Spatial Texts, Religious Cartography and Pilgrimage Practice, 24 mai 2011

Jörg GENGNAGEL (South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University)

Spatial Texts, Religious Cartography and Pilgrimage Practice. Case Studies from Banaras and Jaipur. Discutant: Catherine Servan-Schreiber (CEIAS, Paris)

In this talk I will present a few case studies where a simultaneous look at textual prescriptions, religious cartography and pilgrimage practice illustrates conflicts and contestations linked to religious territory. In the presented cases the normative “spatial texts” seem to reflect and highlight a tension between textual prescription and actual practice. I would like to take up these examples in order to discuss whether the religious elites have the power to shape and control a “territoire du religieux” or whether the normative power of texts and elites seems to be rather limited. The presented material includes texts and religious and topographical maps collected at the Varanasi Research Project in Heidelberg and is in one instance based on research in Jaipur.

Références bibliographiques:

A 20th century pilgrimage map of Varanasi, size 56 x 43,5 cm, offset print on paper (private collection Jörg Gengnagel)


Jörg Gengnagel, Visualized Texts–Sacred Spaces, Spatial Texts and the Religious Cartography of Banaras. (Ethno-Indology. Heidelberg Studies in South Asian Rituals 7). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2011.

Jörg Gengnagel, (avec Martin Gaenszle) Visualizing Space in Banaras. Images, Maps, and the Practice of Representation. (Ethno-Indology. Heidelberg Studies in South Asian Rituals 4). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006.

Jörg Gengnagel, “Mapping Sacred Spaces – Aspects of Cartography in 19th century Banaras”, in V. Dorofeeva-Lichtmann & D. Moritz (ed.), Creating and Representing Sacred Spaces, Göttinger Beiträge zur Asienforschung. Göttingen, 247–263, 2003.

A propos du Varanasi Research Project-Visualized Space, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg:

Jörg Gengnagel & Axel Michaels, Banaras Bibliography, Revised and updated, march 2011.

A new Mirror of Kāśī. A HyperImage representation of Kailāsanātha Sukula’s historical map Kāśīdarpaṇa (1876). Jörg Gengnagel & HyperEvaluation Team (Matthias Arnold, Peter Gietz, Eric Decker, Giovanna Niebler, Wen-Ting Wu) „Asia and Europe“, Cluster of Excellence Karl Jaspers Center, Heidelberg University, 2009 .

Jörg Gengnagel & Axel Michaels (eds), 2001, Visualized Texts – Religious Maps and Divination Charts of Banaras, (udpdated 2005).


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