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Looking the Wrong Way: Authenticity and Proof of Religious Vision

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Two 2006 vision events in southern California serve as case studies for investigation by a historian and a photographer of the current surge in reported religious visions: a well-publicized visit by world famous visionary Ivan Dragicevic (b. 1965) to a major Los Angeles area church and a vision by the relatively obscure Maria Paula Acuna (b. ca. 1952) in the Mojave Desert. Although both events included apparitions of the Virgin Mary, interactions between visionary and witnesses at each event revealed different religious purposes and meanings. The efforts of witnesses to prove and commemorate their experiences help explain why the personal religious vision has remained both crucial and problematic for Christians over two millennia.
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Keywords: Acuna; Maria Paula (b. ca. 1952); Dragicevic; Ivan (b. 1965); Lady of the Rock; Medjugorje; Photographs; Polaroid; Religious Visions; Revelation; Visuality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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