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Local Identities and Transnational Cults within Europe

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Local-level pilgrimages, when based on strong expressions of faith, can have a much wider local, regional and international appeal. It has been estimated that pilgrims and religious tourists number around 330 million per year, meaning development of these faith identities can help drive destination visitation and regional development. This book explores the central role of ordinary people in the popularisation of faith-based practices, thus illustrating religious tourism as an expression of cultural identity.åÊAn invaluable review of cultural identity and faith, this book delivers to scholars, students and local policy makers a collection of current perspectives on the growth, development and evolution of faith practices surrounding contemporary and historical sites and saints.

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1 Introduction: Local Identity and Transnational Cults

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Introduction: Local Identity and Transnational Cults

Fiorella Giacalone1* and Kevin Griffin2

University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy; 2Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

Religious Tourism, between

Local Identity and the International

Dimension1

Before it became a political entity, Europe had long been a place where the movement of pilgrims and merchants made the knowledge of different languages and cultures possible. This was especially true in the case of the fairs held to celebrate the festivals associated with holy sites.

Pilgrimage, in its traditional sense, and in historic references, is a journey, often long and complex, which is performed out of devotion – a spiritual quest for the fulfilment of a votive. It is a necessary sacrifice that is made in order to arrive at a ‘holy’ place. This perspective renders the process of secularization witnessed today even more interesting, as it has an effect on all religious phenomena, and thus also the sense of what it means to undertake a pilgrimage.

 

2 Continuity from Local Cult to ‘Accepted’ Ritual

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Continuity from Local Cult to ‘Accepted’ Ritual

Gianfranco Spitilli*

La Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Introduction1

This chapter explores a rural cult in central Italy through an interpretation inspired by European religious ethnology and the anthropology of Christianity. The field research, carried out in the twoyear period of 2014–15 and still in progress, is sustained by the meticulous exploration of historic civil, religious and family archives – as if carrying out consultation with ethnographic interlocutors.

The close historical examination opens the spectrum of the ethnological investigation to an interpretation stratified by the present-­day context of the research topic revealing otherwise invisible aspects of current behaviour and practice.

According to the legend on the founding of the church of the Madonna of Alno in Canzano, a rural village in the province of Teramo in Abruzzo, the Madonna appeared upon a white poplar tree to a farmer named Floro on

 

3 Developing Pilgrimage Itineraries: The Way of St Francis in Umbria as Case in Point

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Developing Pilgrimage Itineraries:

The Way of St Francis in Umbria as Case in Point

Paola de Salvo*

Department of Political Science, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

Introduction

Travelling for spiritual and religious reasons is nothing new and indeed may be considered one of the oldest forms of tourism. Religion has long underlain the main urges impelling mankind to undertake journeys, especially non-economic travel (Jackowski and Smith, 1992). Furthermore, even though religion has always played a key role in the development of leisure time and has influenced how the individual enjoyed it, the growth of religious motivations coincided with the development of modern tourism. Pilgrimages have become much more widespread in the past decades. They now constitute a large sector of international tourism, are more organized and standardized in format (Timothy and Olsen,

2006), and are today one of the most popular displays of human mobility (Shinde, 2008; Nyaupane and Budruk, 2009). The latest data from the World Tourism Organization (WTO, 2011) estimated that 330 million travellers visited holy places, with 40 million visiting Italy alone. Holy places strongly attract not only tourists who are interested in their spiritual awakening, but also people who are motivated by an interest in history (Shinde, 2008; Olsen, 2009). As more and more religious or spiritual destinations associate well-known holy places with their rich historical

 

4 Pilgrimage, Religious Tourism and Heritage in Calabria

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Pilgrimage, Religious Tourism and Heritage in Calabria

Alfonsina Bellio*

Institut d’Études Avancées de Nantes – Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités

(GSRL), Paris, France

From Pilgrims to Spiritual Tourists

The Way of St James (or Camino de Santiago) was declared a European Cultural Route by the

Council of Europe on 23 October 1987. This started a new season for contemporary tourism based on greater attention given to pilgrimage routes. A number of actions have been undertaken ever since in order to promote this journey and many others which have particular political and economic significance. According to sociological data, what might have appeared as an

­exclusively Spanish phenomenon has indeed become an international, multicultural and multi-­ religious way (Grossi, 2008, pp. 229–231).

Over the past few decades, religious tourism, also known as spiritual tourism, has expanded to an extent that was unimaginable in the past.

 

5 Fighting for the Saint: Ritual Rivalries in Traditional Pilgrimages

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Fighting for the Saint: Ritual Rivalries in Traditional Pilgrimages

Laurent S. Fournier*

IDEMEC UMR 7307 CNRS, Aix-Marseille-University, Aix-en-Provence, France

Introduction

Anthropologists and historians of local pilgrimages often talk about more or less ritualized outbursts of violence expressing customary

­ rivalries among parishes. During local pilgrimages, the pilgrims often settled their quarrels; they often fought for the honour of serving the saint of the day. First, I propose to examine in this chapter some examples of ritual battles happening in local pilgrimages. From the point of view of the touristic valorization of contemporary pilgrimages, such a historical legacy raises many questions. The study of the ways civil and religious authorities accept or do not accept this history will be undertaken in the next part of the ­chapter.  I will show that pilgrimages are not limited to their religious content but are also occasions to express political or social antagonisms.

 

6 Chinese Migrations and Pilgrimages around Prato (Italy) and Wenzhou (China)

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Chinese Migrations and Pilgrimages around Prato (Italy) and Wenzhou (China)

Daniele Parbuono*

China-Europe Cultural Heritage Centre, Chongqing University of Arts and

­Sciences, Chongqing, China; Department of Filosofia, Scienze Sociali, Umane e della Formazione, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Italy

Introduction

Religions, migrations, places of worship and pilgrimage are the keywords of this chapter, organized into two interconnected sections.1 In the first section I examine worship in a migration context, focusing attention on the city of Prato (Italy), which – after having doubled its population since the 1950s on the basis of a strong i­ nternal migration (workers coming from the South of Italy) – in recent decades has been faced with an exponential increase of population coming from abroad, in particular from the People’s Republic of China.

In this complex urban context, the ‘Tempio dell’Associazione Buddista della comunità cinese in Italia’ (Temple of the Buddhist Association of the Chinese community in Italy) is not only a fundamental meeting place for the Chinese living in the city, but – during the main feast days – welcomes ‘migrant pilgrims’ who come from neighbouring areas and other regions.

 

7 Globalizing Romani Culture: The Pilgrimage to the Sea in Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (France)

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Globalizing Romani Culture:

The Pilgrimage to the Sea in Les-SaintesMaries-de-la-Mer (France)

Gaëlla Loiseau*

UMR6266 IDEES-LH, ED556 HSRT (Homme, Sociétés, Risques, Territoires),

Université du Havre, Le Havre, France

Introduction

Since the mid-twentieth century, the Camargue statue of ‘Sarah’, the black virgin, swathed in layer upon layer of brightly coloured lengths of material, has been an official symbol of identification and affiliation for the gypsy. It is in the light of her potential for commodification and globalization that I have chosen to examine the character of Sarah. In the manner of Kopytoff (2006),

I  have undertaken a biographical approach to this symbolic object, which, in the course of her journey as far as Brazil, appears to have passed through different ‘value regimes’ (Roitman and

Warnier, 2006, p. 208). Throughout our study, we shall see that it is not the value that gypsies attribute to this object today that d

 

8 The Cult of Señor de los Milagros of Peruvians in Italy

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The Cult of Señor de los Milagros of Peruvians in Italy

Riccardo Cruzzolin*

Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche, Perugia University, Perugia, Italy

Introduction

that at the same time fails to recognize and refuses to acknowledge their agency (Dal Lago, 2004).

The aim of this chapter is to illustrate the

The migration phenomenon, regarded as a

­social event capable of generating practices and way in which the members of the Peruvian diasdiscourses, is also the product of a specific re- pora have been able to realize and use a counter-­ gime of visibility (Brighenti, 2010). The migrant hegemonic discourse capable of redefining the is not only a moving body, he or she is also a per- boundary between visibility and invisibility. The son who has (often) crossed political boundar- reflections that I will propose here are the result ies, filled out forms, exhibited documents, and of fieldwork conducted between 2010 and 2014 expressed intentions and motivations (espe- in an Umbrian city, Perugia, where more than cially regarding the nature of his or her stay in 1000 Peruvians are living. The research was an a country of which he or she is not a national). exploration, through participant observation

 

9 Cultural Diversity in a Local French Pilgrimage

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Cultural Diversity in a Local French

Pilgrimage

Guillaume Etienne*

Department of Sociology, Citeres Laboratory, University of Tours, Tours, France

Introduction

Pilgrimages bring together people who are motivated by a range of factors, not only religious.

On the one hand, individuals may have multiple motives: celebrating, sociability and even politics can play an important role in the decision to take part in this type of event. On the other hand, one cannot speak of religion in the singular, as there may be a wide range of religious sympathies among the participants. Indeed, behind the

­apparent homogeneousness that the organizers seek to show, the pilgrims are not ‘timorously obedient and uniformly “under the belief ”’

(Claverie and Fedele, 2014, p. 488). In fact, the various reasons for participating in these events are not just the reflection of a belief (Catholic in our study), and this belief may relate to different objects or practices: ‘adherence does not necessarily depend on the certification of beliefs, but can depend on other motives (social or emotional motives, commitment to a form of knowledge, techniques of self-transformation) and highlights the indeterminacy of the objects to which the adherence relates, even within the same circle of beliefs and practices’ (Claverie and

 

10 Mixing Sport and Religion in the Landes Area of France

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Mixing Sport and Religion in the Landes Area of France

Mathilde Lamothe*

Laboratory ITEM EA 3002, University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour, France

Introduction

In the area of Landes (France), certain features offer a surprising bridge between religion and sport, materialized through road signs indicating sites such as the ‘Chapel of Our Lady of Rugby’ at

Larrivière-Saint-Savin, the ‘Chapel of Our Lady of the Course Landaise’1 in Bascons or the ‘Chapel of Our Lady of the Cyclists’ at Labastide-d’Armagnac. These chapels are real places of worship created in the middle of the twentieth century, where tributes are made to both sports and athletes, while attracting many visitors. But, since the local sports culture seems to undeniably influence the religious mesh of the territory, how can one build worship and religious pilgrimage through the phenomenon of this local sport identity? What role have members of the clergy

(and lovers of sport) been able to play in the organization of pilgrimages to places of worship dedicated to sports and athletes? In particular it is interesting to explore the action or influence of these priest-founders through their patronage, but also the work of various associations of culture and worship such as the ‘Friends of the

 

11 An Ethnology of the Foreign Traveller to the Shrine of St Nicholas of Bari, Italy

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An Ethnology of the Foreign Traveller to the Shrine of St Nicholas of Bari, Italy

André Julliard*

IDEMEC – Institut d’ethnologie méditerranéenne, européenne et comparative,

UMR 7307 – CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université, Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l’Homme, Aix-en-Provence, France

Introduction

Standing in the Basilica

Each year, on 7 and 8 May, thousands of people

‘show up’ at the port of Bari on the Adriatic coast bordering the region of Puglia (southern

Italy).1 They come by ferry from Croatia, Serbia, M

­ ontenegro, Albania and further, from

Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. Others arrive by plane from Russia or Georgia. Parishes, especially in the Neapolitan region, charter an impressive number of buses. Finally, even small groups of parishioners from Abruzzo arrive in the regional capital by foot after only a few days’ walk along the traditional transhumance paths.

The vast majority of these travellers go

 

12 Healing Tourists with Religion: Saint Rita’s Cult in Poland

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Healing Tourists with Religion:

Saint Rita’s Cult in Poland

Inga B. Kuźma*

Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of Culture, University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland

A Historical Outline of Veneration of St Rita in Poland

The veneration of St Rita in Poland is not

­massive (yet). It is spreading quite slowly, but steadily. The cult began to grow around the year

2000, even though some Church sources date it back to the seventeenth century. Central to this veneration is the church of Saint Catherine of

Alexandria, located in Kracow. The church belongs to the Augustinian friars, and is adjacent to a convent of the Augustinians, the order that

St Rita herself entered a few centuries ago.

Augustinians were brought to Kracow from

Bohemia in the years 1342/3 (Droździk and

Kwiatkowska-Kopka, 2008, p. 12). At that time they were considered the most learned people in

Europe. Their location in Kracow was spurred by the desire of the king of Poland, Casimir the

 

13 A Transnational Cult: St Rita of Cascia

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A Transnational Cult: St Rita of Cascia

Fiorella Giacalone*

Department of Political Science, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

Introduction1

The cult of Saint Rita of Cascia, who lived in

­Umbria at the end of the Middle Ages, has become widespread in the past 50 years, as the saint is considered to be thaumaturgic by her many devotees, to the extent that she is known as ‘the saint of the impossible’ and ‘the advocate of desperate cases’.

The wide distribution of the cult of Rita (in Italy,

France, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Lebanon, the

Congo and Brazil) is due to the power attributed to her to intervene when devotees are faced with illness, operations and family problems. The votive offerings at the sanctuary in Cascia attest to the provenance of the faithful, who come from many continents, while the diffusion of her reputation as a healer can also be seen in the stories of healing that her devotees send to the monastery magazine,

 

14 Saint Rita of Cascia: An Evolving Devotion in Dublin’s Inner City

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Saint Rita of Cascia: An Evolving

Devotion in Dublin’s Inner City

Tony Kiely*

School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, College of Arts and Tourism,

Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

Introduction

Within the broad hierarchical Church, it has long been acknowledged that popular devotion by way of pilgrimage participation, processions and novenas, the Rosary, the Angelus, Stations of the Cross and the veneration of relics has played a crucial role in fostering ceaseless prayer. Indeed, since the advent of Christianity, devotional practice has been enacted along an evolving continuum ranging from prescribed

­

­adoration of saints and martyrs who lived to an

­impossibly high standard (Hoever, 2005; ­Martin,

2006; Bangley, 2009; Kasten, 2014), to alignments with ordinary saints whose lives resemble that of the devotee (Ghezzi, 2007; Ganzevoort,

2008; Mayblin, 2014). For generations of Irish

Catholics, prescribed devotional routines were so intertwined with their daily lives, that devotional avoidance became almost impossible, as a consequence of attendance requirements being applied within families and schools to what were by and large, captive audiences (Ellsberg, 2006;

 

15 Conclusion

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15 Conclusion

1

Kevin Griffin1* and Fiorella Giacalone2

Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin; 2Department of Political Science,

University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

As stated in the introductory chapter, this book is primarily derived from the proceedings of a meeting of Francophone anthropologists, the XXVIII

Colloque Eurethno du Conseil d’Europe, on the theme of pilgrimage in Europe, which was held in Perugia and Assisi in 2014. As such, the publication of these papers in English brings to the

Anglo-centric academic community many unique and fresh contributions from primarily French and Italian authors in relation to religious tourism and pilgrimage, thereby bridging a range of academic disciplines, cultures, languages and perspectives, and thus, providing a unique and eclectic multicultural treat. This short chapter brings together some concluding observations on the individual chapters and their overall contributions to the aims of this volume.

 

Discussion Questions

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Discussion Questions

Chapter 2 Discussion Questions

Measure the validity of an interpretive approach that applies the ethnological

­ perspective to the European context, to­ gether with the methodologies of historical research and religious anthropology aimed towards Christianity studies.

Consider the festive and ritual disposition in particular as a site of negotiation, and conflict between various cultural, political and social levels.

Decodify the interconnection between the legendary system and ritual system paying particular attention to the mediating function of some animal and plant

­categories.

Take into consideration the historical significance of the legendary protagonists and their configuration in relation to the history of the cult and the political use of the founding legend.

Explore the nuances that Christianity assumes in suburban and rural contexts as forms of ‘local religion’.

 

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