Home / The University / Centres / Center for the Study of Religions / Events / Public Lecture "Hindu Sacralization of Space: Pilgrimage Sites and Procession Rituals in the Hindu Diasporas" by Prof. Dr. Knut Jacobsen


On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Indology Program at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, the Center for the Study of Religions together with the Department of Classical East hosted a public lecture by the distinguished expert in the study of religion Professor Knut Axel Jacobsen, University of Bergen.



Hindu sites of pilgrimage and pilgrimage traditions outside of South Asia are part of the phenomenon which is referred to as Hindu diasporas and which emphasize migration and a subsequent continued relationship with an ancestral homeland. Because of migration, the sacred geography of Hinduism is no longer limited to an Indian or South and Southeast Asian sacred geography, but encompasses the whole world. Hindus from South Asia have sacralized new landscapes globally. Just as all rivers may become the Gaṅgā, the Hindu deities are accessible everywhere. In this lecture I argue that the making of Hindu sacred sites is one of the ways religious traditions identified as Hindu have been expanding historically in South Asia and are now expanding worldwide with the Hindu diasporas. The lecture presents a typology of Hindu pilgrimage sites in the Hindu diasporas. The global expansion of Hindu sacred sites and geography shows that Hindus sacralize space wherever they settle, not exclusive to India, and that encounters with Hindu gods and goddesses may happen wherever Hindus live.