Wednesday, January 5, 2022

One Off Journal Issues: Unlocking Sacred Landscapes: Religious and Insular Identities in Context

Occasionally issues of journals where one might not normally think to look produce thematic issues of interest. Availability online makes them much more discoverable. A case in point:

 Unlocking Sacred Landscapes: Religious and Insular Identities in Context. A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444)

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giorgos Papantoniou E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Classics, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
Interests: mediterranean archeology; landscape archaeology; ancient religions; ancient visual and material culture; ethnoarchaeology and cultural heritage studies
Dr. Athanasios K. Vionis E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Archaeological Research Unit, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus
Interests: historical archaeology; landscape archaeology; island archaeology; spatial analysis; Christian topography; material culture studies
Dr. Christine E. Morris E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Classics, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
Interests: mediterranean archaeology; ancient ritual and religion; material culture studies; gender studies; cultural heritage; reception studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

‘Island archaeology’ emerged as a defined field during the 1970s, with many critiques and developments continuing to the present day. Historians and archaeologists have attempted to bring together issues of identities, insularities, and connectivities both in large and self-contained islands in terms of natural resources, but also in smaller island societies with limited resources. Within a wider field of rethinking the premises, agendas, and practices of island archaeology, an examination of how insularity has influenced the shape of historical events at a regional level and a focus on the domain of religion and its interaction with insularity remains a desideratum.

Inserting religion within a landscape perspective via an integrated approach, which carefully considers temporality, spatiality, and materiality, the Unlocking Sacred Landscapes Network invites historians and archaeologists to examine the function of religion in maintaining ‘social power’ (with the term including and considering both elite/official and non-elite/popular ideologies and cosmologies) in both large and smaller island societies.

This Special Issue will encompass various approaches both to ritual space and to artefacts relating to ritual practice and cult involving islandscapes (including landscapes and seascapes). The terms ritual and cult are used broadly to include sanctuaries, temples, and churches as well as the domestic and funerary spheres of life. We particularly welcome articles with a strong methodological and theoretical focus. Although the main focus of the Network is the Mediterranean region, we also warmly welcome relevant papers from colleagues working in other areas of the world, with a view to stimulating wider methodological dialogues and comparative approaches. The chronological range is also open, ranging from prehistory to the recent past and inclusive of ethnography, ethnoarchaeology, and cultural heritage studies.

In particular, we welcome contributions dealing with:

(1) Historical and culturally driven perspectives that recognize the complexities of island religious systems as well as the active role of the islanders in constructing their own religious identities, irrespective of emulation and acculturation.

(2) Inter-island and island/mainland relations, maritime connectivity of things and people, and ideological values in relation to religious change.

(3) The relation between island space and environment in the performance and maintenance of spiritual lives.

(4) The interrelation between official, popular, and personal identities, including ritual healing and magic in island societies.

(5) Phenomenological, performative, and experiential analyses related to ritual space and/or its associated material assemblages in island societies.

Dr. Giorgos Papantoniou
Dr. Athanasios K. Vionis
Dr. Christine E. Morris
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • island societies
  • sacred landscapes
  • ritual and cult
  • official, popular and personal religions
  • visual and material culture

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details


Cyprus and Sardinia at the Transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age: A Sacred Landscape Approach
by and
Religions 2022, 13(1), 48; (registering DOI) - 05 Jan 2022
In the framework of this contribution, and taking a macro-historic sacred landscapes approach, we established a comparative project analysing in parallel the development of sacred landscapes of two mega-islands, Cyprus and Sardinia, at the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age. In [...] Read more.
Show Figures
The Obstetric Connection: Midwives and Weasels within and beyond Minoan Crete
Religions 2021, 12(12), 1056; - 29 Nov 2021
Viewed by 583
The Minoan peak sanctuaries call for systematic comparative research as an island-bound phenomenon whose significance to the (pre)history of medicine far transcends the Cretan context: they yield clay anatomical offerings attesting to the earliest known healing cult in the Aegean. The peak sanctuary [...] Read more.
Show Figures
Through the Eyes of a Mapmaker: Maritime Shrines on Cyprus during the Late Middle Ages
Religions 2021, 12(11), 1022; - 21 Nov 2021
Viewed by 405
Cyprus acquired special importance, especially from the thirteenth century onwards, on the Eastern Mediterranean’s pilgrimage network. Described by contemporary pilgrims as “Terra christianorum ultima”, the island was considered to be the last Christian land in the south-eastern Mediterranean on the pilgrims’ itinerary on [...] Read more.
Show Figures
They Are Preserved Forever: Visualising the Memorialisation of Archipelagic Religious and Community Identities
Religions 2021, 12(11), 999; - 15 Nov 2021
Viewed by 723
In this article, we respond to the Special Issue theme by addressing the complexities of religious identities in archipelagic communities where the dual role of the sea as conduit and barrier has impacted the parish system, farming estates and community life. The focus [...] Read more.
Show Figures
Insularity and Religious Life: The Case of Hellenistic Ikaros/Failaka Island
Religions 2021, 12(11), 1002; - 15 Nov 2021
Viewed by 553
This paper explores the notion of insularity and religious life in the sacred landscape of Ikaros/Failaka with a particular focus on the Hellenistic period. The little island of Ikaros/Failaka in the Persian Gulf had a long pre-Hellenistic religious history and was occupied by [...] Read more.
Show Figures
Ecclesiastical Economies: The Integration of Sacred and Maritime Topographies of Late Antique Cyprus
Religions 2021, 12(11), 989; - 11 Nov 2021
Viewed by 522
This article focusses on the relationship of the church with productive landscapes and coastal topographies within numerous Cypriot contexts of the 4th–8th centuries. Through synthesising the archaeological research and architectural remains of these aspects and categories, the coastal settlements of the island are [...] Read more.
Show Figures
Mortuary Landscapes Revisited: Dynamics of Insularity and Connectivity in Mortuary Ritual, Feasting, and Commemoration in Late Bronze Age Cyprus
Religions 2021, 12(10), 877; - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 666
The aim of the paper is to discuss mortuary contexts and possible related ritual features as parts of sacred landscapes in Late Bronze Age Cyprus. Since the island was an important node in the Eastern Mediterranean economic network, it will be explored whether [...] Read more.
Show Figures
Saints, Sacred Trees, and Snakes: Popular Religion, Hierotopy, Byzantine Culture, and Insularity in Cyprus during the Long Middle Ages
Religions 2021, 12(9), 738; - 09 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1096
The holiness of sacred spaces is expressed through the creative synthesis and performance of different symbolic or iconic elements. This article concentrates on the medieval church of Ayios Iakovos in Nicosia, Cyprus. Dedicated to Saint James the Persian, the church became, by the [...] Read more.
Show Figures




No comments:

Post a Comment