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This site offers a scholarly overview of the literature and art on the Holy Grail

The Holy Grail has passed into everyday speech, and the legends behind it are as current in today's culture as they have ever been. And yet the Grail has no real religious meaning and is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. What is the truth behind this elusive symbol?

By a series of imaginative transformations, the Grail moved from the sphere of romance to religion and thence to twentieth century popular culture. This extraordinary journey touches theology, history, literature and art, and ranges across most of Western Europe and the Near East. The diversity of concepts shows the wealth of the Grail's cultural influence, from the beginning of the prose romances to the hotly disputed theological ideas of the middle ages. Later, the rise of literary scholarship and the nineteenth-century enthusiasm for all things medieval gave way to twentieth-century New Age refashionings.

Most of the material is based on the recently published book by Richard Barber, The Holy Grail: The History of a Legend (Penguin Books), which has also appeared in the U S as The Holy Grail: Imagination and Belief (Harvard University Press) and as Graal in Italian (Edizione Piemme). A German edition, Der Heilige Gral (Patmos Verlag) will appear in 2005. Other publishers will be Distribuidora Record (Brazil), Editura Aquila '93 (Romania), La Liebre del Marzo (Spain) and Eksmo Publishers (Russia).

Click here to learn more about Richard Barber's book

Click here to learn more about other books on the Grail