Accepted paper:

Contested connections or continuity of spirituality: how contemporary Christians and Pagans engage with a bronze age stone circle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.


Nicolle Sturdevant (University of Exeter)

Paper short abstract:

In the 21st century the perception of the spirituality of an historical church sited adjacent to an ancient landscape are seen in a distinctive manner by those within the community.

Paper long abstract:

In both academic and non-academic writing, there is a continued discourse as to what is sacred, what is heritage, and if the site(s) embodies both. However, it is from those who are part of the geophysical community and actively engage with the loci that we find what may be a spiritual site to some, could be considered only as a tourist venue to others. Even more telling is that these values may be ascribed by persons who are outwith the supposed spiritual group. This paper will draw upon research conducted during my MLitt studies at University of Aberdeen (and currently within my PhD at University of Exeter). Utilising historical documents and ethnographic fieldwork, my preliminary research analysed how those within the community (both physical and spiritual) perceived the connection between the recumbent stone circle and the active Church of Scotland kirk, which is sited 10 metres away.

panel D06
Religious heritage spaces: disputes and convergences