in the destruction of the Nenets sacred monuments is notoriously known, but he is also acknowledged for a detailed record of the monuments and their religious meaning before demolishing them. He wrote in his notes: “In the Bolshezemel’skaia tundra, on
Translator : Tatiana Argounova-Low
sustainable one? Although everything is related to the social and cultural context, nevertheless, an important condition is the factor of status. The study of the history of Muslim sacred lineages, such as the Sayyids, 1 Xoja 2 and Ishan s 3 of Central
A Lucrative Revenue Stream
Pilgrimage has been performed by members of all religions, and all beliefs, from prehistoric times to the present. The visitation of religious and sacred sites represents a significant economic resource for many faith establishments and organizations. In this article, I will explore the Muslim Hajj to Mecca as a case study. The study is based on ethnographic research using interviews and observation. The economic impact of pilgrims is a multifaceted and complex subject. Pilgrims spend money on transport, accommodation, and other services; hence, they contribute to the economy of the host state. My research suggests that there is a particular type of relationship between the economic and the spiritual aspects of pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
“Taking the Waters” in Tunka Valley, Russia
This article examines the sacred mineral springs in Arshan, Buriatiia. These springs have been inscribed as sacred due to their medicinal properties and are marked as sacred through rituals and material offerings. Residents lament the loss of healing, and implicitly sacred, strength of Arshan. The author argues that the sense of loss is due to the medicalization of healing in Tsarist and Soviet times and from the commodification of this type of sacred site through bottling and tourism.
Sacred Resources and the Quest for 'Life'
In this article, I argue that the word ‘resource’ can be used to denote what is considered to be of high value in a given society. These values may relate either to society as a whole or to its parts. In the former case, resources often acquire the characteristics of the sacred as identified by Émile Durkheim and others. It is here argued that the Durkheimian approach captures the symbolic dimension of the collective sacred but ignores the social effects of people’s attempts to obtain access to the highest value. To understand how concrete social forms evolve, one may rather turn to the writings of Arthur Maurice Hocart. His approach draws our attention to values (of ‘life’) and the social processes deriving from people’s engagement with the sacred. To illustrate this approach, an ethnographic example from Odisha, India is provided.
Ronjon Paul Datta
Alexander Tristan Riley. Godless Intellectuals? The Intellectual Pursuit of the Sacred Reinvented, New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010, 298 pp.
Shamanic Tourism and Cultural Production on the Olkhon Island
This article looks at the particular ways in which shamanic sacred places are being constructed through tourist performances. Focusing on the guided tours in Olkhon Island conducted by a Buryat shaman, the article maps out the various meanings of this tourist phenomenon in the context of Buryat shamanic revival. It interprets tourist performances as forms of social action and as a paradigmatic example of how contemporary Buryats fashion their ethnic and religious identity, arguing that this form of shamanic tourism results in the greater articulation (rather than the diminution) of cultural heritage. Focusing on the intercultural production of sacred sites as one part of multi-faceted shamanic revitalization process, the article demonstrates that it is through reinvention of shamanism as a "genuine world religion" — which fashions sacred sites as equivalents of "temples" (in this case in tourist discourse)—indigenous activists stake out political ground for reclaiming sacred sites.
Greek Cypriots’ “return” Pilgrimages to the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas (Cyprus)
this case, the pilgrimage's destination is the sacred center and the island's edge, where it is located, plus the journey; the whole route that one has to follow in order to reach it. The road is therefore important not only for where it leads, but in
The Construction of a Shrine in Postwar Kosovo
Anna Di Lellio and Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers
The site of an infamous Serb massacre of a militant Albanian extended family in March 1998 has become the most prominent sacred shrine in postwar Kosovo attracting thousands of Albanian visitors. Inspired by Smith's (2003) 'territorialization of memory' as a sacred source of national identity and MacCannell's (1999 ) five-stage model of 'sight sacralization', this article traces the site's sacred memorial topography, its construction process, its social and material reproductions, and adds a sixth stage to the interpretation - the 'political reproduction'. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, the commemorative literature emanating from this shrine and on numerous interviews with core protagonists (including former guerrilla) and visitors, the article explores the ways in which the religious themes of martyrdom and sacrifice, as well as traditionalist ideals of solidarity and militancy, are embodied at the site and give sense to a nation-wide celebration of ethno-national resistance, solidarity and independence.
Drawing on phenomenology and his clinical practice, the author explores religious experience and the dynamics of the numinous. The article opens with the argument that psychoanalysts, like religious healers, should be able to work with religious phenomena as part of psychoanalytic therapy. The origin of the term 'numinous' is explained, and two types of human religious experience, mysterium tremendum and fascinans, are detailed. The role of anxiety in converting a metaphorical illusion (fascinans) into a private symbol (mysterium tremendum) is described. The terms by which religion can be viewed alternatively as delusion, illusion, and tenable speculation are discussed. A patient's religious concerns with the sacred and the profane are presented as symptoms of the repression of numinous experiences. Therapy can be promoted through a psychoanalytic dialogue on the patient's religiosity and its partial replication of early object relations.