Publication details

Crossing a Threshold, Sensing the Sacred: The Body in Movement as a Vehicle for Encountering a Sacred Place



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Step by Step Towards the Sacred : Ritual, Movement, and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Mont-Saint-Michel; cult of relics; medieval pilgrimage; sacred place; land- scape in the Middle Ages; Archangel Michael; experiencing sacred; holy mountains; hagiography
Description This article argues that the movement of pilgrims on their way to the sacred place was a decisive part of experiencing the sacred. This is demonstrated in the case of the medieval monastery at Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, which offers a wide range of hagiographical sources. An analysis of these sources suggests that the surroundings of the Mont were transformed into a sacred landscape where rituals took place. The landscape was dominated by the monastery, culturally, politically and visually, as the Mont was visible from a significant distance. The visibility of the Mont from its surroundings enhanced this process. The question of how the sacred was diffused into its surroundings is addressed as well.
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