Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Scott Montgomery, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jacob Kinnard

Third Advisor

Mark George

Fourth Advisor

Eleanor McNees


Chartres, Ephesus, Medjugorje, Pilgrimage, Tourism, Virgin Mary


Global mediation, communication, and technology facilitate pilgrimage places with porous boundaries, and the dynamics of porousness are complex and varied. Three Marian, Catholic pilgrimage places demonstrate the potential for variation in porous boundaries: Chartres cathedral; the Marian apparition location of Medjugorje; and the House of the Virgin Mary near Ephesus. These three places are porous in that they emplace the interactions of different groups, fostering the permeability of boundaries between categories of pilgrimage and tourism, commercial place and devotional place, and cultural and spiritual value. They also show varied degrees of spatial porousness, either topographically or in their connection to surrounding areas of cultural heritage. Porousness is interdependent with contestation as proliferating audiences - including stakeholders, caretakers, marketers, and devotional and cultural participants - invite an array of interactions. Principal sources of contestation are multiple memory narratives (where people install or enact different memories about a place or image), heterogeneous audiences (where a wide demographic coincides and interfaces), and intermingled devotional and commercial places (where the pilgrimage marketplace does not merely overlap with devotional place, but merges with it). These sources of contestation combine in different forms at all three case studies, pushing their boundaries in physical and conceptual ways and calling into question how we define pilgrimage place.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Katherine Rousseau


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

339 p.


Religion, Art History