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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 439: Conceptualising Pilgrims and Pilgrimage, c. 300-1600, IV: A Round Table Discussion

Monday 3 July 2023, 19.00-20.00

Sponsor:History Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University
Organiser:Marci Freedman, School of Arts, Languages & Cultures, University of Manchester
Moderator/Chair:Philip Booth, Department of History, Politics & Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

The purpose of this round table discussion is to investigate the extent that the terms 'pilgrim' and 'pilgrimage' as concepts in the Middle Ages changed over time, in space, and between religions. Often, there is a huge gulf between what motivated individuals to undertake pious travel, what they were doing, and what they were trying to achieve. Not only did pilgrim experiences, actions, and definitions change across time and space, but the spaces and places which served as the goal of a medieval pilgrim were also transient, evolving, and sometimes completely intangible. Here we place 'pilgrims' and 'pilgrimage' at the centre of the discussion to see how these terms are reflected in language, materiality, the development of pilgrimage sites and routes, etc. Doing so will help to better understand what these concepts encompass, considering ever-increasing desire to revive the act of pilgrimage in the contemporary world. This round table discussion will serve as a summary of a series of panels held during the IMC, as well as a follow-up to an international conference held at Manchester Metropolitan University in July 2022. It will discuss current trends and debates, as well as future trajectories for researching medieval pilgrimage.

Participants include Kajal Bawa (Department of History, University of Delhi), Philip A. Booth (Manchester Metropolitan University), Marci Freedman (Independent Scholar, Toronto), John Jenkins (University of York), and Andrew T. Jotischky (Royal Holloway, University of London).