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The Power of Place: Port-Royal. A Wounded Place Transfigured

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Berlis Angela,
Project Tod und Gender. Untersuchungen in vier theologischen Disziplinen
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Everyday Life and the Sacred: Re/configuring Gender Studies in Religion
Editor , Korte Anne-Marie; , Berlis Angela; , Biezeveld Kune
Publisher Brill, Leiden
Page(s) 171 - 194
ISBN 9789004254602
Title of proceedings Everyday Life and the Sacred: Re/configuring Gender Studies in Religion
DOI 10.1163/9789004353794_011


Angela Berlis describes in the devastation of the Cistercian monastery of Port-Royal in the early 18th century and the steps towards the sanctification of this desecrated and “wounded’ place”. Here the process of sanctification begins with narrative and collected memories and progresses to pilgrimages. The irony of the history is that its very destruction transformed this place from being a “generational” place into a place of living remembrance, a “lieu de mémoire”. Whether as a starting point for reform, as a venue of the conflict between Jansenists and Jesuits, or as the point of intersection between France and the Netherlands—the so-called Church of Utrecht—in the development of this place of pilgrimage, sanctification, and remembrance are virtually identical. Conversion and resistance make up the spiritual lining of this place. The sanctification of this place consisted in the commitment of various groups and individuals to not forget the horror. The travelogue of Mary Ann Schimmelpenninck (1778–1856), who visited the remains of Port-Royal in the Chevreuse Valley in 1814, helps ensure the aura of this place beyond its destruction.