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Confessional Mobility and English Catholics in Counter-Reformation Europe$
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Liesbeth Corens

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812432

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812432.001.0001

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The Pilgrim

The Pilgrim

(p.105) 4 The Pilgrim
Confessional Mobility and English Catholics in Counter-Reformation Europe

Liesbeth Corens

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the transformation which expatriates deliberately sought. Building on the rich work on sacred space, it adds a temporal dimension. The static, the durable, and the territorial have long dominated the study of early modern Catholicism, even of pilgrimage. However, the journey, as well as the destination, was a constitutive part of spiritual travel. Mobility becomes particularly visible when we scrutinize the element of time. Short-term visits by individuals; the long-lasting impact on their lives of the distribution of relics and shrines; the carefully phased process of spiritual exercises; and the sense of a temporal retreat in preparation for the future alert us to a dynamic understanding of English Catholics’ mobility. Their deliberate decision to journey in order to change shows the formative role of the expatriate experience, in these cases characterized by vibrancy rather than victimhood.

Keywords:   pilgrimage, spiritual journey, Counter-Reformation, relics, time, English Catholicism, shrine, conversion, Scherpenheuvel

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