Accepted paper:

Where is home when misfortune happens? On tactics of building dwellings in contemporary Catholicism

Authors:

Kamila Baraniecka-Olszewska (Polish Academy of Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

I explore the notion of ‘seeking home in religion’ in Catholic religiosity in moments of life crises. Certain religious attitudes originate from turning points in life. Experiencing misfortunes and threatened safety of mundane dwelling pushes faithful to actively look for one in religion.

Paper long abstract:

I explore the notion of 'seeking home in religion' in Catholicism in moments of life crises and misfortunes. Deriving from fieldwork in Kalwaria Pacławska (Poland) I would like to present faithful's strategies of creating home in religion when the mundane events cause that their "earthly" dwellings are not comforting anymore, when home is irreversibly transformed by external conditions. I focus on two groups of pilgrims - Polish Roman Catholics coming to Kalwaria mostly with their personal worries and hopes and both Roman and Greek Catholics from Ukraine, of Polish and Ukrainian nationality, who also come with their individual requests, but above all to pray for peace in Eastern Ukraine. In the case of Polish pilgrims important is how the idea of dwelling in religion results from disintegration of individuals' homes caused by incurable sickness, accident, natural disasters. Somehow different are experiences of pilgrims coming from Ukraine. Apart of individual misfortunes believers' lives are affected by war in Eastern Ukraine. Their broader home - homeland - disintegrates making them to seek their dwelling in religion. I do not state that faithful do not seek their home in religion on every day basis, that to do it they need to experience suffering. However, drawing from reflection on religious conversion and particular temporality related to it (Coleman 2011; Klaver, van de Kamp 2011), I argue that certain religious attitudes originate from turning points in life. Experiencing misfortunes and threatened safety of mundane dwelling pushes faithful to actively look for one in religion.

panel Reli02
Dwelling and creating within and across religious traditions (SIEF Ethnology of Religion Working Group Panel)