Moved by Mary: The Power of Pilgrimage in the Modern World

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9780754667896: Moved by Mary: The Power of Pilgrimage in the Modern World

The Virgin Mary continues to attract devotees to her images and shrines. In Moved by Mary, anthropologists, geographers and historians explore how people and groups around the world identify and join with Mary in their struggle against social injustice, and how others mobilize Mary to impose ideas and rules and legitimize acts of violence and suppression. Far from an outdated practice of little relevance to the modern world, Marian pilgrimage expresses the deep and urgent concerns of a wide range of people. With examples of Marian pilgrimages from all over the world, Moved by Mary explores the ways in which men and women of different ages and religious, political, social-economic and ethnic backgrounds empower themselves to deal with modern-day issues with Mary´s help. The ethnographic cases reveal the cultural and devotional variation of Marian pilgrimage, but also global similarities. Collectively, the contributors to Moved by Mary show how in many places religion dramatically suffuses everyday life.

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About the Author:

Anna-Karina Hermkens has a background in theoretical archaeology and cultural anthropology. She obtained her PhD in 2005 with a study on material culture and gender in Papua New Guinea (2005). Articles on this topic were published amongst others in: Shadows of New-Guinea, Arts from the Great Island of Oceania in the Barbier-Mueller Collections (2007); the Journal of Pacific History (2007) and Visual Anthropology (2007). Hermkens is currently working as a project-coordinator and researcher in the program 'The Power of Marian Pilgrimage'. This has resulted in several articles, amongst others in: Anthropology Today (2007), Culture and Religion (2007) and Oceania (2008). In cooperation with Willy Jansen and Catrien Notermans, she organized the international conference on "The Power of Marian pilgrimage" in Nijmegen (Netherlands) from 1-3 February 2007 (


'This book takes readers on an extended Marian pilgrimage to numerous sites across the globe from Europe to the Middle East, Latin America and the Pacific, and confronts them with an abundance of both stationary and circulating images, saturated with Mary's presence. I found it a surprising and exhilarating journey.' Michael Lambek, University of Toronto, Canada 'Moved by Mary is a treasure trove, with surprising accounts of Marian pilgrimages and suggestive new approaches to the relations between humans and divine figures.' William A. Christian Jr, author of Visionaries, the Spanish Republic and the Reign of Christ '... deserves to be included in any library that takes Mary and Marian devotion seriously... a substantive contribution to pilgrimage studies...' Journal of Contemporary Religion 'An original and engaging read, Moved by Mary will be of interest to anyone concerned with religious practices, ecclesiology, ecumenical and interfaith relations, hagiography, and sociologies and psychologies of religion.' Anglican and Episcopal History 'Some books are good, few are very good, but this book is better. It is well written and well thought and best of all: it provides new insights into an area of religious culture, which has attracted little scholarly attention - the contemporary cult of Virgin Mary.' Nordic Journal of Religion and Society 'This excellent and readable book confirms - with fascinating hard-researched illustrations - the multivocal nature of the Marian pilgrimage cult worldwide and its competing interpretations. Representations of Mary, at her shrines and in her devotions, mirror the colours and contrasts of the Catholic tradition today. We are presented with compelling evidence for the continued passion and intensity of Marian devotion across the globe in the twenty-first century.' Fieldwork in Religion '... Moved by Mary is a superb collection of essays on Marian pilgrimage, covering such topics as gender, power, visual piety, religious symbolism, political economy, and globalization all in the context of the cult of Mary... a useful resource as an undergraduate textbook for a course on pilgrimage encompassing various theoretical approaches to the study of religion.' Religious Studies Review 'The reader will be pleased to discover a complex text which engages multiple themes. Among these themes are the stability and variability in the meanings of pilgrimage sites in a modernizing world, the role of pilgrimage in the power relationships defined by class, status, and gender, and also the fundamental role of the senses in religious experience...This book will be essential reading for those interested in the role of pilgrimage in modern religion.' Catholic Books Review 'This volume calls on scholars to observe a careful balance between emic and etic approaches while studying religious phenomena. It seriously questions frequent claims about secularization as the only trend to be noticed in contemporary religiousness. It rather helps to find strong arguments for processes of changes within contemporary institutionalized and non-institutionalized religious life. Because of that this book presents an important contribution to often one-sided analyses of the influence of modernization processes on individual and group religiousness.' Religion

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