Panel no. 67 - Religious Cultures Under the Earth


Title Dr First name Lana Last name Peternel
Institution Institute for Social Research in Zagreb City Zagreb Country HR


Title Dr First name Lidia Last name Guzy
Institution name University College Cork City Cork Country IE


Panel title

Religious Cultures Under the Earth

Panel abstract

This panel seeks to explore phenomena of underground religions and cultural and religious expressions related to the Earth in different cultural contexts as well as historical periods. Discussing religion in relation to the Earth from the perspective of hidden, underground spaces enables us to highlight new aspects, which sometimes go hand in hand with the narrative aspects of religiosity, but sometimes give a significantly different picture. Therefore, the panel invites papers dealing with diversified perspectives such as ethno-archaeology, ethnography, folklore and ethno-history and general anthropological considerations aiming to explore the relations between religions and the nature of Earth. The panel welcomes research studies of different practices related to the creation and use of physically hidden spaces including caves or mines all over the world. Under the Earth, we find places and localities given special religious or spiritual meaning. Some of them have a long history and a mythology legitimizing the place as something special, others are rather new and can be understood as part of a reinvention or re-actualization of old traditions. Using the concept of underground religion, we welcome a broad spectrum of research aiming to illuminate the relationship between religion and the nature of Earth from empirical and theoretical approaches. The panel invites the participants to take following questions into account: What makes the place a religious underground?; Is or have the place become a place for struggle between different religious practices?; Has it become part of a political agenda or relation to different concept of religiosity?

IUAES Commission