Jonathan Sumption

Fingering the Evidence

Holy Bones, Holy Dust: How Relics Shaped the History of Medieval Europe

By

Yale University Press 306pp £25 order from our bookshop

The veneration of relics is one of the most ancient and enduring practices of the Christian Church. It is attested by unimpeachable evidence as early as the second century and is almost certainly older than that. It persists, albeit in a more moderate and controlled form, to the modern day, as the occasional exhibitions of the Turin shroud and the blood of St Januarius in Naples attest.

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