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René Laurentin (1917-2017). Théologien, mariologue et historien des apparitions. Portrait historiographique

Abstract : Father René Laurentin died in 2017 at the age of almost one hundred years. He was an exegete, theologian and Mariologist. It is through his interest in Marian worship, especially Mariophanies, a field so little studied, that he also became a historian in the early 1950s. The Church, which "needs only truth" (according to the words of Bishop Théas), asks him for a critical history of the French Marian apparitions of the 19th century (Lourdes, 1858; Pontmain, 1870). Laurentin does more than that and establishes a recognised method for studying the phenomenon of hierophanics, so often imitated and a source of inspiration for many researchers. He himself writes a lot and emerges as an authority, especially in the televisual media landscape. Based on multidisciplinarity, his contribution led to the development of a handbook with Patrick Sbalchiero and a large number of collaborators: the Dictionary of the Apparitions of the Virgin Mary (2007). But the historian is also the witness of many contemporary apparitions, as in Medjugorje (since 1981), which he claims to analyze also with the same sincerity. This extensive part of his work is the subject of mistrust and controversy within the Church, the media and the academic community. As an acknowledged world specialist in apparitions, Laurentin has left us a considerable and varied legacy, "for the better, but soon [also] for the worse", as he himself writes in his Memoirs.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 2:51:09 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 9:46:28 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-03244029, version 1



Stefano Simiz. René Laurentin (1917-2017). Théologien, mariologue et historien des apparitions. Portrait historiographique. Studi e materiali di Storie delle Religioni, 2019, 85 (2), pp.807-819. ⟨hal-03244029⟩



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