The Catholic Church would rather you didn't learn the answers! Trier, Gaul, C. A wealthy former Senator, a charismatic bishop with a huge following in his native Galicia, argues for his life against his accusers, two powerful Spanish bishops who win the ready ear of the new Emperor, Maximus. Along with eight of his closest followers including Eucrotia, the widow of a Roman noble, Priscillian is accused of witchcraft and heresy. Yet Priscillian's message is one of celibacy, simplicity, and gentleness.
Pilgrimage to Heresy: Don't Believe Everything They Tell You
For centuries, it has been claimed that St. James is buried in the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain-the Holy Grail of pilgrims for over years. But what if he is not? What if the occupant of the crypt is none other than Priscillian, a man whose Gnostic message threatened to undo the power of the newly formed Roman church? The Camino de Santiago, Spain, C. Miranda has left her untenured position at the University of Toronto to go on a kilometers hike in the north of Spain.
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The full title of the book is: She writes so 'fresh' that my first thought was that she would be a junior, but seeing her professional cv 5 6 made it clear that she is a senior in her business and talented in many fields too I would think. A perfect background for exploring one the greatest mysteries of our time: That tantalized me to ask her for this interview by mail which she graciously granted. Where and how did you fall for him? What fundament under the story?
What about the big fish in Santiago? What is happening at Cabo Fisterra? What about your former and following books? What is your comment on TSE? Recently I was asked to put my fascination for Ms King and her book into a few words and all I could say was: I sometimes feel that Priscillian "chose" me. After all, there are many intriguing personalities associated with the Camino, some historical, some very much alive. But the very idea that a "heretic" might be buried in that hallowed spot in Compostela was just too intriguing, scandalous even, to ignore and I began to do some digging, so to speak.
The modern day parts of the book, following Miranda and her pilgrim friends, came from my own experiences although naturally I have amalgamated them and some - Felix for example is he my animus? As for the Priscillian chapters: I sometimes wrote until five in the morning only to get up the next day to edit and wonder: Could it be that the stage of the camino you were walking at that magic moment you got curious has anything to do with the way the story got to you? Do you remember where it happened and what kind of day it was?
Or did most of it come later? I like your expression: I guess I did too. I was walking between Ponferrada and Cacabelos beside the slag heaps, on into the grape fields.
It was early October. We had been walking together for two or three days. Lance dropped into the conversation that there was every possibility that St. James' remains were elsewhere and the most likely candidate so far for those found in the 9th century were those of Pr But the idea most certainly did. It was like a bubble in the mind that compelled me.
When I got back to the south of Spain, I tried to order the book from my local English language bookshop, but the order came back "out of stock" time and again. In the meantime, I began looking online, but there was such a paucity of material not so now that, had I not become so fascinated with the idea, I might have given up. Finally, a friend in Canada managed to get hold of a copy and sent it to me even Amazon didn't have it.
I read it, as you can imagine, with great fascination and as I read I thought: A noble Roman of Senatorial rank, wealthy and erudite, who is visited by a man and a woman coming from Egypt. Whatever it is that they brought him, or told him, it certainly changed his life.
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Gradually he began to attract followers from all over the north of Spain and even into France and northern Italy, but not surprisingly, he also attracted the ire of several of the Catholic bishops and remember this was at a time when Catholicism was become the state religion and had already been somewhat "whitewashed" who did their best to shut him up.
The story contains elements of scandal - bishops accused of sexual improprieties, others being thrown bodily out of cathedrals, a charge of abortion, others of practising pagan rituals in farmers' fields, meetings in private houses where women were just as encouraged to speak as men And all through this, Priscillian's message of simplicity and vegetarianism - the need for direct and intimate communion with God - all of this seemed to me so relevant to the world today with its alarming lack of regard for human dignity and impoverishment of spirituality.
The emerging success of "Pilgrimage to Heresy" shows that pilgrims are willing to set aside what their guidebooks and the Official Websites tell them and consider other possibilities. That this doesn't seem to take anything away from the Pilgrim Experience is perhaps a case in point. What scientific fundament has the story? Tracy, I haven't studied Priscillian like you did, but what I read about him in a few books was supported by only one serious source.
Atienza, whose speciality is the heretical and mystical past of Spain. He is a fine source of information on the Templars in the Iberian peninsula and the Balearic Islands. Today we might even consider it a cover up. Carbon dating, of course, would help to establish that the remains are 4th century not 1st century but the Vatican is not overly enthusiastic about doing this, not surprisingly since the Cult of St.
James is so firmly established and entrenched as the whole religious purpose of the Camino. The trouble is that there is no evidence for the remains being those of St. Many chroniclers of the time fail to mention St. It is only after the 9th century that this idea takes hold, and there were overwhelmingly political reasons for having St. James as a figurehead to unite Spain against the Moors.
What is interesting is that other remains have been found in the general vicinity dating from the late 4th and early 5th centuries: Priscillian's time and shortly after. They are buried facing the east, as the Priscillianists were, and there are a great many of them. Could it be they wanted to buried close to some "holy" person, someone for whom they had reverence?
We don't read anything about them. If we want to ask the question, we find that there are three "sets" of cadavers in that beautiful silver casket which is from a later date, by the way , but not much more unless you really dig around in several languages. In Spain, the name of Priscillian is, if not a household word, at least known.
And as you quote, many Gallego's claim him as their own. Tracy, Forgive me the comparison but looking at the same time at Priscillian and Saint James I see the latter as the big fish I would like to catch as meant in Q5. Do you have any plans in that direction after your next book or do you feel tempted? James and his Way", Seaburn Books, Robert and I come from somewhat opposite ends of the spectrum regarding the Tomb in Compostela so I contacted him and we swapped books.
It even has a chapter devoted to Priscillian. But I still remain unconvinced that St. James' impact on Spain 9 converts at most would have lead to his disciples bringing his remains back to Spain why? Of course, the Cathedral is dedicated to St. James which raises questions in and of itself and there are fascinating stories to be had about the building of it, most especially the story of the Bishop Diego Pelaez who was charged with treason in the late 11th century, and arrested despite being overwhelmingly supported by the people of Compostela.
By all accounts, he was a power-hungry man who maintained his own "armada", and in one popular uprising the people of Compostela burned his house to the ground so that even the bells melted!
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How can any writer worth her salt ignore that as a possible continuation of the "Priscillian story"? What has happened and is happening now at Cabo Fisterra? Tracy, After all is said and done on Priscillian, Saint James, the Holy Land, Santiago and Trier it is my feeling that there is something else of far greater importance to us all. Could that be what has happened and is happening now at Cabo Fisterra? In that respect it is not relevant whose bones are buried there, whether it was Jacob, Yacoub or James, but it seems more important that especially Fisterra is the place where not only the sun sets, that long -not winding but straight- Way ends and more things concerning people of present and past -and times before churches got organised- come to a halt.
Could you comment on that? Oh I do so agree! Since writing "Pilgrimage to Heresy" I have been overwhelmingly gratified to see that most people realise that it is not the story of a "heretic" which is the mainstay of the story: Only a few years ago, the Compostela was only given to those with "religious" reasons for making the pilgrimage.
Now, most will give their reasons as "spiritual" or "cultural". And last year for the first time there were more people from outside of Spain than from within it. The Camino touches all of us, and gives us what we need, though not necessarily what we set out to find. A friend of mine, Mark Shea "The Overlander"; see YouTube for his video or visit my website for the link made a simply wonderful and personal video of his own pilgrimage.