PANEL: The Dynamics of Modern Pilgrimages from the Inside #EUARE2023

Pawel Plichta's picture
Call for Papers
June 19, 2023 to June 22, 2023
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Religious Studies and Theology, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Literature, Anthropology

PANEL: The Dynamics of Modern Pilgrimages from the Inside

The aim of this panel is to present modern studies related to traveling, especially to religious tourism, as seen from the perspective of pilgrims. Just as the forms of religious and spiritual activity change, the concept of a pilgrimage can be defined in different ways. Often this term is used to describe an exceptional travel to dedicated places of cultural and religious heritage, also without the presence of religious motivation. In this sense, a good example might be e.g. Camino de Santiago or the Holy Land. Sometimes a pilgrimage can be a travel to places related to famous people or cultural icons, like Memphis. We invite all researchers to submit talks and participate in the panel for studying the narrations of modern pilgrims, travel literature about places important (not only) for various religious traditions, as well as different aspects of experience learnt by pilgrims or religious tourists, analyses of their memories and travel reports, and finally cultural tourism that can be considered as religious pilgrimages.

We are looking for additional panelists interested in modern pilgrimage, cultural and religious tourism.

Submit your paper:

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted no later than 25 January, 2023

Our panel takes place as part of the 6th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Religion in St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 19-23 Jun 2023.

The theme for this year’s gathering is Religion from the Inside, with keynote lectures planned by Prof. Jean-Luc Marion, Dr Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, Prof. Diwakar Acharya, Dr John Makransky, and Prof. Lejla Demiri. As in previous years, the conference programme will be composed of working sessions including: open panels; closed panels; book presentations; and keynote lectures focusing on the overarching topic, Religion from the Inside.

Religions join people in common endeavours, offer fulfilment and purpose to their adherents, and bind together the material and the immaterial. They can be described propositionally, but are whole ways of life. As such, religions have characteristics which may be clear to those within, but which are difficult to grasp for those without: inhabiting a building is different to looking over its blueprints. The examination of what is added (and what is lost) by taking the inside view is the theme of this year's annual meeting.

Religion from the Inside looks different in different religious traditions. Within some, the inside view is engaged mainly with questions of theology: the contemplation of the divine and all things in relation thereto. Within others, it is preoccupied with the conforming of human action to a more-than-human law. In yet other, an emic perspective focuses on the practice and experience of ritual. Reflection on sacred texts is common to many traditions, and often differs from external consideration of the same documents. Acknowledging the existence of emic knowledge can be an invitation to exploration and relationship rather than a method of isolation.

​Panel participating in the theme may choose to explore whether and how emic insights can be articulated in propositional form accessible to etic readers. They may engage with distinctively emic epistemologies, such as narrative traditions or second-person knowledge, which cast religious belief less as an intellectual acceptance of propositions than as an entry into a relationship. They may also discuss empirical questions of the differences religious faith or practice makes to perception, psychology, or individual and communal life. Equally, panels may examine the risks of insulated perspectives, including the exclusionary thrust of strong distinctions between insider and outsider, and the repudiation of common standards of truth.

Contact Info: 

Pawel Plichta:

Barbara Wezgowiec:

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