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Yael Dansac

PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnology by the EHESS Paris. She studies ritual creativity and ritual design in alternative spiritual practices held at megalithic sites. She co-edited the book “Relating with More-than-Humans. Interbeing Rituality in a Living World” (Springer, 2022).


Host University: Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Host research group or department: Centre Interdisciplinaire d’études des religions et de la laïcité - CIERL
Co-host University: University of Glasgow, UK
Secondment institution, Country
Advisor: Professor Jean-Philippe Schreiber
Co-advisor: Professor Scott Spurlock
Secondment mentor: To be defined

Yael Dansac
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My research

Making a “sacred” space for Personal Transformation: A comparative ethnography of Contemporary Spiritual Practices in the megaliths of Wéris (Belgium) and the Sighthill Stone Circle (United Kingdom)

Ethnographical studies increasingly testify the conversion of megaliths into places used for a myriad of spiritual purposes associated to the culture of personal transformation. Analyzing data gathered at contemporary spiritual practices held in Wéris, a Belgian megalithic site dating from the Neolithic period, and in the Sighthill Stone Circle, a megalithic monument erected in the 1970s in Glasgow, this research project will seek to analyze the resignification of both places as ‘sacred’. This characterization will be addressed as a strategy to develop and enact inner search and work on the self. Collected data will provide understanding on the actor’s conceptualizations and uses given to these places, while also suggesting further inquiries to assess the relations between spirituality, personal transformation, and the enchantment of megaliths.

Date started – Date End

01.09.2022 - 31.08.2024