Burnt and Purged Away: Purgatory and the Italian Cult of the Dead: An Illustrated Lecture with Elizabeth Harper
Date: Wednesday, October 7th
Time: 8 pm
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn NY
Tickets Here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2310163
In Italy’s Catholic churches, the macabre is commonplace. Crypts are lit with electric chandeliers made of human bone. Old women build houses for skulls. Flaming ghosts haunt the living and a naked mummy named “Uncle Vincent” sits in his shrine, waiting to receive gifts.
Death is not the end of the road for Catholics. Though these public displays may seem morbid, the traditions illustrate a spiritual and physical journey that begins at death. It’s a journey that takes us through the liminal spaces between here and the afterlife, between flesh and bone, and between sacred and profane. In this illustrated talk, we’ll travel with the deceased through these spaces devoted to death and uncover their hidden meanings.
Elizabeth Harper is a Morbid Anatomy Scholar in Residence. She photographs and writes about Catholic relics and other oddities for her blog, All the Saints You Should Know, a project started as a way to document and demystify the bones and bodies found in churches all over the world. Her work has been featured on Slate, LA Magazine, Atlas Obscura, Killing the Buddha, and a host of British Tabloids. She’s a member of the Order of the Good Death and has previously lectured at Machine Project, Death Salon Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Mütter Museum, and Virginia Commonwealth University as part of the Bishop Sullivan Lecture Series.