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Article

‘It Was Magical’: Intersections of Pilgrimage, Nature, Gender and Enchantment as a Potential Bridge to Environmental Action in the Anthropocene

Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AB, UK
Academic Editors: Catrien Notermans and Anke Tonnaer
Religions 2022, 13(4), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13040319
Received: 22 December 2021 / Revised: 15 March 2022 / Accepted: 21 March 2022 / Published: 2 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender, Nature and Religious Re-enchantment in the Anthropocene)
Centring on embodiment, gendered eco-spiritual responses to nature, enchantment and environmental crises in the Anthropocene, this paper explores engagement with nature as a spiritual experience and resource through ‘Celtic’ Christian prayer walks in the Isle of Man. Web-based and printed materials for the walks are analysed for references to nature and environmental responsibility, and the complexities of personal, gendered and theological relation to nature and the environment are explored through participants’ accounts. The analysis is attentive to participants professing Christian faith and institutional affiliation as well as those without affiliation or faith, and to their gendered experience. Themes identified include nature-inspired ‘Celtic’ spirituality; personal relation to the non-human (the divine, nature and nature-as-divine); the landscape as a liminal ‘thin place’; and social and environmental responsibility. The paper concludes by signalling the potential for bridging between pilgrimage-centred enchantment and eco-spirituality in order to mobilise engagement with and for the environment in the Anthropocene, including environmental conservation activities, lobbying or protest. Whilst eschewing gendered stereotypes, empirical findings evidence gendered patterns of engagement and responses to different expressions of spirituality. Attention to these differences could facilitate the engaging and mobilising of different cohorts of pilgrims with environmental agendas, inspiring personal and collective environmental action. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature; landscape; pilgrimage; gender; eco-spirituality; environmental consciousness; Anthropocene; Celtic; enchantment; Isle of Man nature; landscape; pilgrimage; gender; eco-spirituality; environmental consciousness; Anthropocene; Celtic; enchantment; Isle of Man
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MDPI and ACS Style

Maddrell, A. ‘It Was Magical’: Intersections of Pilgrimage, Nature, Gender and Enchantment as a Potential Bridge to Environmental Action in the Anthropocene. Religions 2022, 13, 319. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13040319

AMA Style

Maddrell A. ‘It Was Magical’: Intersections of Pilgrimage, Nature, Gender and Enchantment as a Potential Bridge to Environmental Action in the Anthropocene. Religions. 2022; 13(4):319. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13040319

Chicago/Turabian Style

Maddrell, Avril. 2022. "‘It Was Magical’: Intersections of Pilgrimage, Nature, Gender and Enchantment as a Potential Bridge to Environmental Action in the Anthropocene" Religions 13, no. 4: 319. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13040319

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