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Relaciones. Estudios de historia y sociedad

versión On-line ISSN 2448-7554versión impresa ISSN 0185-3929


CHRISTIN, Olivier. The globalization of Mary: Sacred topographies and the circulation of images. Relac. Estud. hist. soc. [online]. 2014, vol.35, n.139, pp.305-333. ISSN 2448-7554.

At the end of the 1650s, a small illustrated book entitled Atlas Marianus was published in German and Latin. Its author, the Jesuit Wilhelm Gumppenberg, conceived it as the first part of what would be a voluminous work in which he proposed to elaborate a census of all the sanctuaries in the Catholic world -including Spanish America- that housed miraculous images of the Virgin Mary. His opus appeared in print in 1672, but without illustrations. A life's work supported by a broad network of informants, the Atlas achieved a level of explanation and argumentation unknown at the time concerning the relations established by the Catholic Church and its powers between cartography and hagiography, for it placed Europe and extra-European territories under the patronage of national saints or specific expressions of the Virgin Mary. But it also took into account the importance during that period of the final projects faithful to Renaissance ideas concerning a unified Christian cosmography that would make it possible to contemplate an entire universe in continuum under an empire of laws dictated exclusively by God. The article explores this combination of cosmography, cartography and Mariology that, in light of the works of Copernicus and Galileo, seems rather farfetched and obsolete.

Palabras llave : peregrination; cult of the Virgin; cosmography and cartography; miracles.

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