An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town

An Irreverent Curiosity In Search of the Church s Strangest Relic in Italy s Oddest Town A tour through the centuries and through a bizarre Italian town in search of an unbelievable relic the foreskin of Jesus Christ In December a priest in the Italian hill town of Calcata shared sh

  • Title: An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town
  • Author: David Farley
  • ISBN: 9781592404544
  • Page: 397
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A tour through the centuries and through a bizarre Italian town in search of an unbelievable relic the foreskin of Jesus Christ In December 1983, a priest in the Italian hill town of Calcata shared shocking news with his congregation The pride of their town, the foreskin of Jesus, had been stolen Some postulated that it had been stolen by Satanists Some said the priesA tour through the centuries and through a bizarre Italian town in search of an unbelievable relic the foreskin of Jesus Christ In December 1983, a priest in the Italian hill town of Calcata shared shocking news with his congregation The pride of their town, the foreskin of Jesus, had been stolen Some postulated that it had been stolen by Satanists Some said the priest himself was to blame Some even pointed their fingers at the Vatican In 2006, travel writer David Farley moved to Calcata, determined to find the missing foreskin, or at least find out the truth behind its disappearance Farley recounts how the relic passed from Charlemagne to the papacy to a marauding sixteenth century German solider before finally ending up in Calcata, where miracles occurred that made the sleepy town a major pilgrimage destination Over the centuries, as Catholic theology evolved, the relic came to be viewed as something of an embarrassment, culminating in a 1900 Church decree that allowed the parish to display it only on New Year s Day.An Irreverent Curiosity interweaves this history with the curious landscape of Calcata, a beautiful and untouched medieval village set atop four hundred fifty foot cliffs, which now, due to the inscrutable machinations of Italian bureaucracy, is a veritable counterculture coven Blending history, travel, and perhaps the oddest story in Christian lore, An Irreverent Curiosity is a weird and wonderful tale of conspiracy and misadventure.Winner of the 2010 Lowell Thomas Tavel Journalism Award for best book Listed One of the Best Travel Books of 2009 The Los Angeles Times WorldHum One of the Best Books of the Decade The Dubuque Telegraph Herald Farley s ribald detective story is like a cross between The Da Vinci Code and Life of Brian a charming yarn The New York Times Told with gusto, good humor, and a healthy respect for eccentricity, Farley s quixotic account is an eloquent testament to the power of travel and travail to entertain and illuminate National Geographic Traveler Genre bending at its best Kirkus Reviews Starred review

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    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [David Farley] ↠ An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town || [Religion Book] PDF ☆
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      Published :2018-05-24T06:45:54+00:00

    1 thought on “An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town”

    1. "An Irreverent Curiosity" is the story of author David Farley's search for the "Holy Foreskin of Jesus" relic in the remote Italian town of Calcata. Mr. Farley has a bit of an obsession with reliquaries and the possibility of solving the mystery of the disappearance of the foreskin proved too tempting. He moved his family to Calcata and spent the next year or so investigating various theories about who has the shriveled bit of skin and where. These include shady relic collectors, Satanists in Tu [...]

    2. This has to be one of the quirkiest and most interesting books I've read in a long time. A food critic/travel writer decides he wants to go somewhere exciting and somehow tie it into work. So, him and his wife pick up and move for a year to Calcata, a medieval looking town 30 miles outside Rome. The town is infamous because its claim to fame for centuries was that its church contained the Holy Foreskin of Jesus Christ. This most holy relic disappears in the 1970's and the author is determined to [...]

    3. I had no idea there was such a thing as "The Holy Foreskin," a relic which may or may not be authentic (I am guessing not). Located in a church reliquary in the hill town of Calcata, Italy since 1527, the story of its disappearance in 1983 seems to be well known in Italy. The author, who happens to be somewhat of a "relic buff," takes up the challenge to find out if it was stolen and where it may have ended up.Although I learned a lot about relics in general and some Catholic church history, the [...]

    4. Like Bill Bryson meets Dan Brown deep in the heart of Italy, this book chronicles one man's quest to find a strange holy relic - Christ's foreskin. It's witty, sceptical, yet somehow still respectful of the people in the area and their passion or lack of same for the oddest of many odd holy pieces. Does it exist or not exist - we never really find out - but the trip he takes to research and document is well documented and a delight to read.

    5. I think someone said it on the back of the book in a blurb, but it really is true: if you're going to only read one single book about the foreskin of Jesus Christ, then you really want to read this one.Yes.You read that right.Join me, will you, in this particularly weird history of the Catholic Church as we discover the silliness that is the world of relics. For the uninitiated, relics were bits from the lives of various saints and others deemed holy by Rome. These bits had a hierarchy and diffe [...]

    6. I’m not and have never been a religious person but you add a religious relic, some history and a little archaeology and I’m tickled pink. With An Irreverent Curiosity, David Farley introduces us to the most bizarre religious relic of all, the foreskin of Christ. Seriously. The foreskin went missing in the 80’s, supposedly stolen. Years and years later, Farley and his wife moved to Calcata, a tiny town in Italy and former (or possibly current) resting place of this holy foreskin, so he coul [...]

    7. As one who was reasonably entertained by the "DaVinci Code," I found it interesting to consider how much different Dan Brown's books would be if his characters ever stopped running long enough to consider the utter absurdity of what they were "discovering." Maybe instead of encountering murderous zealots at every turn, they met a series of harmless goofballs with rather eccentric beliefs. The books might well resemble David Farley's charming "An Irreverent Curiosity." The book tells the saga of [...]

    8. I really wasn't sure if I was going to like this book or not but the title sure got my interest. Once I started it though, I couldn't put it down. I think this book is as much travelogue memoir as anything else & the search itself is as much of the story as the author's ultimate goal of actually locating the relic in question. The journey itself with all the interesting characters he meets along the way is a big part of the story. No, it's not a serious scholarly work, but it's my feeling th [...]

    9. Liked the book more than I thought I would at first. Foreskin hunt seemed a framework on which to hang tales of being an expat in a quirky Italian village. Author reminded me quite a bit of Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World), and while I wouldn't classify this book an outstanding must-read it was pretty good, and I'd really like to see more from Farley in future.

    10. Absolutely loved the way Farley blends the history and contemporary culture of Calcata, Italy with the irreverent mystery of the title. Taking on the role of a comically ersatz Robert Langdon, he unravels the tales of the Holy Prepuce with skepticism, glee and a healthy sense of wonder at the human race and its varying shades of zaniness. Never judgmental, always self-effacing, he comes off as a trustworthy narrator and a damn good storyteller. Highly recommend!

    11. Fascinating. Very much in the vein of "City of Falling Angels". Take-away so far: Small town people are weird (duh), Small town Italian people are really weird, Catholic tradition of relic worship is really, really weird, and Jesus's foreskin is one such relic. It only can get betterAnd finished. Definitely recommend this quick read. Fun and informative!

    12. Great book! The strange relic of the title is the foreskin of Christ, but you're not allowed to use the term or you will be excommunicated by the Catholic Church! It disappeared (was stolen) from a church in a small town in Italy and travel writer David Farley tries to track it down. Definitely a strange relic, certainly a town full of odd characters, and without a doubt an entertaining read.

    13. some weird grammar mistakes for a literature professor, ex. "his quaffed hair", instead of coiffed! and one he keeps repeating is a "couple blocks", a "couple miles", etc. Shouldn't that be a "couple of". Bottom line is I did enjoy the book, the quirky characters and topic (must find Jesus' foreskin) make it worth the weird writing errors.

    14. Somewhere between travelogue, memoir, detective story, and participatory history, this book is genuinely funny. I'm a sucker for esoterica, but the speed and ease of the prose makes it a solid general recommendation. Not perfect, but with enough enthusiasm to hold it together.

    15. This historical travelogue is quirky, funny, informative - a story within a story. The amount of research that went into this book was astounding -- truly creative nonfiction. I don't know how David Farley did it, but I'm so glad he did!

    16. Good book about a crazy little town, their church, town drunk, celebrity, cat lady and shifty priest in Italy. Makes we want to visit. The look at the inner workings of the church however and the formation of early Christian dogma was the real point here.

    17. All I can say is I'd like to visit the town of Calcata, Italy. It sounds as though it would make a great venue for a sitcom. As for the sacred foreskin

    18. One of the most boring books I have read lately. Save your money and skip this more. If I had not been on a plane I would have trashed it out the window.

    19. Surprisingly engrossing! Farley moves to a hill town north of Rome and sets about unwinding two millenia of Christian history, myth and legend, surrounded by a group of helpful eccentrics.

    20. Fun book. I was more interested in the material about the history of Catholic relics than the details of rural Italian life, but well worth reading for either subject.

    21. This is an amazing, very weird type of travel book. It would be very funny if it all wasn't so true. And it's funny anyway.

    22. This book was very interesting and well worth reading, particularly for anyone who is interested in Italy and the Catholic Church.

    23. Read this. You will learn a lot about church history, relics, contemporary Italy, culture shock, and food.I can't tell you where the particular relic in question is though. Spoilers!

    24. I couldn't tell you the last time I had this much fun reading a book. The characters, the story, the adventure--absurd and wonderful!

    25. After reading An Irreverent Curiosity, I want to move to Calcata! Starting this traveling piece, you get drawn in by the obscurity of the objective of David Farley's quest. Can this really be a whole book? But as he takes you throughout Italy, you fall in love with the eccentric characters and welcoming Italian culture. The scenes of townspeople drinking wine all day long or gathering in the towns square on Sundays to catch up or even the crazy neighbors makes Calcata seem idyllic.

    26. Quirky, informative, and witty, An Irreverent Curiosity is a wonderful read. David Farley does a great job of illustrating the village of Calcata and its interesting inhabitants, while plunging into fascinating historical information and a world of intrigue surrounding the STRANGEST holy relic you can imagine.

    27. Here's a Jeopardy clue that you'll probably never encounter: "It was once a revered relic of the Catholic Church, but eventually it disappeared from the Vatican, and in 1900 Pope Leo XIII threatened excommunication to anyone who discussed it." Answer: "What is the foreskin of Jesus Christ?"That's right folks, it's the Santissimo Prepuzio, often imitated, but never duplicated (although putatively real ones seemed to multiply faster than loaves and fishes). After being plundered from the Vatican i [...]

    28. On my first visit to Piazza Navona in Rome, I learned about the martyrdom of St. Agnes whose bones are conserved in the church there. Having spurned the amorous intentions of a Roman prefect's son, Agnes was dragged through the streets naked to be raped at the nearby brothel. Divine intervention caused her hair immediately to grow and cover her shame. Having protected her threatened pudeur and pudendum, God saw no reason to spare her life, and she was promptly beheaded. It occurred to me then th [...]

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