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
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.