1st Edition

Sacred Mobilities Journeys of Belief and Belonging

By Avril Maddrell, Alan Terry Copyright 2015
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    242 Pages
    by Routledge

    This collection draws on the Mobilities approach to look afresh at notions of the sacred where they intersect with people, objects and other things on the move. Consideration of a wide range of spiritual meanings and practices also sheds light on the motivations and experiences associated with particular mobilities. Drawing on rich, situated case studies, this multi-disciplinary collection discusses what mobility in the social sciences, arts and humanities can tell us about movements and journeys prompted by religious, more broadly ’spiritual’ and 'secular-sacred' practices and priorities. Problematizing the fixity of sacred places and times as territorially and temporally bounded entities that exist in opposition to ’profane’ everyday life, this collection looks at the intersection between the embodied-emotional-spiritual experience of places, travel, belief-practices and communities. It is this geographically-informed perspective on the interleaving of religious/ spiritual/ secular notions of the sacred with the material and more-than-representational attributes of associated mobilities and related practices which constitutes this volume’s original contribution to the field.

    Contents: Introducing sacred mobilities: journeys of belief and belonging, Tim Gale, Avril Maddrell and Alan Terry. Section I The Sacred-Secular and the Secular-Sacred: Being together at the Magh Mela: the social psychology of crowds and collectivity, Nick Hopkins, Clifford Stevenson, Shail Shankar, Kavita Pandey, Sammyh Khan and Shruti Tewari; Feelings of the sacred and their occurrence in journeys, David Crouch; Mobilities of magick, James Thurgill; 'At least once in a lifetime': sports pilgrimage and constructions of the TT races as 'sacred' journey, Avril Maddrell, Alan Terry, Tim Gale and Simon Arlidge. Section II Tracing Historical Footprints: Legend landscapes: sacred mobilities in the 'legend trip' tradition, Rob Irving; The 1652 Country, Pamela Richardson; The Way of Saint James: memory, propaganda and power, Belen Ma Castro Fernandez. Section III Sacred Journeys to Home, Family and Nation: Sacred rootedness - settling into mobility in the nineteenth century American West, Nina Vollenbroker; Origination: journeying in the footsteps of our ancestors, Katy Beinart; Return to Palestine, Suha Shakkour. Section IV Afterword: Contemporary pilgrimage: journeys in time and space, Tim Edensor. Index.


    Avril Maddrell is Associate Professor in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Alan Terry is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the University of the West of England. Tim Gale is Associate Head of Department and Tourism and Events Programme Leader in the Bristol Business School at the University of the West of England.

    ’Mobility and movement have become key topics in the social sciences and humanities, but there has been little examination of the complex desires and beliefs which impel our travels. This exciting new book presents a series of timely studies of spiritual and secular pilgrimages to a variety of places, past and present.’ Peter Merriman, Aberystwyth University, UK ’This excellent thought provoking collection develops and stretches critical debates on the spiritual and the secular, the sacred and the profane, and pilgrimage and tourism in new, important and innovative ways. The authors demonstrate how belief and belonging can be fluid, mobile yet tied to a wide range of places of meaning.’ Kevin Hannam, Leeds Beckett University, UK ’In an age characterised by global travel and mass migration, Sacred Mobilities offers new and stimulating ways of thinking about the dynamic relationship between movement and fixity, rootedness and emplacement, tourism and pilgrimage, past and present. Its rich and immensely varied case studies oscillate across disciplinary boundaries and open out methodological, temporal and material questions about belief and belonging as framed by and expressed through journey, landscape and spatiality.’ Alana Harris, Lincoln College Oxford, UK