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A pilgrimage site as a space of interreligious dialogue – the Marian shrine in Olovo


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Martić, Zvonko. (2016). A pilgrimage site as a space of interreligious dialogue – the Marian shrine in Olovo. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij etnologije i kulturne antropologije) [mentor Belaj, Marijana].

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The theme of this work is non-institutional interreligious dialogue in the Catholic Marian shrine of the central Bosnian town of Olovo, shared by members of two religious traditions, Catholic and Muslim. The premise of this work are theories about the sharing of pilgrimage sites within the anthropology of pilgrimage and anthropology of religion, subdisciplines of ethnology or cultural anthropology. The work is based on the concept of an interreligious shrine and the inter-religious dialogue that takes place inside it. Sharing a shrine implies that different ethnic communities also share some common ideals. The common ideal of Catholics and Muslims in Olovo, as well as the interreligious dialogue built on this ideal, is based on the shared assumption that the sacred is located in a place (Belaj M.). In the Marian shrine the sacred is personalized in the figure of Virgin Mary, named after the locality “Our Lady of Olovo”. Visitors to the shrine, who approach it as a sacred place, come to it from different positions and bring into it their own discourses. The sacred place is considered as a space which does not aspire to unification, but can return a plurality of discourses, from which issues also its universality (Eade and Sallnow). The aim of this work was to show a Catholic pilgrimage site and a Muslim cultic site as a unique sanctuary of long historical duration, whose uniqueness stems from its own history, the position of its sacred locations and the specific Bosnian-Herzegovinian historical context in which the interreligious dialogue takes place. Ethnographic data was collected using the techniques of observation, participant observation, and interview. Interviews are the backbone of the ethnographic part of this work. They were conducted with three different groups: Catholic pilgrims, Muslims residents of Olovo and religious officials (Catholic priests and the imam of Olovo). Data analysis has confirmed that interreligious interactions in the Olovo shrine have a long historical continuity and that the non-institutional interreligious dialogue is founded on shared perceptions about the sacred, on devotional practices and on narratives by means of which members of different religious traditions sanctify the same place. The dialogue is carried over from the shrine to other areas of everyday life and is maintained in extraordinary circumstances, such as war, as well.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Olovo, Our Lady, sacred place, interreligious dialogue, Catholics, Muslims
Subjects: Ethnology and cultural anthropology
Departments: Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology
Supervisor: Belaj, Marijana
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij etnologije i kulturne antropologije
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2017 11:44
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2017 11:44

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