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Indiana University Press
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Claiming Sacred Ground
Pilgrims and Politics at Glastonbury and Sedona

Adrian J. Ivakhiv

A study of people and politics at two New Age spiritual sites.

In this richly textured account, Adrian Ivakhiv focuses on the activities of pilgrim-migrants to Glastonbury, England and Sedona, Arizona. He discusses their efforts to encounter and experience the spirit or energy of the land and to mark out its significance by investing it with sacred meanings. Their endeavors are presented against a broad canvas of cultural and environmental struggles associated with the incorporation of such geographically marginal places into an expanding global cultural economy.

Ivakhiv sees these contested and "heterotopic" landscapes as the nexus of a complex web of interestes and longings: from millennial anxieties and nostalgic re-imaginings of history and prehistory; to real-estate power grabs; contending religious visions; and the free play of ideas from science, pseudo-science, and popular culture. Looming over all this is the nonhuman life of these landscapes, an"otherness" that alternately reveals and conceals itself behind a pagenant of beliefs, images, and place-myths.

A significant contribution to scholarship on alternative spirituality, sacred space, and the politics of natural landscapes, Claiming Sacred Ground will interest scholars and students of environmental and cultural studies, and the sociology of religious movements and pilgrimage. Non-specialist readers will be stimulated by the cultural, ecological, and spiritual dimensions of extraordinary natural landscapes.

Adrian Ivakhiv teaches in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, and is President of the Environmental Studies Association of Canada.

April 2001
384 pages, 24 b&w photos, 2 figs., 9 maps, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4, index, append.
cloth 0-253-33899-9 $37.40 s /

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Contents
  2. p. v
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. One. Departures
  2. p. 1
  1. One. Power and Desire in Earth’s Tangled Web
  2. pp. 3-17
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  1. Two. Reimagining Earth
  2. pp. 18-43
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  1. Three. Orchestrating Sacred Space
  2. pp. 44-62
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  1. Two. Glastonbury
  2. pp. 63-64
  1. Four. Stage, Props, and Players of Avalon
  2. pp. 65-92
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  1. Five. Many Glastonburys: Place-Myths and Contested Spaces
  2. pp. 93-142
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  1. Three. Sedona
  2. pp. 143-144
  1. Six. Red Rocks to Real Estate
  2. pp. 145-172
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  1. Seven. Vortexes and Crossed Currents: Sedona’s Multichannel Wilderness
  2. pp. 173-208
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  1. Four. Arrivals
  2. pp. 209-210
  1. Eight. Practices of Place: Nature, Heterotopia, and the Postmodern Sacred
  2. pp. 211-239
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 241-284
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 285-316
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 317-326
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