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‘Praying the Keeills’: rhythm, meaning and experience on pilgrimage journeys in the Isle of Man

Maddrell, A. ORCID: (2011) ‘Praying the Keeills’: rhythm, meaning and experience on pilgrimage journeys in the Isle of Man. Landabrefid, 25. pp. 15-29. ISSN 1027–4049

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This paper explores the concept of ‘the travelling being’ through the lens of pilgrimage walks in the Isle of Man in the British Isles. Focusing on pilgrimage offers a particular spiritually-inflected perspective on the experience of travel and associated meaning-making. The pilgrimage walks studied centre on the sites of small sixth to twelfth century chapels, known as keeills, which are scattered across the Manx landscape, and provide a focus for ecumenical reflection and celebration of Celtic Christian heritage. Participants’ experience of two different forms of pilgrimage walks are analysed using qualitative techniques, with reference to embodied and affective experience, mobilities, rhythm, meaning-making and belief. While all participants appreciated the experiences of walking in the landscape, companionship, heritage expertise, and time-space for reflection, individual sense of ‘journey’ and experience, including a sense of the onward journey or what was ‘taken home’, was deeply inflected by the presence or absence of belief. Pilgrimage narratives offer insight to the meanings ascribed to and derived from the experience of spiritually inflected mobilities and rhythms, as well as the arrhythmia pilgrimage can represent relative to secular worldviews, and the arrhythmia non-believers may experience and negotiate when participating in pilgrimage walks.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:72576
Uncontrolled Keywords:keeills, walking, rhythm, pilgrimage, journey
Publisher:Association of Icelandic Geographers
Publisher Statement:open access


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