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Gendered spaces and practice,relationality, emotion and affect at the Marian shrine of Ta Pinu, Gozo, Malta

Maddrell, A. (2016) Gendered spaces and practice,relationality, emotion and affect at the Marian shrine of Ta Pinu, Gozo, Malta. In: Gemzöe, L., Keinänen, M.-L. and Maddrell, A. (eds.) Contemporary Encounters in Gender and Religion. Palgrave, London, pp. 219-240. ISBN 9783319425979

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-42598-6_1


In this chapter the case study of Ta’ Pinu, Gozo, a site of pilgrimage for Marian devotion and the national shrine of Malta, is analysed as a gendered assemblage and an example of the intersection of gender and religion, with attention to the spatial and power relations associated with these flows and processes. Islands have functioned as places of spiritual retreat and subsequent pilgrimage throughout the history of the Christian faith, the liminal character of their coastal landscapes and environments creating particular intertwinings of experience and spiritual practice; yet, whilst this experiential nexus may be extraordinary for visitors, it is the everyday context of daily life for inhabitants (see Maddrell 2011, 2013, Maddrell and della Dora 2013, Maddrell et al 2015, Maddrell and Scriven (forthcoming)). Here my attention is turned to the island of Gozo in Malta, analysing the Roman Catholic shrine of Ta’ Pinu, in order to offer a spatial perspective on gender and religion within this specific context and arena. Whilst the journeys to this island shrine can have significance, drawing on feminist theories of embodiment, my focus here is less on the journey per se and more on the spaces and practices of religious performance and related geographies of spiritual encounter, emotion and affect, with particular attention to the gendered dimensions of these practices at Ta’ Pinu. This will be set within the wider context of an overarching analysis of faith practices as embodied in everyday spaces and practices, reflecting a need for more scholarly attention to examining those pilgrimages which are embedded in everyday practice rather than a stand-alone extraordinary event (Maddrell 2013). It is hoped that this meshing of perspectives and themes will yield fresh understanding of the specific place-time dynamics of gender and religion at Ta’ Pinu, and in turn contribute to a spiritually-inflected understanding of gendered discourses and practices. Before turning to the core discussion, Marian veneration as a form of pilgrimage practice and the history of the Ta’ Pinu shrine are briefly outlined, and fieldwork methodologies explained.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:75474


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