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Biodynamic Wine-Crafting and the Spiritualization of the Workplace

The Negotiation of Relationality and Social Stigmas in Swiss Vineyards

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
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  • 1 University of LausanneFaculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Switzerland, Lausanne
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Abstract

In recent years, the involvement of Swiss wine-crafters (vignerons) with ‘holistic spiritualities’ has become more visible. Through the use of esoterically driven preparations, energetic crystals, and neo-shamanic ‘vision questing’ practices, vignerons have incorporated alternative self-healing practices in their workplace. Under the umbrella term ‘biodynamic farming,’ vignerons are experimenting and delineating a new professional and relational ethos, be it with humans or nonhumans (e.g., grapevines). In the context of the Swiss vineyards, however, the engagement of vignerons with ‘holistic spiritualities’ has also forced them to grapple with potential social stigmas. This article examines the social uses, dynamics, and dilemmas resulting from the gradual ‘spiritualization’ of vignerons’ workplaces.

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