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CARE, the European Center for Religious Anthropology, is a founding member of a new research center, the Center for Social Sciences and Religious Studies (CéSor - UMR 8216-CNRS), created in 2015 under the aegis of the EHESS.
Center follows in the footsteps of its founder, Alphonse Dupront, whose research was at the crossroads of the historical and anthropological dimensions of expressions of the sacred.
The library's holdings reflect the research center's work on its traditional themes such as pilgrimages, religious brotherhoods, liturgy, holiness and sainthood and new areas of research such as relics, indulgences, vows and prayers. The library offers a unique collection on 19th century European religious history and historiography and a constantly up-dated collection on the history of the Society of Jesus' evangelical missions and on the Roman Catholic Church. The collection represents over 5,000 bibliographic entries on line (http://catalogue.bibliotheque.msh-paris.fr), a wealth of books, periodicals and brochures in on-site reserves, and a remarkable collection of general works on religious history, iconography and anthropology in open-access at the library's reading room.
The library was originally established in 1972 at the same time as the CARE research center. It was built from an exceptional collection of publications and documents on French and European religions, sanctuaries and pilgrimages, donated by the journal Sanctuaires et Pèlerinages. The library holds the analytic bibliography on forms and practices of the sacred elaborated under the direction of Alphonse Dupront, as well as archives containing his most significant surveys. Holdings are augmented annually through acquisitions that reflect current research topics as well as through documents donated by the research team.
One such gift came recently from Danièle Hervieu-Léger, intellectual heir to Jean Séguy (1925-2007), who donated the sociologist of religion's entire library of over 22,000 volumes. The legacy was particularly rich in modern English religious history and the history of the Mennonites, of which Jean Séguy was a celebrated specialist. It also increased the library's holdings on the history of the Society of Jesus and in the sociology of religions with the complete works of Ernst Troeltsch. The collection is currently being catalogued.
Photo Credits : A.Bastien