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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter assesses the persistence of material culture in modern Marian devotion, against the backdrop of technological developments in the mass media and in conjunction with a history of modern apparitions. It argues that, despite the ‘virtualization’ of Marian phenomena, iconography, and devotional practice through media such as photography and the internet, the sensuous materiality of objects such as statues, relics, and the rosary still offers an important means through which the faithful experience Mary collectively and phenomenologically. Linking the centrality of material religion in Mary’s cult to theological notions of her corporeal incorruptibility and intercessory power, the chapter presents several cases where both mass and materially mediated images and relics of Mary have been used to propagate devotion to her. The chapter concludes with a discussion of deterritorialized religion in the digital age, arguing that despite the effect of technologies like the internet on Marian devotion and phenomena, Mary’s devotees will still reach for tangible signs of her presence.

Keywords: Virgin Mary, apparitions, mass media, material culture, Philippines, Catholicism, devotion, iconography

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