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Introduction

Knowledge, Ignorance, and Pilgrimage

Evgenia Mesaritou, Simon Coleman, and John Eade

The field of pilgrimage studies has greatly expanded in recent years, with scholarship being produced on “secular” pilgrimages ( Margry 2008 ), the political economy of pilgrimage ( Coleman and Eade 2018a ), the relationship of pilgrimage with

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Non “Religious” Knowing in Pilgrimages to Sacred Sites

Greek Cypriots’ “return” Pilgrimages to the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas (Cyprus)

Evgenia Mesaritou

Although pilgrimages are often directed toward what are conventionally seen as “religious” sites, religious and ritual forms of knowledge may not necessarily be the only, or even the most prominent, forms in their workings. Such types of knowledge

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Joshua Nash

Architectural pilgrimage is implicitly appreciated in architecture and design circles, especially by students who are encouraged to “travel to architecture,” with the focus on the Grand Tour as a means of architectural exploration. However, the expression has not been made explicit in the fields of architectural history, pilgrimage studies, tourism research, and mobility studies. I explore how pilgrimage to locations of modern architectural interest affects and informs pilgrims' and architects' conceptions of buildings and the pilgrimage journey itself. Drawing initially on a European architectural pilgrimage, the personal narrative highlights the importance of self-reflection and introspection when observing the built environment and the role of language in mediating processes of movement through and creation of architectural place-space.

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Yvonne Friedman and Shulamit Furstenberg-Levi

“A successful pilgrimage depends completely on the guide … it is most effective to have only one guide accompanying a group.” —Padre Gianfranco Pinto Ostuni, director of the Delegazione di Terra Santa, 2016 To date, guiding, a significant aspect of

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Smita Yadav

Sites of pilgrimage and heritage tourism are often sites of social inequality and volatility that are impaired by hostilities between historical, ethnic, and competing religious discourses of morality, personhood, and culture, as well as between imaginaries of nationalism and citizenship. Often these pilgrim sites are much older in national and global history than the actual sovereign nation-state in which they are located. Pertinent issues to do with finance—such as regimes of taxation, livelihoods, and the wealth of regional and national economies—underscore these sites of worship. The articles in this special issue engage with prolix travel arrangement, accommodation, and other aspects of heritage tourism in order to understand how intangible aspects of such tourism proceed. But they also relate back to when and how these modern infrastructures transformed the pilgrimage and explore what the emerging discourses and practices were that gave newer meanings to neoliberal pilgrimages. The different case studies presented in this issue analyze the impact of these journeys on the pilgrims’ own subjectivities—especially with regard to the holy sites being situated in their imaginations of historical continuity and discontinuity and with regard to their transformative experiences of worship—using both modern and traditional infrastructures.

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The Non-Secular Pilgrimage

Walking and Looking in Ken Cockburn and Alec Finlay’s The Road North

Alice Tarbuck and Simone Kotva

In 1970, Wendell Berry described nature poetry as a ‘secular pilgrimage’. 1 While recognising the laic nature of much environmental wayfaring, the contemporary Scottish nature poet Alec Finlay (b. 1966) importantly observes that this journeying is

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“Welcome to Divinity College”

Subjectification in Pilgrimage to the Iran-Iraq War Battlefields in Contemporary Iran

Mahshid Zandi

Abstract

“Welcome to Divinity College,” reads a welcome sign to the state-sponsored fieldtrips of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988) battlefields in Iran. Rahian-e Noor battlefield tours follow the model of Shia pilgrimage and commemorative rituals, while also tapping into nationalist discourses of the country as an ancient homeland. I ask whether these trips are a means of disseminating knowledge, and what forms of ignorance are assumed to prevail among the visitors that this “Divinity College” seeks to eliminate? Even more importantly, since the tours are state-sponsored, what ignorances are rendered possible, if not encouraged, at the cost of this selective knowledge dissemination? Drawing on fieldwork, I argue that the tours provide a space of encounter with what is presupposed as the visitors’ already acquired knowledge. On RN tours, both knowledge and ignorance are co-constitutive of the transformative power of pilgrimage, where ultimate knowledge is interpreted as putting the already-known-words into deeds.

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Memory as Absence and Presence

Pilgrimage, “Archeo-Theology,“ and the Creativity of Destruction

Simon Coleman

This article explores forms of history and memory constructed around the Christian pilgrimage site of Walsingham, England. While exploring different ways of appropriating the past exhibited by pilgrims, ranging from “reliving,“ “remixing,“ and “reframing,“ the article argues that Walsingham's powerful symbolic resonances emerge in part from its role as a context for “archeotheology,“ whereby a sacramental religious ideology is reinforced by the forms of ruination evident at key points of the site.

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Walking Back to Happiness?

Modern Pilgrimage and the Expression of Suffering on Spain's Camino de Santiago

Keith Egan

This article examines the experiences of walkers along the Spanish Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. It explores their journeys as exercises in narrative adjustment, social practices, and somatic experiences of a crippling loss of control over the course of their lives. Using a phenomenological method of descriptions, the article argues that mobility is a trope that expresses existential issues in a bodily idiom. It draws attention to the value of inter-subjective experience as a potential source of existential mobility, one that finds metaphorical expression in the slow daily rhythms structuring pilgrims' journeys and that impacts on the researcher as much as the pilgrims.

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Pilgrimage to the Playas

Surf Tourism in Costa Rica

Stefan Michael Krause

Surf tourism is a largely ignored mode of touristic behaviour in the academy. This investigation adds to a very limited body of work by providing explorations of the significance of surf tourism for surfers and by bringing forward data and observations of the impacts surf tourism has had on Playas Jacó and Hermosa, Costa Rica. Interview, statistical and observation data are used here to argue that: a surfer habitus creates dispositions for many surfers to travel to exotic coastal destinations on the periphery; surf trips to Costa Rica in many ways are experientially similar to pilgrimages; and that surf tourism can be seen to be directly and indirectly associated with many economic, environmental and socio-cultural costs and benefits to the local communities under study. Considering the applied dimension of surf tourism it is argued that surfers may indirectly set in motion a process of development and foreign investment into areas that are ill prepared for large numbers of visitors.