bones or whole bodies. The objects are dry and anonymous, but in the context of the CatholicChurch they can become the agents of pilgrimage and veneration. Without the Church these objects are human remains, but because of the symbiotic relationship between the objects, church administrators, the CatholicChurch authorities and worshippers they become the subjects of veneration. It is the social structures in place within the Church, and between the Church and its worshippers, which are the agent and which provide authenticity, not the bones alone. In one of Latour
head and body, found his hands to be paralysed and his ‘speech and sight’ damaged (van der Sanden 1996 : 65). By the seventeenth century, however, when our couple from Hope set out as the snow clouds gathered, attitudes towards the miraculously preserved dead had changed.
The ‘dangerous dead’
The split from the CatholicChurch that began in England as a political affair under the reign of Henry VIII, was of course part of a much greater process of Reformation across northern Europe, affecting most of the countries within the scope of this study – principally