AN Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's OddestTown

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Penguin, Jul 9, 2009 - Travel - 304 pages
46 Reviews
Read David Farley's posts on the Penguin Blog.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 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. Blending history, travel, and perhaps the oddest story in Christian lore, An Irreverent Curiosity is a weird and wonderful tale of conspiracy and misadventure.
 

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

User Review  - Mark Schroeder - Goodreads

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. Read full review

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

User Review  - Mike Wigal - Goodreads

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... Read full review

Contents

THE PREPUCE THE PRIEST AND THE WARDROBE
A PIECE OF
OH CALCATA
THE FATHER OF ALL FORESKINS
FAMILY JEWELS
THE STENCH OF MYSTERY
ITALIAN FOR DUMMIES
THE ULTIMATE CIRCUMCISION
SACRED CHOW
PRECIOUS RUBBISH
DOLCETTO O SCHERZETTO?
MISSING PIECES
ENERGY BOOSTERS
CURSED
RED SKIN
IL GIALLO

CA DANTE
FOR THE BIRDS
LOOKING FOR THE KEYS TO ST PETERS
ARMIES FOR JESUS
A HISTORY OF NOTHING
THE FORESKIN PHENOMENON
THE CONFESSION
THE DAY CALCATA CAVED
SYMPOSIUM AD NAUSEAM
THE CAPITAL OF MAGIC
HOLY FEAST
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About the author (2009)

David Farley’s travel writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Slate, and many other publications. He teaches writing at New York University and lives in New York.

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