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Abstract

Responding to calls for critical interrogations of pilgrimages, our paper examines how different religious meanings are (re)inscribed in spaces through the performance of annual events in a post-secular context. This focus reveals how pilgrims’ embodied practices are fundamental to continuing definitions of these locations as sacred places. Using accounts of the Croagh Patrick and Our Lady’s Island pilgrimages in Ireland, we trace the movement of people in these spaces focusing on how meanings are forged, refracted, and challenged through the performances. These mass embodiments assert traditional understandings of Christian worship and looser spiritual interpretations, while simultaneously involving secular concerns. The paper advances discussions of pilgrimages through an examination of the processes of embodied place-making found at two Irish pilgrimage sites informed by considerations of the increasingly complex religious-spiritual spatialities. We contend that the processes of inscription centre on the corporeal spatial practices which sustain, enhance, and unsettle the (re)creation of these places as sacred.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21427/fwx6-ps31

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