Religious imageries at Polish Catholic shrines focus of new Journal issue

Release Date

The Spring 2018 issue of the Journal of Global Catholicism, a publication of Catholics & Cultures and the College of the Holy Cross, highlights the experience of pilgrims to Polish Catholic shrines. The articles present the findings of a multi-year research project entitled, "Multisensory Religious Imageries in Selected Catholic Shrines in South-Eastern Poland," conducted by a team of four researchers in Poland and financed by a grant from the Polish National Science Centre. The project aimed to develop an anthropological account and analysis of the embodiment of religious imageries embraced by modern-day Catholic pilgrims who come to worship in shrines located in the region of Subcarpathia (Polish: Podkarpacie), and — in particular, how religious elites moderate such practices in a top-down fashion and how pilgrims influence the specific nature of those practices from the bottom up.

In this issue, now available in digital format:

  • Kamila Baraniecka-Olszewska and Magdalena Lubańska (principal investigator) offer an authors' introduction that overviews the anthropological study of embodiment;
  • Kamila Baraniecka-Olszewska explores the role of the natural environment in the experience of pilgrims to Kalwaria Pacławska, a Marian sanctuary administered by the Franciscan order;
  • Iuliia Buyskykh considers the inherent challenges and necessary approaches to "Everyday Diplomacy" to navigate fieldwork in an ethnically-mixed region of Poland amid ongoing war in Ukraine; 
  • Magdalena Lubańska accompanies pilgrims from Przeworsk to observe their rituals of healing and attention to self-purify from the influences of modernity; and
  • At a Marian apparition site in Mazury, Konrad Siekierski considers how the growing Charismatic Catholic Renewal movement is reshaping Catholics’ embodied sensitivity to the miraculous.

Read the Journal at