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The history and philosophy of the mysterious Cathar religion and its lost treasure • Demonstrates that Catharism is not simply a heretical Christian cult as it is often portrayed • Examines the evidence for the existence of a lost Cathar treasure and its possible connection to the Holy Grail On March 16, 1244, over 200 Cathars were captured in their fortress stronghold of Montségur and were burned alive by troops of the Inquisition. While some Cathar enclaves survived into the next century, this was the death blow to a religion that had been a powerful symbol of Occitain sovereignty against the designs of the French monarchy and the papacy. History has recorded that four high-ranking Cathar perfecti carried a great treasure out of Montségur the night before its fall, a fact that led rebel Huguenots of the 17th century and members of Hitler’s S.S. to believe that an enormous treasure or weapon of awesome spiritual power lay hidden somewhere nearby the ruins of the former Cathar stronghold. Seeking to untangle the true from the false, Celtic and medieval scholar Jean Markale meticulously searches through the obscure history of the Cathars, tracing their roots back to the ancient Zoroastrian religion of Persia. He examines what earned the Cathars--who practiced vegetarianism, non-violence, and tolerance--the ruthless persecution of both the Church and the state. He explores their doctrine, their place in medieval Occitain culture, and their secret pact with the Knights Templar. Most important, he uses all available documentation to reveal the nature of the treasure the Cathars spirited away from their fortress at Montségur the night before its surrender to French troops.
Philip Sinclair’s grandmother leaves him the unusual legacy of a translated journal of his ancient ancestor, who was one of the four Cathar perfecti who escaped from the castle of Montségur with the 'treasure of the Cathars' strapped to his back – a treasure that has never been found. She also requests that he travels to the Pyrenean fastness of le Bézu where she believes the treasure still lies. Meanwhile, the famous young French archaeologist Jaqueline Blontard, known as Jackie, arrives at le Bézu with her assistant to prepare excavations as part of her new television series about the Albigensian Crusade. They believe nobody is yet aware of their explorations, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Not only does the Roman Catholic Church already know about their plans, but a secret body in Paris has sent someone to watch the excavations and a criminal gang in Marseilles has become involved in the search for the Cathar treasure. Soon after Philip arrives at le Bézu, Jackie’s assistant is killed. Suspicion immediately falls on Philip and the police instruct him to stay in the locality while they investigate, but she does not believe he is responsible. The couple decide to work together to find the secret treasure, but before they unearth the location, news comes from Paris that TV France, who are funding the series, have decided to close down the dig. Philip and Jackie continue to search on their own and, closely followed by the shadowy organisations, they unearth much more than they had expected… Full of suspense, action and romance, The Secret of the Cathars explores the mystery of the Cathars and the historical events that supposedly took place years ago in a contemporary story. It will appeal to fans of historical mysteries and thrillers such as The Da Vinci Code.
The thirteenth-century Cathars slaughtered at Montségur in 1244 today offer an alternative to mainstream Christianity that for many integrates better both with ancient pagan traditions and with modern 'new age' attitudes than does the Church. They are used to focus a sense of local pride and independence in the Languedoc of France and they still offer a symbol of largely nonviolent resistance against persecution and near-genocide. While they are the source for substantial studies into reincarnation, they also give us extraordinary detail to help us understand mediaeval life and the horror of the Inquisition. Their spirituality and what it stood for remain alive in countless exemplary ways.It is easy for the picture to become contradictory, contentious and confused.The Cathar View offers the perspectives of roughly twenty-five different contributors. They range from the scholarly to the 'alternative'. Chapters take us from accounts of their predecessors, the Bogomils, through to a review of recent 'heretical' viewpoints about the Holy Grail - the basis of the Da Vinci Code and the burdgeoning legend of Mary Magdalene. There are contributions about Cathar sympathizers such as Otto Rahn, who for many is the original for Indiana Jones, and we look at some of the occultists who have been intrigued by the Cathar inheritance, such as the mysterious Polaires. We take a loving look at the landscape of the Languedoc and what it holds for walkers and mystics alike.The seven sections of the book are History, Alternative Perspectives, Reincarnation and Memory, Historical Viewpoints, The Cathars and the Grail, The Cathar Landscape and The Cathar Legacy.In sum, this is a unique and valuable contribution to the literature about the Cathars or Albigenses, sympathetic to its subject and offering new clarity about what really underlay their intriguing beliefs.Dave Patrick, the editor, follows the format of two very successful titles to which The Cathar View now forms a companion: The View, which was about the spiritual legacy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and The View Beyond, which dealt with Sir Francis Bacon and his programme of learning.
A thoroughly detailed guide to this region of France, with full information on where to stay, how to get around, the history & culture, sights to see, and what to do. Following are a few excerpts from the guide. Some of Europe''s most beautiful cities, stunning beaches and serene, vineyard-dotted countryside are in the Aquitaine region, yet it remains underrated and undiscovered by most tourists. Bordeaux, an epicenter for wonderful wine, is an amazingly vast and entertaining city that is constantly abuzz. To the south lies the enchanting Basque Country, a region crossing into Spain whose borders are not official, but whose people are vehemently (and sometimes violently) proud and independent. Much of the Aquitaine region is a national park. Along the Pyrenees and the Spanish border are several quaint mountain and seaside villages, such as St-Jean-Pied-au-Port and Oloron-Sainte-Marie. Saint-Jean-de-Luz, practically kissing the Spanish border, is one of the prettiest small cities in all of France. The Aquitaine is a place to indulge, be it in wine, fabulous food, relaxing spa therapies, ocean breezes or incredible shopping. The outdoor adventures here are one of the main attractions. The Basque Country attracts visitors from around the globe for its year-round surfing. The national park, spanning a massive stretch of Atlantic coast, beckons those interested in watersports. The Pyrenees to the south of the region offer splendid hiking and skiing opportunities. Tip: To see Aquitaine arts and crafts in the creation stage, and to buy great locally-made wares, make stops along the Route des M(r)tiers d''Arts (contact the Association pour la Promotion des M(r)tiers d''Art d''Aquitaine, tel. 33-05-57-22-57-36, 353 Boulevard du Pr(r)sident Wilson in Bordeaux, www.route- metiers-d-art-aquitaine.com). They have maps and a book on various artists in the region. Popular in France since the 1960s, thalassotherapy means sea-water cure. It was discovered by a Tour de France cyclist healed from his injuries by seawater in his Brittany home. Today, there are numerous thalassotherapy treatment centers in the Aquitaine. Treatments are catered to each visitor, and can be used to address any number of ailments. Or just go for the sake of relaxation, a noble cause indeed. A new trend has been combining spa treatments with vinotherapy, or wine treatments. What could possibly be more indulgent, or uniquely French? Additionally, many of these treatment centers have their own upscale accommodations and gourmet restaurants (although most allow for booking of just therapies without overnight stays). Bordeaux is an absolute paradise for shopaholics and wine aficionados. Easily one of France''s most beautiful and interesting cities, Bordeaux''s pedestrian shopping zone is constantly filled with tourists and locals alike. As a hub of the Bordeaux wine-producing region, there are numerous shops selling high-quality wines at low prices. There are many tours to the area''s grandiose wine choteaux for tastings in stunning settings. The city''s shopping options are vast, ranging from small malls to tiny locally-owned boutiques.
Mysteries of The Cathar Country, is a look into the Histories and Mysteries of the Languedoc. Including the Cathars, Rennes-le-Chateau, the Knights Templar, the Nazi connection, Sacred Geometry and the Priory of Sion. Neil McDonald has been visiting and running tours to the Cathar Country for some years and is an expert in the rich, diverse and fascinating history of the area, including the Cathars and the story of Berenger Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau. It is with this background that the book is presented and to provide the reader with a comprehensive journey through this wonderful area of Southern France, which has received so much interest worldwide in recent years. Neil has brought all the mysteries of the Languedoc together in one single volume, for the first time.
Using a lively narrative, The Sociology of Religion is an insightful text that follows the logic of actual research, first investigating the facts of religion in all its great diversity, including its practices and beliefs, and then analyzing actual examples of religious developments using relevant conceptual frameworks. As a result, students actively engage in the discovery, learning, and analytical processes as they progress through the textùjust as a scholar pursues knowledge in the field and then applies theoretical constructs to interpret findings.This unique text is organized around essential topics and real-life issues and examines religion both as an object of sociological analysis as well as a device for seeking personal meaning in life. While primarily sociological in focus, the text incorporates relevant interdisciplinary scholarshipùthus teaching sociological perspectives on religion while introducing students to relevant research from other fields. Sidebar features and photographs of religious figures bring the text to life for readers.Key Features and Benefits:Uses substantive and truly contemporary real-life religious issues of current interest to engage the reader in a way few other texts doCombines theory with empirical examples drawn from the United States and around the world, emphasizing a critical and analytical perspective that encourages better understanding of the material presentedFeatures discussions of emergent religions, consumerism, and the link between religion, sports, and other forms of popular cultureDraws upon interdisciplinary literature, helping students appreciate the contributions of other disciplines while primarily developing an understanding of the sociology of religion InstructorÆs Resources on CD-ROM· InstructorÆs Resources on CD-ROM contains chapter outlines, summaries, multiple-choice questions, essay questions, and short answer questions as well as illustrations from the book. Contact Customer Care at 1-800-818-SAGE (7243) to request a copy (6:00 a.m.û5:00 p.m., PST).Intended Audience: This core text is designed for upper-level undergraduate students of Sociology of Religion or Religion and Politics.

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