Orthodox Pilgrimage in Contemporary Russia

By Stella Rock

© 2016 – Routledge

248 pages

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Hardback: 9780415742757
pub: 2016-06-30
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About the Book

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the religious landscape in Russia has undergone a marked transformation: re-sacralization has seen a revival of historic shrines and procession routes, the creation of new sacred places and practices, and the institutional church management of pilgrimage. This has sparked debate about the characteristics of contemporary Russian belief and religiosity, as well as the relation between the sacred and secular.

Orthodox Pilgrimage in Contemporary Russia is a systematic attempt to consider the mixture of piety, politics, and history at work in the revival of post-Soviet Orthodox Christian pilgrimage. Stella Rock contributes to our understanding of this phenomenon by analyzing concepts of authenticity, invented tradition, and sacredness; the relationships between travel and place, heritage, and identity; and the role of institutions in the development of pilgrimage practices. Most importantly, she attempts to understand why and how there has been such a notable revival, taking a bottom-up approach which focuses on pilgrims’ perceptions and articulated motivations, while setting these in broader ecclesiastical, political, and historical contexts.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Return of Pilgrimage 2. Resolving Life’s Problems 3. Seeking Out the Sacred: Numenosity and Grace 4. Processions and the Re-sacralizing of the Russian Landscape 5. St. Seraphim’s Pilgrimages: Travelling Relics and Icons 6. Walking Sunday Schools: Processions and Proselytising 7. Repentance and Commemoration, Remembering and Forgetting 8. The Heritage of Holy Rus 9. When is a Pilgrim Not a Pilgrim? Shrines, Museums and Heritage Tourism 10. State-sponsored Pilgrimage: The Curious Case of Peter and Fevronia 11. Christina Pilgrimage in a Multicultural Nation Conclusion: The Re-enchantment of Russia

About the Author

Stella Rock is Associate Lecturer at The Open University, UK

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Religion, Travel, and Tourism

The public prominence of religion has increased globally in recent years, while places associated with religion, such as pilgrimage centers, and famous cathedrals, temples and shrines, have attracted growing numbers of visitors and media attention. Such developments are part of a global process where different forms of travel – physical movement such as labor and lifestyle migration, tourism of various forms, the cultural heritage industry and pilgrimage – have become a major feature of the modern world. These translocal and transnational processes involve flows of not just people but also material objects, ideas, information, images and capital.

The public prominence of religion aligned to the modern growth of tourism (sometimes now claimed as the world’s single largest industry) has created a new dynamic relationship between religion, travel and tourism. It has been mirrored by expanding academic research in these areas over the last twenty years across a variety of disciplinary areas, ranging from anthropology, sociology, geography, history and religious studies to newly emergent areas such as tourism and migration studies. Such studies have also expanded exponentially in terms of the geographic spread of places, religions and regions being researched.

This series provides a new forum for studies based around these themes, drawing together research on the relationships between religion, travel and tourism. These include studies from global and cross-cultural perspectives of topics, such as:

  • commoditization and consumerism;
  • media representations of religion, travel and tourism;
  • heritage, tourism and the cultural politics of religious representation;
  • gender, sexuality and religious movements;
  • religion and travel writing;
  • ideological and violent struggles over religion and resistance to tourist intrusion;
  • inter-religious engagement;
  • religion, tourism, landscape and performance; and
  • thanatourism and pilgrimage to sites of suffering.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REL049000
RELIGION / Christianity / Orthodox