Accepted paper:

"Global" Catholicism in "local" homes: World Youth Day 2016 in Poland

Author:

Anna Niedźwiedź (Jagiellonian University)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork I will discuss how concepts of dwelling and creating within one religious tradition (namely Roman Catholicism) were defined, challenged and negotiated during World Youth Day 2016 in Poland. How and to what extent “global” Catholicism found its way to “local” homes.

Paper long abstract:

This paper discusses how the concepts of dwelling and creating within one religious tradition (namely Roman Catholicism) were defined, challenged and negotiated during World Youth Day 2016 in Poland. Combined with an official visit by Pope Francis to Poland, WYD brought more than one million pilgrims to the city of Kraków. Such a mass religious event - which lasted one week and gathered Catholic people from different countries and continents - triggered various debates and conflicts as well as questioned ideas about what "Catholicism" means. Basing on ethnographic fieldwork - conducted before, during and after WYD - I will present various and varying attitudes of Kraków's inhabitants towards the event and specifically towards international pilgrims arriving in their city. I will discuss how and to what extent "global" Catholicism found its way into "local" homes and how intercultural encounters challenged Polish discourses about Catholicism. I will also explore the official image of the city of Kraków presented by the city council and WYD organizers, and how this image was reshaped in spontaneous practices by visitors who made the city their temporary "home".

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