Devotees, A New Ordeal and A Sense of Belonging: Ethnography and Nethnography of Saint Agatha

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Abstract

The chapter focuses on the religious cult in honour of Saint Agata in Catania (Southern Italy), as relevant expression of spectacle and folklore and, in particular, as young devotees’ initiatory participation. Methodologically based on ethnographical observation the religious feast represents not only a consecrating annual encounter between the Saint and her local community, but an example of contemporary ordeal for local young devotees. The research, supported by a nethnographic approach too, shows the significance of this religious cult: the initiation rite in order to confirm one’s own belonging to local community. According to literature, the case-study argues that declaring oneself to be religious does not necessarily involve a real sense of faith or believing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMapping Religion and Spirituality in a Postsecular World
Pages167-180
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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