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Abstracts and Papers

Spirituality and the Supernatural

Friday 12th March 2021 – Saturday 13th March 2021
Lisbon, Portugal


ABSTRACT AND PAPERS

Oppressed and Reclaimed: A Feminist Lens on Women and the Supernatural
Abhramika Choudhuri
FLAME University, India

Key Words:
Media, supernatural, culture, oppression, women, feminist, patriarchy, societal norms, labels, reclamation.

The media has for long had a fascination with the concept of supernatural. From books to movies, the idea of the supernatural has been repeatedly explored, and in the last few years, its popularity has seen a sharp rise. The rise of its popularity can be considered indicative of societal fascination with the concept. It has never been clear where this fascination stems from, but one could hypothesize that it is rooted in the human need to explainphenomena that cannot be explained through science and logic.

Among the various functions that the supernatural fulfils, one of its roles within society and the media, has been to label and oppress women. Cultures across the world use supernatural connotations, like labelling women as ‘witches’ and ‘demons’, if they do not fit within conventional norms that have been set for them.In India, there are an abundance of stories which explore the idea of a chudail (witch) who seduces men and then kills them.

Feminist critiques of supernatural art and literature often discuss the role of supernatural connotations as a tool of gendered oppression. More recently however, the very tool used to oppress women is being used to reclaim power by women. More recent films like Bubbul (Netflix India, 2020) have explored the idea of women embracing the imagery of the witch and empowering herself. This raises questions of why supernatural connotations are effective tools of gendered oppression and what makes them valuable enough to reclaim to power? Through a feminist lens, this paper aims to use thematic analysis, in an attempt to understand why societal fascination with the supernatural has aided the patriarchal structure to oppress women and how effective is its reclamation.


Paranormal Patriarchy and Vengeful Women: Tracing Misogyny in the Cultural Constructions of Vindictive Spirits
Yash Gupta
The FLAME University

Key Words:
paranormal, patriarchy, cultural studies, feminist theory, maternal figure

The darker side of a myth, the paranormal, has often been deemed peripheral sociologically or considered non-structure in cultural studies literature (Nathan, Kelkar, & Xiaogang 1998). However, when cast in the light of critical evaluation, the paranormal betrays its terrifying cover and opens a field that propels normative understandings and expectations. Lakoff proposes that the function of the supernatural is to provide an understanding to cultural experiences. This understanding stems from the normative, and thereby the supernatural exists to reify the dominant culture (Segura 2013).

The notion of the paranormal, however, exists in the mirror image of this explanation, where it depicts the fears that contest the hegemonic relations of power prevalent in society, and the nightmares that the culture fosters (Wee 2010). Borrowing from Freud, Spirits, being unconscious creations, reflect our deepest cultural anxieties, where a study of the same can illuminate deep-set power structures that define society.

The proposed paper follows from this establishment of myth, and aims to undertake a critical analysis of vengeful spirits from different cultures, focusing upon different aspects of the maternal construction of female identity. Across several cultures, the notion of vengeful spirits, ghosts that attempt villainy are often aligned with the feminine (Wee 2010). As influencers of female cultural identities, the necessarily vengeful female spirits create a web of feminine expectations by manifesting a specific set of qualities dictated by patriarchy; at the centre of which is the biologically determined maternal ideal. Furthermore, the spirits, through, différence (Grossberg 1996), essentialize, normalize, naturalize, and idealise the mandates of a specific kind of mother- selfless, non-ambivalent, white, economically dependent, subordinate and traditionally beautiful (Reilly 2006; Aiken 2020). The supernatural mother thus is either excessively and dangerously maternal, or a maternal failure (Rogus 2003; Carbonell 1999). The paper thus aims to flow from the establishment of the paranormal as cultural dictator, to an analysis of specific figures from cultural myths backed by critical feminist reasoning. Furthermore, I argue that these spirits (each being a personification of a specific ‘polyphony ’), in their entirety create a narrative that aims at defining female identities, with the mother figure at the centre (Simerka 2000).


Supernatural Seduction: Female Archetypes in Supernatural
Cathy Leogrande
Le Moyne College
Syracuse NY, USA

Key Words:
archetypes, media, gender, critical media literacy

Television has always been home for series that focused on or included aspects of supernatural beings and events. From Stranger Things to the anthology series Black Mirror, people have embraced entertainment that present stories with frightening and unexplainable components.

Supernatural themes have been front and center in the aptly named television series Supernatural. The show was created by Eric Kripke and launched in 2005 on the WB network (now the CW) as the story of two brothers traveling across America hunting monstrous creatures that prey on humans. The pilot began with Mary Winchester, mother of the main characters, dying at the hands of a demon. From that first episode, female characters have been trivialized, victimized, and eliminated. This focus of this paper is ways this modern and widely popular show explores tropes and motifs that both perpetuate and subvert gender stereotypes.

Supernatural is a masculine oriented show with a host of recurring and one-shot female characters. Contradictions abound. Women are critical to the storylines, and yet never essential enough to be recurring characters. There are smart, brave and complex characters like Ellen and Jo Harvelle, Charlie Bradbury and Sherriff Jody Mills. These are juxtaposed with porn stars like Suzy Lee, Knight of Hell Abbadon and the Amazon Emma who is sent to kill her birthfather (Dean). Fans and critics have celebrated the strong women characters as well as chastised the series for its misogynistic representations.

This paper will present a matrix based on eight archetypes for female heroines and villainesses, with examples of each from Supernatural episodes. According to Carl Jung

The concept of the archetype is derived from the repeated observation that, for instance, the religious myths and fairy tales of world literature contain definite motifs which crop up everywhere. We meet these same motifs in the fantasies, dreams, deliria and delusions of individuals living today…They impress, influence, and fascinate us. (1969)

Supernatural is built around many of these recognizable archetypes. The Heroine archetypes include Seductive Muse, Amazon, Father’s Daughter, Nurturer, Matriarch, Mystic, Female Messiah, and Maiden. The Villainesses include Femme Fatale, Gorgon, Backstabber, Overcontrolling Mother, Scorned Woman, Betrayer, Destroyer, and Troubled Teen. For each example, discussion will focus on how the representations in both human and supernatural form create a spectrum of images that provide a potent vehicle for grappling with gender issues in ways that blur lines and cement traditional perspectives in our collective unconscious.

The paper will close with strategies for using critical media literacy to examine and question how creative works shape our perspective of the supernatural and why some expressions of gender related to the supernatural are more culturally acceptable than others.


Archival Evidence of Exceptional Human Experience
Blynne Olivieri
University of West Georgia
USA

Key Words:
archives, cultural property, libraries, libraries and society, parapsychology, altered states of consciousness, remote viewing, near-death experiences, extrasensory perception, hallucinogenic drugs.

Archival and library collections hold tangible documentation of the range of human experience. Diaries, letters, photographs, audio recordings, reports, and other paper and film-based materials tell the stories of people’s lives.

Using examples from the vast parapsychology archives and rare book collections at the University of West Georgia, this paper will share people’s first-hand accounts of extraordinary incidents or of their supernatural abilities, from the profound to the disappointing, and from the unexpected to the purposefully sought, including near-death experiences, extrasensory perception, and psychedelic drug use.

While the supernatural sits in the margins of acceptability in Western society, exceptional experiences and abilities are very real to the people who have lived them. The documentation created, which is proof for some readers and make-believe stories to others, nonetheless holds important human lessons: the possibility of alternative ways of knowing and enlarged levels of consciousness, that there is a range and variety of human experiences beyond the narrow scope of what is socially defined as normal or “natural,” the need to be heard and to listen, and that the search for connections with people and with the broader universe brings meaning and purpose.

This paper will begin with the concept of curiosity and the important role libraries and archives have in collecting, preserving, and sharing documents on human culture. It will conclude with an analysis of why archives pertaining to the supernatural are not collected or are undervalued in academic and other settings.


From Crises to Peace: Vegan Feed Supports Refugees in Greece
Haorui Wu
Dalhousie University
Canada

Key Word:
COVID-19, Animal production, Plant-based proteins, European refugee relief, Veganism, Peace, Mindfulness

COVID-19, transmitted from animals to humans, stems from the brisk human demand for animal products, especially animal proteins. WHO states that in the past decade, more than 60percent of all human pathogens are indeed zoonotic in origin. The animal industry directly exacerbates the upward curve of global change through GHGs emissions, which triggers further a plethora of disaster (e.g. wildfire, epidemics, and armed conflicts), threatening global citizens’ health and overall well-being. Is there light at the end the tunnel our appetite for animal proteins seem to plunge us deeper into? Scientific evidence demonstrates that switching to plant-based proteins emerges as the most sustainable and ethical human feed and the only and fastest solution to stop such now and in the future, restoring nature and helping humans recover peace and mindfulness.
Collaborating with European governments and international non-profit organizations, the author joined the European Refugee Relief Team of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association in Athens and on Chios Island, Greece (2016-17). The team primarily fed hundreds of refugee healthy plant-based meals on daily basis, trained camp residents on preparing nutritious plant-based meals, and raised their awareness of the veganism’s benefits(e.g. harmonizing natural and built environments and rebuilding societies and economies). All learned to exploit different resources at hand while developing a spirit of collaboration, solidarity, and peaceful cohabitation notwithstanding their societal backgrounds (e.g. cultures and affinities). While most refugees had experienced severe trauma, the plant-based meal had generated peaceful magic to relief their trauma, and even to encourage those, who were initially non-accepting or reluctant to try, into the action! This peaceful power significantly reduced the incidences of strife and conflicts in the camps. Some learners enthusiastically disseminated their obtained vegan expertise during their relocation processes, widely benefiting more individuals and communities.


Occult Ideography in German Expressionist Cinema
Colton Ochsner
University of Missouri
USA

Over the past century, the groundbreaking cinematic legacy of German Expressionism has inspired filmmakers and scholars alike with its special effects, visceral characters, and fantastic plotlines. In the Weimar Republic, the strangely stylized sets of what became known as German Expressionism captivated audiences worldwide with movies such as Robert Wiene’s Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari in 1920, F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens in 1922 and Faust: eine deutsche Volkssage in 1926, and Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen in 1924 and Metropolis in 1927. Though scholars generally agree that no Expressionist movement ever existed in cinema, I assert that the directors, screenwriters, and set designers of movies now called “Expressionist” maintained among themselves a common ideographic blueprint based on the sidereal zodiac of Western astrology, and, within its twelve houses, 66 cards from the standard tarot deck by Arthur Edward Waite (published originally in 1910), while basing their characters on planetary archetypes represented by the sipherot of the Hermetic cabbala. This schema, which they implemented in all their so-called Expressionist movies, might most aptly be called an occult blueprint.

I present this material in order to set forth the argument that the subtlety, the shrewdness, and the subliminality of occult ideography in German Expressionism has been ignored, neglected, and downright unnoticed in the whole of film and historical scholarship. But it is a field that demands to be taken more seriously by professionals and requires the attention of those familiar with the occult publications, arcane practices, and esoteric schools of and around Weimar Germany. My paper seeks to analyze this occult blueprint cinematically, giving primacy to the visual experience of the movies in question, and to contextualize it hermeneutically, delving into occult doctrine prevalent between the 1910s and 1920s.


Durational Film and Spiritual Reflection
Sue Thomas
Artist, Dumfries and Galloway
Scotland, United Kingdom

I am a visual artist working in artists’ moving image. My work is durational, detailed and based in the natural world.

Durational or ‘slow’ film is a serious attempt to counter the speed of everyday life, to offer an opportunity to relax the pace of both thought and action and move solely into the present, a process somewhat akin to gentle meditation. As this process happens, heart and pulse rate slow, pressing thoughts recede and the viewer is able to enter more fully into the images, giving them depth and meaning. This allows a different interpretation, what Brakhage (2001) would call ‘the untutored eye’:

“Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception.”

The choice of nature as subject resonates strongly with spirituality. In early times socalled ‘primitive’ religion allowed natural forms to take on the mantle of sacred objects. They were used to represent deeply felt beliefs in something greater, unknown and beyond everyday life, deserving of significant respect. They enabled man to engage more strongly with the material world and to use what Abram (2013) describes as ‘the acute levels of more-than-human communication’. In current times those who see the environment as something special and in need of protection, who walk in nature to recharge their batteries and to feel closer to the more-than-human world because it possesses something man’s made world cannot provide, seem to be expressing similar spiritual beliefs.

In film, close-up, detailed images take this process one step further. Corredor (2006) describes it thus,

“Artists are extracting fragments of reality from the chaos of nature and are transferring and setting them in artistic visual frames charged with patterns, facts, logic of ideas, flow of emotions or flights of the imagination, and thus intensifying our experience of awareness of nature.”

These three factors – the natural world observed at an unfamiliar level of detail and at a durational pace – successfully combine to offer the viewer an opportunity to consider life from a very different perspective. One which could either engender personal spiritual reflection or provide an opening for spiritual discussion.

everything must change https://vimeo.com/user23598163/everythingmustchange
Lament https://vimeo.com/345299172 Dispersal https://vimeo.com/349852931
Coltsfoot in Seed https://vimeo.com/user23598163/vimeocomuser23598163


Reawakening Humanity on Stage: Steiner and Kandinsky’s Scenic Compositions Against Materialism
David Picquart
Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France

Key Words:
spirituality ; creation ; Steiner ; Kandinsky; stage performance ; art history ; human revival; antimaterialism ; esoterism ; vibratory perception

This paper will explore Kandinsky’s turning point toward abstract painting through the light of both Rudolf Steiner’s theory (whomthe painter met in Munich) and Kandinsky’s previous and widely forgotten scenic compositions. Steiner gives art a deeply spiritual and vibratory nature, thereby the inherent purpose to save Humanity from its materialist decline by leading spectatorstoenlightenment andthe revelation of the secrets of Nature as cosmos,steps to universal harmony. This theoretical foundation transpires through Kandinsky’s Spiritual in arts establishing the true clairvoyant artist as a prophet seeking social change and mind enlightenment,exalting the need for artistic revival towards the higher form of creation, the union of every artistic medium translating pure spiritual vibrations. While in Munich, Steiner established that, before being able to create artwork as an independent being unleashing spiritual vibratory enlightenment, conscientious artists must first use the human being as a medium for spiritual art and the direct channel of the stageto transfer vibrations and elevate the spectator’s mind through their body (to that extent, he built his perfect architectural spiritual theatre, the Goethanum).

This paper will explore the scenic theory then elaborated by Kandinsky and the artworks itself seeking to unite art on stage and enlighten the public, following the steinerian vibratory modernism, setting new paths and legacies for modern transcendental performances. It will conclude on the acknowledgment that Kandinsky made this work the experimental laboratory for his painting process towards abstraction through the theorization of the composition scheme and direct elaboration of synaesthesia for scenic performances.


Dracula, Freud and Sherlock Holmes: the dialectics of the supernatural
Rainer M. Koeppl
University of Vienna, Austria

Stoker’s Dracula was published in 1897, Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams in 1899/1900, two years later Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles scared the readers, however, my presentation is not so much based on the obvious temporal proximity but on the common theme, the struggle with and against the supernatural in a time of faith in science.

For centuries, the supernatural was accepted as reality. When the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears, it is not his presence that is uncanny, but his behaviour. According to the Zeitgeist, Shakespeare’s “scholar” Marcellus, who thought that the spectre was “but a phantasy”, accepts its reality. Likewise, the world view of Goethe’s Dr.Faust is confirmed and not shaken, when the poodle turns out to be Mephisto.

When Dr. Gerard Van Swieten was asked by Empress Maria Theresa to prove to her uneducated subjects there were no vampires in her Empire, he could not dare to touch the dogma of Jesus’ resurrection or the idea of an almighty God. A century later, however, the supernatural seemed to have completely disappeared from the enlightened world view. “Spectres” and “vampires” still appear in Karl Marx’s writings, but only as metaphors. But at the climax of radical materialism the supernatural resumes the fight against reason. Sherlock Holmes may have achieved his greatest success by unmasking the hellhound of the Baskervilles, reducing the metaphysical to genetics, but Stoker’s polymath Prof. Van Helsing succeeded to convince the readers of the reality of supernatural bloodsuckers. Between these extreme poles of acceptance and rejection of the supernatural, Freud develops his psychoanalysis, relocating the metaphysical in the inaccessible interior of man. But even if our dreams are no longer understood as messages from the metaphysical but as wishes from the unconscious, which can be scientifically analyzed, according to Freud, the question remains why man is not master in his own house and who holds the key to the scary basement.


Spectral Dramaturgy: Mary Shelley as Gothic Dramatist in Rona Munro’s adaptation of Frankenstein
Gheorghe L Williams
University of Birmingham
United Kingdom

Key Words:
Frankenstein, Gothic, theatre, culture, supernatural, dramaturgy, Mary Shelley, performance, authorship, progress

Drawing together the edges of creative arts and radical sciences, Frankenstein has held an archetypal position in the traditions of Science-Fiction, Posthumanism, and the Gothic across more than two centuries. However, recent research has begun to re-assess its inherent theatricality, as scholars like Richard J. Hand (2015), Dennis Cutchins and Dennis Perry (2018) identify the crucial significance of dramatic adaptation to Frankenstein’s legacy. Kelly Jones (2018), for instance, observes that Frankenstein’s ‘liveness’ makes it particularly suited to modern theatrical innovations, citing Frankenstein’s Wedding…Live in Leeds (2011)—a large-scale techno-spectacle streamed live from Kirkstall Abbey—as her example. Clearly, Frankenstein’s theatrical spirit continues to offer unique approaches to understanding the resonations of the supernatural with the contemporary moment. This paper aims to argue that the most recent addition to this legacy must be Rona Munro’s re-working of the novel in late-2019, in which Mary Shelley herself is brought into the narrative. As her character moves between numerous dramatic dimensions, Shelley constructs, comments upon, and is consumed by the events of her creation in real-time; her authorial endeavours and Victor’s experimental labours are intertwined as a single process of Gothic cultural production. Presenting an analysis of the innovative theatrical strategies at work in this production, I argue that Munro, and director Patricia Benecke, demonstrate how the sheer contrariness of supernatural representation underscores its timely potency as a mode of social and cultural progress; it speaks especially to current feminist movements which work towards narrative reclamation and equal distributions of social power for and among women. By emphasising the role of the supernatural in Shelley’s creative process, this production ultimately illustrates how staging the supernatural remains a uniquely effective rhetorical mode of our time, bringing the historical into the contemporary, whilst also embodying and articulating present anxieties by giving shape to potential futures.


The Role of Culture and Beliefs in Healing: An Ethnography Within an Inner-city Pentecostal Church
Geoffrey Amoateng
Anglia Ruskin University
United Kingdom

-abstract not available-


Queer Creatures: Reproduction and Community
James Chantry
De Montfort University Leicester
United Kingdom

Key Words:
Queer, Supernatural, Spiritualism, Folklore, Ghost Story, Science Fiction, Literature, Reproduction, Communities, Politics

Supernatural fiction, in particular, the ghost story and science fiction have been an outlet, coded or otherwise for queer expression.  Gothic horror embedded the notion of the outsider: monstrous same sex attraction, lust and sin.  The Victorian and Edwardian ghost story featured the repressed yearnings of the middle class, lone male.  Often his fear and desire, materialised through spectral manifestations.  In E.F Benson’s story ‘The Thing in the Hall’ (1912), two gentleman dabble in the fashionable, spiritualist practice of table turning.  This results in the production of a large, slug-like ‘thing’.  The manifestation can be read as phallus and baby. The male spiritual mediums of the era, known for their production of matter, were largely homosexual and found new freedoms in gender transgression through their mediumship. The spiritualist medium Leslie Flint (1911-1994) was famed for his ‘direct voice mediumship’.  He claimed to produce a skin-like, ectoplasmic being, that attached to his person and acted as a voice box for the dead, through his child spirit guide ‘Mickey’.  Often the spectral visitor was a famous female, such as Marilyn Monroe.  Flint and Mickey, through the manifested organ, performed what could be likened to a spirit drag show.  The Molly Houses of 18th century Britain, were brothels that provided a community for queer male sex workers, illegal but largely tolerated.  Mock labour and birth rituals were commonplace, attributed to an expelling of anxiety.  We can trace supernatural ideas of male reproduction to the 2nd century.  Lucian of Samosata, in, A True Story, a work of protoscience fiction, contains all male races that reproduce through; gestation in the thigh from sodomy and also burying testicles in the ground and harvesting babies from the resulting tree that grows.  Octavia Butler in ‘Bloodchild’ (1984) explores male pregnancy and interspecies dependence, in a meditation of the human race’s future on another planet.  Feminist writer Firestone proposed the idea of artificial wombs, regarding women’s pregnancy and labour as an oppressive tyranny in ‘The Dialectic of Sex’ (1970).  Does queer alignment with the supernatural and its manifestations propose an ideal of non-heteronormative reproduction and community?  I will ask if queer futurity can question capitalist hegemony.  I shall elucidate and explore the notion of queer reproduction as a utopian futurity.  I will invoke the folkloric creatures of the Lincolnshire Fens (my birthplace); the ‘Tiddy Mun’ and ‘Tiddy People’ or little men.  They were said to be supernatural, child-like creatures that wreaked havoc on the 17th century contractors and engineers, who were draining the fens, to produce valuable agricultural land.

Video will be used as a carrier to reveal materialisations through: digital drawings, animations and live action.


Shamanic selves in uncanny landscapes: Channeling the supernatural in Garner, Moore, and MacFarlane
Dr. Therese-M. Meyer
Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Key Words:
authors as shamans, reader experience of the supernatural, ghosts, animistic nature spirits, ideological implications, sentient landscape,neo-shamanism

At the interface between the concepts of sentient landscape and the supernatural immanence posited by neo-animism, a new poetic persona can be seen to develop – that of the author as a shaman in Eliade’s understanding of the term (1964).Alan Garner (Thursbitch, 2003), Alan Moore (Voice of the Fire, 1996) and Robert Macfarlane (Holloway, 2012), the three authors examined in this paper, seem to share nothing on the surface. Garner’s work is postmodern historical fiction, Moore’s straddles historical fiction and fictional autobiography with an occultist spin, while Macfarlane’s texts are nature writing. All three authors, however, converge in their representation of the supernatural by creating, channeling and representing spiritual manifestations in the shape of ghosts as well as nature spirits. All three authors further situate their texts in supernaturally animated landscapes, echoing contemporary ecological concerns, whose diverse manifestations remain partly unintelligible to their characters. All three authors thusposit themselves as the channel of a supernatural reality that (by transcending their characters’ understanding)calls upon the readers to recognise and experience such hauntings and manifestations. While Garner is the most subtle author of the three in his construction of a supernaturally permeated reality, Moore is most open about it, indeed embodying his shamanism in a fictionalised self. Macfarlane, finally, by grounding his writing in non-fiction, emerges as most explicit in this textual strategy of the supernatural touching his readers’ experience of reality. Such textscontradict Heholt’s claim that the act of representation of necessity makes the experience of haunting “effectively disappear” (2016, 310) because they situate the recognition of the supernatural, which their textual representation has shamanistically channeled, in their readers’ own experience.


Disposable Ghosts (Excerpt from full-length play)
Katherine Duggan
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom

Key Words:
ghosts, cemeteries, history, ghost tours, trauma, statues, memorials, slavery

In my creative work as a playwright, I frequently return to ghosts and the supernatural, and the resonances between age-old ghost stories and contemporary politics. Ghosts remind us of the histories we create and the stories we tell ourselves, and all the erasures that are left to linger in ghostly palimpsestic traces. My play Disposable Ghosts was inspired by recent protests in the American South over the presence of Confederate statues, and uses the supernatural to represent the collective trauma of a community, and I use “ghost tours” as a recurring motif throughout the play as a way of walking through the violence of local history and allowing people to grapple with the spirits of the past. In this play, Deacon’s Grove, Massachusetts, is celebrating its 350th anniversary of colonial settlement with a big Deacon’s Day celebration. Dahlia Atkinson leads the Historical Society. The day’s plans are interrupted when the young Bea Harris, a recently-returned resident of the town, starts a protest calling for the removal of the statue of Arthur Deacon, due to his slave-owning past. This protest unleashes ghosts and half-buried secrets from all the residents. In the excerpted scene I have included from Act I, the sighting of a ghost, and the subsequent discussion of it and whether the ghost can be “believed,” becomes a representation of unspoken/unspeakable historical and personal trauma.


Spirituality Among Religious Tourism in India
Varija Vudhayaraju & Ramabrahmam Vellore 
Yogi Vemana University, India

Key Words:
Tourism, Cultural Heritage, Religious, Spiritual, Economic, Global Integrity

Tourism is an age old activity associated with civilized nations. Tourism industry fosters a country’s economy development, restores cultural heritage, and helps in maintaining international relations. Spiritual Tourism has been evolved in the Industry of tourism for the need of global humanity as it has been perceived that it has been entrenched with the base of religion but its transcends goes and evolve beyond the limits for the spirit of religion. Although spiritual tourism is a wider form of religious tourism through which tourists experience more than their expectation. Thus India has been respected as a destination for spiritual tourism for domestic and international tourists. It includes all the religions mentioned above; religious places associated with, emotional attachment to these centers and infrastructure facilities for the tourists. The essence of spiritual tourism belongs in internal feeling through worship. It should not be regulate by caste, creed and economic status or intellectual attainment of the recipient. Thus through spiritual tourism there is a sincere effort to bring better understanding among various nations and thus foster global integrity.
This Paper emphasizes the emergence of spiritual tourism as there is a dearth of fundamental academic research and it is important to do further research & investigation in the subject. It has also explored the potential growthand suggested the promotional strategies for the development of the Tourism Industry in term of spiritual tourism in India. In particular, the main difference we found was that religious identity commitment positively predicted satisfaction with life among religious, but not among uncertain individuals. An interpretation of the results and their implications are discussed.

 

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