How Teresa and Maria Margaretha migrated to Nordstrand: Translation of Relics and Transformation of a German Island into a Catholic Dutch enclave in the 17th century

Berlis, Angela (29 July 2015). How Teresa and Maria Margaretha migrated to Nordstrand: Translation of Relics and Transformation of a German Island into a Catholic Dutch enclave in the 17th century (Unpublished). In: Translating Christianity. Word, Image, Sound and Object in the Circulation of the Sacred from the Birth of Christ until the present day, Ecclesial History Society, Summer Conference. Universität York (England). 28.-30.07.2015.

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When on 26 May 1662 the founding first stone was laid for a new church on the island Nordstrand at the coast of Schleswig, relics of Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) and of the Dutch Carmelite abbess Maria Margaretha ab Angelis (1605-1658) were inserted. This church was built for Dutch dyke builders who were called to reconstruct the island after its destruction by flood in 1634; coming from a Catholic background and from the Dutch Republic which was at war with Spain at that time, the dyke builders and their families were guaranteed religious freedom in the Lutheran duchy of Holstein. In this paper, the reasons for the choice for the Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila and for the Dutch Carmelite abbess Maria Margaretha are discussed. The latter patroness was never beatified but had died in the smell of holiness; after her death several miracles were ascribed to her. It is understandable that migrants brought relics of their appreciated holy persons who would remind them of their homeland. The paper will first shortly introduce the two patronesses of the church. In the second part, the reasons for this choice will be discussed. Behind this translation of relics not only spiritual reasons played a role. The function of the translation of the saints was first to keep up geographical and political connections with the old country (both Spain and the Netherlands), secondly to perpetuate personal-familial relationships (esp. with Maria Margaretha), thirdly to strengthen the confessional identity in a non-Catholic environment. Fourthly the transfer brought a certain model of Christian life and reform to the new place of living, which in the second part of the 17th century became marked as “Jansenist”. The paper shows the transformation of the island into an enclave of Dutch Catholic culture.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Old Catholic Theology [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Berlis, Angela

Subjects:

200 Religion > 280 Christian denominations
200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Angela Berlis

Date Deposited:

25 May 2016 15:21

Last Modified:

25 May 2016 15:21

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/80555

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