Sacred Journeys 5th Global Conference. Berlin, Germany July5-6, 2018
The latest research indicates that more than 400 million people embark annually on traditional pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia, India, Japan, and elsewhere, with the numbers steadily increasing. Pilgrimage is one of the most ancient practices of humankind and is associated with a great variety of religious and spiritual traditions, beliefs and sacred geographies. As a global phenomenon, pilgrimage facilitates interaction between and among diverse peoples from countless cultures, occupations, and walks of life. In the 5th Global Conference, we will continue to explore the many personal, interpersonal, intercultural, and international dimensions of these often profound events. This includes similarities and differences in the practice in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, and other traditions, as well as secular pilgrimage. The impact of the internet and globalization, pilgrimage as protest, and pilgrimage and peace building, among others, are all topics of interest, as are the concepts of the internal pilgrimage and the journey of self-discovery.
Among the key issues that emerged from earlier Sacred Journeys conferences were:
- Definition of Pilgrimage: ‘Travel for transformation’ embraces the sacred journey as a potential turning point in one’s life. Questions arise as to how and when a journey becomes ‘sacred’. Does tourism merely observe the authentic in others, whereas pilgrimage seeks it for oneself? When is a tourist a pilgrim and vice versa?
- Reinforcing a Vision of the Unity of Humanity: While many pilgrimages have a political dimension and political leaders often manipulate pilgrims in ways detrimental to peace, how can the concept of pilgrimage lend itself to envisioning a world united in difference?
- Pilgrimage and Globalization: Technology is impacting pilgrims in innumerable ways. Infrastructural and support services are also improving, and journeys once thought to be too difficult are now within reach of vast numbers of pilgrims. Will modern conveniences alter the traditional experience of pilgrimage or create entirely new experiences?
- The Challenge of Modernity: What does pilgrimage offer that is not found in the routines of modern daily life? In the search for meaning, belonging or identity, some pilgrims will cling to the familiar and reaffirm what is believed ‘true’ at local levels. What kinds of trends along these lines might we forecast for the future?
- Secular Pilgrimage: Each year, large numbers of pilgrims visit secular pilgrimage sites, like those of pop culture heroes. What are the similarities and differences between sacred and secular pilgrimages? What does it mean to be an ‘authentic’ pilgrim?
Many other related themes can be considered for presentation. Among these are (1) pilgrimage and the marketplace; (2) the metaphor of the journey as explored by writers, artists, performers, and singers, including humanists, agnostics, atheists, and musicians; (3) pilgrimage and ‘miracles’ and the related topic of thanksgiving; and (4) ‘dark’ pilgrimages to sites of remembrance and commemoration.
Submitting Your Proposal
Proposals should be submitted no later than Wednesday, 28 February 2018 to:
Ian McIntosh, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI): firstname.lastname@example.org
Chadwick Co Sy Su, University of the Philippines Manila: email@example.com
E-Mail Subject Line: Sacred Journeys 5 Proposal Submission
File Format: Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX)
The following information must be in the body of the email:
- - Author(s)
- - Affiliation as you would like it to appear in the conference program
- - Corresponding author email address
The following information must be in the Microsoft Word file:
- - Title of proposal
- - Body of proposal (maximum of 300 words)
- - Keywords (maximum of ten)
Please keep the following in mind:
- - All text must be in Times New Roman 12.
- - No footnotes or special formatting (bold, underline, or italicization) must be used.
Evaluating Your Proposal
All abstracts will be double-blind peer reviewed and you will be notified of the Organizing Committee’s decision no later than Thursday, 15 March 2018. When a positive decision is made, you will be asked to promptly register online. The conference registration fee is $150 US. You will be asked to submit a draft paper of no more than 3000 words by Friday, 01 June 2018. Please note that we are not in a position to provide funding to facilitate your participation.
Publishing Your Work
Part of the conference’s ethos is to provide an opportunity for sound work to be published in reputable academic journals. As such, we have established linkages with the University of the Philippines Manila’s The Reflective Practitioner, BePress’ International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage, and MDPI AG’s /Religions/. You will have the opportunity to expand your draft paper for submission to one of these three journals.