What makes a Pilgrim a Pilgrim? Call for Papers, 17 December 2021

Date / time: 17 December, 12:00 am

What makes a Pilgrim a Pilgrim? Call for Papers, 17 December 2021


What makes a Pilgrim a Pilgrim? Conceptualising Pilgrims and Pilgrimage, c.300-1600: Call for Papers, 17 December 2021

The appellation of ‘pilgrim’ is routinely applied to a wide range of medieval people undertaking a broad range of (normally) spiritual activities, be it penitential pilgrims, shrine focused cure-seekers, life-long wanderers, or crusaders to name but a few. Yet, there is often a gulf between what motivated each of these individuals, the actions they performed, and what these individuals were trying to achieve on their pilgrimage. Trying to understand what makes a ‘pilgrim’ a ‘pilgrim’ in the Middle Ages is further complicated by the application of the same English term to describe Muslims undertaking the hajj, umrah or practicing ziyara, or Medieval Jewish, Buddhist or Hindu “pilgrims” and travellers.

In light of ever-increasing interest in pilgrimage in the contemporary world, this conference seeks to discuss the usefulness of hypernyms such as ‘pilgrim’ and ‘pilgrimage’ for describing various Medieval spiritual practices, as well as the extent to which these concepts changed over time, in space, and between religions during the years c.300-1600.

We welcome papers on any of the following or similar topics relating to the conference’s theme:

  • Varieties and definitions of Medieval Pilgrimage
  • All ‘pilgrimage’ traditions including Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Pagan
  • Terminologies (past and present) used to describe Medieval Pilgrims
  • Comparative approaches to Medieval Pilgrimage
  • Anthropological and interdisciplinary approaches to Medieval Pilgrimage

Proposals for 20-min papers should be sent to Philip Booth (philip.booth@mmu.ac.uk).

Proposals should include a title, a 250-word abstract, and brief biographical details about the speaker. The deadline for proposals is 17 December 2021. It is the intention at this stage that the conference will be held in person in Manchester, but the option for a hybrid or fully online event will remain open with a decision made early 2022 as to the final format.