particular attention to ascetic traditions; theoretical and methodological issues of history of religions. She has been the responsible of the Research Unit at the University of Padua of the National Firb Project “Sacred Spaces and Identity Paths” (2012-2017).

Daniela Patti is an Associate Professor of Christian and Medieval Archaeology at the University of Enna “Kore”. She participated in many archaelogical surveys and excavations in Italy and abroad. Her main interests are related with archaeological aspects of the “sacred”, rock settlements, road systems, material culture, analysis of the spatial contexts with regard to history and topography, including 3D surveys. She has been the responsible of the Research Unit at the University of Enna of the National Firb Project “Sacred Spaces and Identity Paths” (2012-2017).

On November 20th, Laura Carnevale, Chiara Cremonesi and Daniela Patti will present the following event at Casa Italia, "Saints and Animals: Narratives, Devotions and Rituals in Southern Italy."

Free and open to the public
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Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Time: At 6:00 pm

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura - 500 N Michigan Ave,