15. The Infrastructure of Shared Pilgrimage Sites in Hatay, Turkey: Interreligious Dynamics of Saint Veneration in the Northern Levant

Levantine Entanglements - Cultural Productions, Long-term Changes and Globalizations in the Eastern Mediterranean - Terje Stordalen

Jens Kreinath [+-]
Wichita State University
Jens Kreinath is associate professor of sociocultural anthropology at Wichita State University. He conducted research on interreligious relations in Hatay, the southernmost province of Turkey, with a focus on saint veneration at shared pilgrimage sites. His research interests include religious minorities in the Middle East, visual anthropology, semiotics of ritual, and aesthetics of religion. Kreinath edited The Anthropology of Islam Reader (Routledge, 2012) and co-edited Dynamics of Changing Rituals (Lang, 2004), Theorizing Rituals (Brill, 2006–2007), and Narrative Cultures and the Aesthetics of Religion (Brill, 2020). His most recent publications include articles in Religions (2018), Religion and Society (2018), History of Religions (2019), Journal of Ritual Studies (2019), and Anthropological Theory (2019). His contributions to edited volumes include Aesthetics of Religion (edited by Alexandra Grieser and Jay Johnston; Walter de Gruyter, 2017), Sensations and Figurations of the Invisible (edited by Birgit Meyer and Terje Stordalen; Bloomsbury, 2019), and Bloomsbury Handbook of Cultural and Cognitive Aesthetics of Religion (edited by Anne Koch and Katharina Wilkens; Bloomsbury, 2019).

Description

Historically, the cult for St. George transformed and became adapted into Islamic traditions of Hz. Hızır. Based on cultural anthropological field work in the Turkish region of Antakya (ancient Antioch) Kreinath is able to demonstrate that elements of Islamic cult for Hızır, Jewish lore of Elijah, and Christian cult for St. George are currently all integrated into what he calls a shared infrastructure of pilgrimage and festivals in the region, resulting in a practice that is remarkably inter-religious (when seen from the outside). By way of his anthropological inquiry Kreinath is able to identify local popular sub-current traditions that informs the practices at these sites—sometimes in recognized opposition to the more orthodox religious views promoted by local religious elites. The materials included in this study offer a rare opportunity to see the current local effects of an ancient cultural paradigm and networks of pilgrimage that first emerged in late Antiquity.

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Citation

Kreinath, Jens. 15. The Infrastructure of Shared Pilgrimage Sites in Hatay, Turkey: Interreligious Dynamics of Saint Veneration in the Northern Levant. Levantine Entanglements - Cultural Productions, Long-term Changes and Globalizations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jan 2021. ISBN 9781781799123. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38454. Date accessed: 08 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38454. Jan 2021

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