Access to this chapter is restricted until 24 months after publication by request of the publisher.. Restriction lift date: 2025-07-02
Prayer of the body: Located corporeal practices on the Lough Derg pilgrimage, Ireland
Springer Nature Ltd.
This chapter considers how embodiment is central to an Irish pilgrimage by situating prayer and ritual as corporeal spatial practice that transforms participants into pilgrims facilitating numinous experiences. Lough Derg, or St. Patrick’s Purgatory, is a Roman Catholic three-day pilgrimage consisting of cycles of prayers, going barefoot, fasting, and keeping a twenty-four-hour vigil on a lake-island. This tradition reaches back centuries allowing pilgrims to retreat from the world, reflect on life, and encounter spiritual renewal. Ethnographic fieldwork provides an insight into the reality of the pilgrimage, motivations of participants, and the distinct religious and spiritual feelings associated with the site. Meanings and spiritualities become embodied in the pilgrims and emplaced in the site through the practices. The chapter will begin by outlining the nature and features of Lough Derg, followed by an overview of recent research on pilgrimage as embodied spatial practices. An account of the pilgrimage’s corporeal practices explores how prayer and performance overlap and entwine on the island. The analysis is enhanced by a selection of interview excerpts demonstrating the motivations and experiences involved.
Pilgrimage , Embodiment , Performance , Lough Derg
Scriven, R. (2023) Prayer of the body: Located corporeal practices on the Lough Derg pilgrimage, Ireland, in Lopez, L. (ed.) Geography of World Pilgrimages. Springer Geography. Cham: Springer, pp. 115-130. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-32209-9_6
© 2023, the Author, under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of a chapter published as: Scriven, R. (2023) 'Prayer of the body: Located corporeal practices on the Lough Derg pilgrimage, Ireland', in Lopez, L. (ed.) Geography of World Pilgrimages. Springer Geography. Cham Springer, pp. 115-130, doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-32209-9_6. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-32209-9_6