In the tradition of The Return of Martin Guerre and The Great Cat Massacre, Miracles at the Jesus Oak is a rich, evocative journey into the past and the extraordinary events that transformed the lives of ordinary people.
In the musty archive of a Belgian abbey, historian Craig Harline happened upon a vast collection of documents written in the seventeenth century by people who claimed to have experienced miracles and wonders. In Miracles at the Jesus Oak, Harline recasts five of these testimonies into engaging vignettes that open a window onto the believers, unbelievers, and religious movements of Catholic Europe in the Age of Reformation.
Miracles at the Jesus Oak transports readers to the seventeenth-century Spanish Netherlands and into the company of a flesh and blood and captivating set of people. Combining meticulous historical research and storytelling élan, Harline writes about the competition for pilgrims waged between a group of tailors and a group of nuns; takes readers inside the emotional turmoil of a young prostitute who secretly takes away a consecrated host from Mass; explores the political and religious ramifications that arise when a woman’s breasts miraculously fill with milk enabling her to feed a starving infant; and in the title story, describes how two towns fight each other for control of the miracle-working oak tree that lies between them.
Craig Harline’s previous books have won the praises of both the mainstream and the religious press. The Weekly Standard said A Bishop’s Tale “reads like the very best historical fiction . . . the history book of the year–and perhaps simply the book of the year.” Written with grace and charm, Miracles at the Jesus Oak is popular history at its most informative and enlightening.
About Craig Harline
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Published April 15, 2003
by Doubleday Religion.
History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Travel.