Pilgrimage in the Christian Balkan World: The Path to Touch the Sacred and Holy“, edited by Dorina Dragnea, Emmanouil Ger. Varvounis, Evelyn Reuter, Petko Hristov, Susan Sorek and published in April by Brepols, is the third volume of the Balkan History Association (BHA). Through an anthropological approach, the volume illuminates the devotional ʽpath to touch the sacred and holyʼ, highlighting the interactions between religious history and local traditions, the centers of various ethnic groups and the expressions of their identities, ritual behaviors and performances of local cultural practices, as well as the contingence of politics and economy. It explores the context in which the Christian shrines in the Balkans are spaces where the ethnic and denominational patterns in pilgrimage are revealed openly on multiple levels; they delve into how the correlative effects between politics and religion are manifested. In this volume, which is the result of a project initiated by the Balkan History Association, the authors focus on theoretical analysis, stressing the historical and contemporary behavior performed by the Christian pilgrims, and highlighting the fact that the motivations for going to the sacred places can vary, from seeking and obtaining Divine help to leisure, religious/faith tourism, etc. Three editors (Dorina Dragnea, Evelyn Reuter, Susan Sorek) and three authors (D. Dragnea, E. Reuter, Maria A. Pantea) are members of the association. The volume contains chapters on Christian pilgrimage activities in Bulgaria, Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia, Croatia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Greece.

Table of Contents

Approaching a Metaphor: Touching the Sacred and Holy. Introduction by Dorina Dragnea and Emmanouil Ger. Varvounis

Life-giving Energies and Healing. Emically Sensitive Ethnography of Orthodox Christian Pilgrimage in Bulgaria, Magdalena Lubańska

Christian Shrines as a Space of Ethnic and Religious Interrelations. Two Cases in Kosovo and Albania, Aleksandra Dugushina and Alexander Novik

Pilgrimage Diffusion and Polycentrism in St Nikodemos of Berat’s Veneration, Konstantinos Giakoumis

Visiting Saint Naum. Blurring Motivations and Activities of Pilgrims and Tourists, Evelyn Reuter

The Phenomenon of Pilgrimages on the East Adriatic Coast between the Middle of the Thirteenth and the End of the Fifteenth Centuries, Zoran Ladić

Holy Journey to the Monastery or at the Wonderworking Icon of the Neamț as Described by Archimandrite Andronic Popovici, Ion Gumenâi

Pilgrimages and Pilgrims in the Arad Counthy as an Expression of the Confessional, Ethnic and Socio-political Realities (1700-1939), Maria Alexandra Pantea

The Mother of God of Bistrica Shrine as Croatian National Pilgrimage Center, Mirela Hrovatin

Pilgrimage in the Romanian Orthodox Church. Aspects of the Pedagogy of Faith, Constantin Necula

Pilgrimage Rituals and Places in Modern Greece, Emmanouil Ger. Varvounis

The Pilgrimage Practice in Moldova as a Medium for Displaying of the Official and Vernacular Religiosity, Dorina Dragnea

From a Local Sanctuary to the ‘Ostrog of the Djerdap᾽. The Role of Monasticism in Creating the Most Visited Pilgrimage Destination in Serbia, Biljana Anđelković

Revitalizing Identity Through Pilgrimage to an Aegean Island. Memory, Ritual Practice and Communal Belonging at Saint Panteleimon’s Annual Festival in Saria, Greece, Vassiliki Chryssanthopoulou

From Pilgrimage to Festival and Commerce. Changes in the Use of Space in the Pilgrimage to the Church of Saint Barbara in the Municipality of ‘Aghia Varvara᾽ in Attica, Greece, Georgios Kouzas

Conclusion, Evelyn Reuter

General Index

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