THE MIRACLE DETECTIVE: An Investigation of Holy Visions

Randall Sullivan, Author . Atlantic Monthly Press $25 (450p) ISBN 978-0-87113-916-0

In what often reads like a spiritual whodunit, author and Rolling Stone contributing editor Sullivan takes readers on a journey into the labyrinthine world of religious apparitions and miracle investigations. Sullivan's fascination with the subject began in 1994 when he learned of a spiritual phenomenon in his own backyard—the reported apparition of the Virgin Mary in a rundown trailer in eastern Oregon. Intrigued, he did some cursory research about such occurrences and proposed to his publisher to do a book on "miracle detectives." He began in Rome, where he met with Catholic Church officials charged with investigating such phenomena, and proceeded to the village of Medjugorje in the former Yugoslavia, where the Virgin reportedly first appeared to six young people in 1981. It was in Medjugorje that Sullivan encountered an unexpected turn in his investigation—a personal religious experience in which a mysterious young woman came to his aid as he made a pilgrimage up the mountain of Krizevac. This and his subsequent spiritual encounters make for an interesting subplot as Sullivan continues his quest to explain the unexplainable, though he never fully discloses the details of where those experiences led him. Much has been written about Marian apparitions, particularly those at Medjugorje, but The Miracle Detective may well emerge as one of the most comprehensive and engaging modern works on the subject. Well told and expertly researched, Sullivan's book should appeal to skeptics and believers alike. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/23/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 450 pages - 978-0-8021-4195-8
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-1-55584-744-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-6248-8
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