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Accepted Paper:

Nazaré, an example of transversal religiosity among big waves-a Marian shrine and a surfing spot  
Maria Santa Montez (Universidade Lusófona)

Paper short abstract:

A transversal religiosity is shared by those who brave Nazaré waves, an ancient Marian pilgrimage site and a world-famous surfing spot in Portugal. This research focus on the beliefs and prayers of two different communities: traditional fishermen and modern surfers.

Paper long abstract:

Seas and Oceans have a special tropism on the people who face them and their forces of nature either for their daily livelihood or just for pleasure.

This paper addresses the religiosity of both traditional, centuries-old fishing communities and that of modern surfers.

Transversal spirituality manifestations are examined in a research study at a specific site in Portugal where traditional worship of a famous Marian shrine, which is also a pilgrimage sanctuary and linked to an old legend, a miracle and an ex-voto, is imbued with the respect and religiosity inspired by the Ocean: Nazaré.

Nazaré is also famous, worldwide, as one of the most valued, looked-for and feared surfing spots, as its waves are considered to be among the biggest ones in the world. The daring surfers are willing to face danger and even death there - and they show such respect for the Ocean that even the self-proclaimed atheists find their own way of invoking God's protection and praying.

The methodology of this research study comprises interviews and meetings with the two above-mentioned communities and the observation of their rituals.

The ongoing research among fishermen, their devotion and worship of the Lady of Nazaré and on the other hand among world surfers who meet and compete riding these waves, feeling a deep respect for the Divine and engaging on spiritual rituals, is the object of this paper.

Panel Reli03
Religious in idiosyncrasy. New religious movements in the 21st century [SIEF Ethnology of Religion Working Group]
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -