Disruptive Power

Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918-1965

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Michael E. O'Sullivan
German and European Studies
  • Toronto: 
    University of Toronto Press
    , November
     344 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Disruptive Power examines a surprising revival of faith in Catholic miracles in Germany from the 1920s to the 1960s. The book follows the dramatic stigmata of Therese Neumann of Konnersreuth and her powerful circle of followers that included theologians, Cardinals, politicians, journalists, monarchists, anti-fascists, and everyday pilgrims. Disruptive Power explores how this and other similar groups negotiated the precariousness of the Weimar Republic, the repression of the Third Reich, and the dynamic early years of the Federal Republic.

Analyzing a network of rebellious traditionalists, O’Sullivan illustrates the divisions that characterized the German Catholic minority as they endured the tumultuous era of the world wars. Analyzing material from archives in Germany and the United States, Michael E. O’Sullivan investigates the unsanctioned but very popular visions in several rural towns after World War II, providing micro-histories that illuminate the impact of mystical faith on religiosity, politics, and gender norms.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Michael E. O'Sullivan is an associate professor in the Department of History at Marist College.


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