Religion meets Commemoration - Pilgrimages & Tours to Battlefields of the Western Front
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This paper argues that battlefield tours have strong religious overtones covering respect for ancestors, remembrance, sacrifice and responsibility that features non-spiritual philosophies. This study incorporates views of 23 respondents during a Western Front battlefields tour. The Life Course Perspectives (Hutchinson, 2003) provides a framework to build an understanding of commemoration and religious interactions. The discussion relating to icons, memorials and cemeteries suggests that tours of this nature accrue attributes of a pilgrimage. A selected pr飩s of religion precedes the proposition that Western Front battlefield commemoration meets religion. Tour members believe the Somme region, memorials and cemeteries to be sacred, symbolic places that hold secular meaning, attracts reverence and are a part of their life.
ANZMAC Conference 2009
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