The body/ies of the faithful: a corporeal ethnography of Canadians on a Roman Catholic Marian pilgrimage to Međugorje, Bosnia

Després, Sébastien Adrien (2009) The body/ies of the faithful: a corporeal ethnography of Canadians on a Roman Catholic Marian pilgrimage to Međugorje, Bosnia. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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As human beings who know the world through our bodies, understand the world through our bodies, and think through our bodies, we engage our most natural tool (Lock 1993, 148) in the process of belief in a number of ways. The body is our general medium for having a world (Merleau-Ponty 1945); a self that acts on the world necessarily does so through the medium of the body (Csordas 1990). For this reason, I endeavour in this thesis to properly engage the body in the work of Religious Studies, highlighting the body's tangible impact on belief and worldview by exploring how it is perceived as being engaged in the process of belief. This ethnography of a group of thirty-two Francophone pilgrims from Canada explores the ideas, stories, beliefs and philosophies of members of this group in the context of their involvement in a Roman Catholic pilgrimage to a Marian apparition shrine, at Međugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. This thesis' focus is on the highly developed and intricate framework with which pilgrims understand their venturing out to meet God and the confirmations of faith they hope to receive. Concentrating on the manner in which they perceive their minds, bodies, and souls as being involved in corporate and private devotional practices in the context of an organized group pilgrimage, I assess these pilgrims' understandings of their own (as well as that of their fellow pilgrims') inclinations, motivations (religious, spiritual, physical, social, etc.), thoughts, views, and beliefs regarding these practices.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9347
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 196-210)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Bosnia and Hercegovina--Međugorje;
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Catholics--Canada--Psychological aspects; Christian pilgrims and pilgrimages--Bosnia and Hercegovina--Međugorje; Faith

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