Religion in action: How Marian apparitions may become true

Zdeněk Konopásek


According to Latour, religion and science have nothing in common. The two are successful (or failing) in quite different ways. Religiousness is not aimed at fact-making, but at presence-making, he says. To critically reconsider these ideas, I discuss the case study of Marian apparitions in Litmanová, Slovakia. The study suggests a more complicated picture by not focusing on pure and ready-made religion, but rather on religion in the making, a kind of “almost-religion.” It shows how the reality of apparitions, initially of quite unclear status, was becoming more and more religious. Fact-making and fact-checking clearly belonged to this trajectory and have never stopped being relevant. Nonetheless, together with how the apparition was progressively becoming truly religious (or religiously true), Latourian presence-making was gaining in importance.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/718933