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Pilgrimage

Sacred Landscapes and Self-Organized Complexity

Pilgrimage involves movement of people, either as individuals or as members of a group, in search of the sacred. Spontaneous behaviour, miraculous events, and/or ecstatic visions of individual pilgrims have often resulted in co....read below

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About This Book

Pilgrimage involves movement of people, either as individuals or as members of a group, in search of the sacred. Spontaneous behaviour, miraculous events, and/or ecstatic visions of individual pilgrims have often resulted in complexity in ritual, meaning, and movement. Pilgrimages may start with individual ecstatic visions, unusual strange unworldly experiences, which are the experiences of "ordinary" people, certainly not of priests or politicians. Often they are uniquely human experiences which embarrass ecclesiastical authorities.

As a pilgrimage tradition evolves, sacred sites may become formalized in organized socio-political systems with economic overtone. Even in these structured situations, individual people may still have powerful individual experiences. Eventually a pilgrimage tradition may be taken over by religious and political authorities, lose spontaneity, and become frozen in time. But even in these situations, in which large numbers of people may gather, there is a tremendous amount of "primal" energy in which innovations and visions may be evoked.

Using case studies from pilgrimages around the world, the volume explores the ways many of these traditions have started and evolved. A common perspective is that of self-organization of complex structures in space and time.

The variety of pilgrimage described in the book is remarkable. The subcontinent of India is the location of many sites such as the temples to the nine planets in Tamil Nadu, the pilgrimage circuits of Varanasi, early Buddhist pilgrimages in Sanchi and Bodh-Gaya, the great ruined city of Vijayanagara, those associated with the Ramayana, and the death ceremonies at Gaya. Beyond India, the self-organization and stability of pilgrimage systems are analysed for pilgrimages in Nepal (Kathmandu), Japan, Mexico, the Caribbean, Peru, Norway, and the US.

  • Foreword By : R.K. Bhattacharya
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124604540
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124604541
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2009
  • Pages : x, 359
  • Bibliographic Details : With several maps; b/w and coloured photographs; Index
  • Size : 29 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 1500 gm

Foreword

-- R.K. Bhattacharya

Introduction

-- John McKim Malville
-- Baidyanath Saraswati

PART I
   Theory and Case Studies

1. Sacred Theory of Pilgrimage 

-- Baidyanath Saraswati

2. Complexity and Self-organization in Pilgrimage Systems

-- John McKim Malville

3. Circulation and Circumambulation

-- Surinder M. Bhardwaj

4. Pilgrimage and Space: Case Studies from Bhaktapur, Muktinath and Varanasi 

-- Niels Gutschow

PART II
Pilgrimage in India, Tibet and Nepal

5. Kashi as Cosmogram: Panchakrosi Route and Complex Structure of Varanasi    

-- Rana P.B. Singh

6. Death and Transformation at Gaya : Pilgrimage, Ancestors and the Sun 

-- Rana P.B. Singh
-- John McKim Malville
-- Anne L. Marshall

7. Earthly Presence of Heavenly Bodies: Navagraha yatra of Tamil Nadu 

-- Marianna Kropf

8. Complex Landscapes and the Ramayana Legend

-- Amita Sinha

9. Traces of Buddhist Pilgrimage in Ancient India

-- Kurt Behrendt

10. Pilgrimage Places and Sacred Geometries 

-- Robert L. Stoddard

11. Complexity and Economy in Pilgrimage Centres of the Vijayanagara Period

-- Alexandra Mack 

PART III 
World Pilgrimage

12. Adaption and Adjustment in the Shikoku Pilgrimage 

-- Hiroshi Tanaka Shimazaki

13. Pilgrim in Individualistic Context 

-- Kaj Noschis

14. Basilica of La Madeleine, Vrzelay : Spatial and Symbolic Narratives in the Medieval Western Christian Church

-- Thomas Barrie

15. Pilgrimage and Ritual Movements in Cuzco and the Inca Empire 

-- R. Tom Zuidema

16. Conchero's Sanctuaries and Pilgrimages 

-- Yolotl Gonzalez Torres

17. Transplanting Pilgrimage Traditions 

-- Carolyn V. Prorok

18. Washington, D.C. and Power of Pilgrimage 

-- Jeffrey F. Meyer

PART IV 
Sacred Landscapes and Personal Transformation

19. Pilgrimage as Spatial Representation of Complexity 

-- Pradeep A. Dhillon

List of Contributors 
Index

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