Martor No. 20 / Year 2015
Author: Mirel Bănică
About the author:
Researcher, Institute for the History of Religions, he Romanian Academy, Bucharest
E-mail: mirel7 at yahoo dot com
Keywords: pilgrimage, ritual, body, Orthodox Church, archetypes, saints
More than 20 years after the fall of the communist regime, we are witnessing the unprecedented development of religious pilgrimage in Romania, a country where, according to the latest census, 84% of the population self-identifies as Orthodox Christian. Apart from the pilgrimages to well-known destinations (Jerusalem, Rome etc.) organized by the Romanian Patriarchy’s Pilgrimage Bureau, a separate category is represented by the improvised, hybrid pilgrimages (both religious and touristic) organized by individuals using hired minibuses. The pilgrimage represents the ideal occasion to study the body and female corporeality within the performance of a religious ritual, as well as the persistence of certain archetypes regarding the female archetype. Among the history of religion, anthropology and ethnography, we have tried to capture those experiences, to transcribe them as accurately as possible so as to reach one of the most delicate aspects linked with the “living religion”: the female body during rituals.
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