This episode features our frequent and very popular guest Elyse Rivin. If you enjoy her episodes, please consider supporting her on Patreon.
Have you heard the Cathars? It is a religion that thrived in the Southwest of France for 100 years during the Middle Ages, then disappeared in a violent crusade. On today's episode of Join Us in France, we discuss the wild beliefs Cathars held so dear that they were willing to die for them.
We'll talk about dualism, spiritual prison, reincarnation, "bons hommes", perfects, Jesus as a "hologram", and of the importance of consolation.
As seen from today's standards, the Cathars had shocking beliefs that put them at odds with the Catholic church. And yet this religion spread all over the Languedoc area in France. This is the area between Toulouse, Foix, Perpignan, Béziers, and Albi.
How did this happen? Why did people convert to this religion although they risked being killed for heresy? After listening to this episode, you'll understand how the people loved Cathar preachers (they called them "Perfects") and feared Catholic clergy.
Next week we'll talk about major sites in Cathar Country and about the terrible events of the Crusade against the Cathars.