Some Basic Factors of Pilgrimage in Contemporary Serbia

Biljana Anđelković
2019 PROSPECTS FOR ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN SOUTH-EAST EUROPE  
The book marks a new phase in the fruitful collaboration between the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Ethnography Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. It is an important publication for any future research on the development of ethnology and anthropology in Southeast Europe. The papers presented here, the topics they raise and the methods they employ, comprise an overview of the issues, concepts, phenomena and research methodologies
more » ... methodologies anthropology in this has been dealing with in the early 21st century. Positions of the discipline itself, transformations of traditional culture and various phenomena of contemporary culture in Southeastern Europe are subjected to a theoretical scrutiny in the papers of this volume. Pilgrimage tourism in Serbia represents a developed, yet highly unregulated activity. Seeing as official tourist organizations, the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) or the state take no part in its development, it mostly takes place within the "gray zone". A lack of control over this activity leaves tour guides and organizers of pilgrimage tours with a lot of leeway in choosing the sacred places which will be visited and narratives utilized during the trips. This kind of "liberty" in (re)presentation is reflected in very uneven concepts of SOC sacred places among pilgrims, as well as in different religious practices in them. In this paper I will present the results of research conducted between 2013 and 2017 on pilgrimage tours in Serbia. The aim of the paper is to point out the most important traits of contemporary pilgrimage in Serbia -ways of organizing, the structure of pilgrim groups, the kinds of narratives used on these voyages, as well as the role and significance that pilgrimages had in the process of "spiritual growth" of traditional orthodox believers. Even though organized pilgrimage tourism has been present in Serbia for the past three decades, it is still an unexplored
doi:10.33876/978-542-110-238-0/207-229 fatcat:r4bdoabtczfhthlcvwunil574a