Performing Religion in Public between Italy and Sri Lanka

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Carlo NARDELLA, University of Milano, Italy
The paper examines the presence of religion in the public square by analyzing the Catholic Church’s attempt to establish and maintain a new complex of religious practices addressed to the Sri Lankan migrant community in Italy.
This attempt has led to the birth of a pilgrimage to St. Anthony’s basilica in Padova, Italy which every year is attended by thousands of Sri Lankan migrants and has become one the world’s most crowded gatherings of Sri Lankans outside their homeland.
The analysis focuses on the structure of the pilgrimage and the related public rituals, by showing how this religious celebration is made possible by a new production of meaning—in which the symbol of Saint Anthony plays a central role—and a renewed construction of the consensus around it.