Site-worship and the iconopoietic power of kinetic devotions

Title: Site-worship and the iconopoietic power of kinetic devotions
Variant title:
  • Uctívání posváných míst a ikonopoietická síla kinetické zbožnosti
Author: Bacci, Michele
Source document: Convivium. 2019, vol. 6, iss. 1, pp. [20]-47
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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In what ways might medieval believers' physical experience of holy sites have contributed to and altered or reshaped those sites' cultic physiognomy? This paper offers three case studies: the Hodegon monastery in Constantinople, the church of Our Lady of Montserrat near Barcelona, and the holy circuits of Mount Sinai. At these sites – where the faithful encountered a spring's healing water, a mountainous landscape, and a network of memorial places – the original cultic focus came over time to be partly or thoroughly supplanted by images deemed to possess specific worship-worthiness. The analysis raises questions about the extent to which the expectation or desire to see, enhanced by hard physical exertion, might have encouraged medieval pilgrims to single out, distinguish, and give shape to figurative objects, a process that deepened the sensory, visual experience of site-bound holiness.