This article focuses primarily on the role of the camera in representing the famous, much visited Roman Catholic shrine of Lourdes, France, and what this role tells us about the relationship between gazing, knowledge, and the body. After outlining the historical development of the shrine, the discussion proceeds to consider the growth of popular media and the cinematic gaze, the expansion of tourism, debates concerning the morality of gazing at bodies as personal cameras and smartphones becoming increasingly available and used at the shrine, the representation of human and saintly bodies, and the part played by the camera in the attempt to ensure security.
John Eade is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Roehampton, London, and Visiting Professor at Toronto University. He is series editor of the Routledge Studies in Pilgrimage, Religious Travel and Tourism and the Bloomsbury Studies in Religion, Space and Place, as well as the co-founder of the EASA Pilgrimage Network (PilNet). Relevant publications include the co-edited volumes Contesting the Sacred (1991), Reframing Pilgrimage (2004), Pilgrimage, Politics and Place-Making in Eastern Europe (2014), International Perspectives on Pilgrimage Studies (2017), and New Pathways in Pilgrimage Studies (2017). E-mail: J.Eade@roehampton.ac.uk