Religion, Spirituality and Capital In Japan and Italy: The Pilgrimage To Ise and Crocifisso Di Bilýc

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:54 AM
Room: Harbor Lounge B
Oral Presentation
Carmelina CANTA , Education's Sciences, UniversitÓ Roma Tre, Roma, Italy
Asami TAJMA; , University Roma Tre, Roma, Italy
RC 22- 5. Lombaard, Christo & Hämmerli Maria: “Religious and Spiritual Capital: Reproducing,

Overcoming or Going Beyond Inequality?”

abstract: "Religion, spirituality and capital in Japan and Italy: the pilgrimage to Ise and Crocifisso di Bilìci” 
Carmelina Chiara Canta and Asami Tajma ( University of Roma Tre)

Religion and spirituality are fully present in the modern world, existing side by side in different forms throughout the world.   We could say that they constitute, in the words of the Sociologist – P. Bourdieu, a form of religious/cultural capital which gives a country and a community its identity.

This paper wishes to join in the debate as to what role religious/cultural capital can have in relation to inequality.

The authors, departing from the theoretical distinction between religion, religiosity and spirituality, wish to hypothesise that the religious pilgrimage is distinguished by its allowing social inequality within a community to be overcome by a serious analysis of the phenomenon.

This theme will be explored by reference to two empiric investigations carried out in  Italy (the pilgrimage to the Crucifix of Belici in Sicily and to the Madonna of Divine Love in Roma) and in Japan (the pilgrimage to Ise) which have been studied through comparative analysis.

The empiric data will be analysed and the two examples (Japanese and Italian), each totally different from the other, will be compared.   The distance between them, geographically, is enormous – as are the social conditions:  historical, cultural, religious, etc.    However, notwithstanding these differences, the motivations, the states of mind and the spirituality (the religious capital), which drive the pilgrims to set out on their journey, are essentially the same.   Faith in itself is already reason enough to undertake this journey and to try to approach and to reach a sacred place.

Key-words: pilgrimage, inequality, religiosity/religion, capital