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Jessica Tearney-Pearce

Phd Scholar


My project investigates worship, devotional, and ritual practices on ships and related to the sea in the medieval Mediterranean. A key element of the project research highlights that the very nature of medieval seafaring and seafarers necessitates that encounters and experiences developed among and were shared between adherents of different religions/beliefs, where boundaries would seem more obvious. It is the overlaps and connections between and among people and places which characterised this environment and engendered and influenced many of the devotional practices therein. The project asks: specifically, what superstition, worship and devotion at sea in the medieval Mediterranean looked like, and how particular practices and cult sites evolved out of and were absorbed from older traditions; and generally whether from the evidence for these we can ascertain whether it is possible to speak of such a thing as 'maritime religion' or 'maritime devotion'?

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