Mount Sacred

A Brief Global History of Holy Mountains Since 1500

Jon Mathieu

‘There are mountains beyond the mountains’
– Chinese saying

Mount Kailash in Asia, the Black Hills in North America, Uluru in Australia: around the globe there are numerous mountains that have been and continue to be attributed sacredness. Worship of these mountains involves prayer, meditation and pilgrimage. Christianity, which for a long time showed little interest in nature, provides a foil to these practices and was one factor in the tensions that arose in the age of colonialism. Decolonisation and the ‘ecological turn’ changed the religious power of interpretation and gave discourses about sacred mountains new meaning. Globally, however, they remain an outstanding example of cultural diversity, also touching on issues of gender justice and environmental protection. Translated from the German by the author.

‘… entertaining and enlightening …highly recommended…’

Hermann KreutzmanErkunde

‘…a valuable source of historical information…impressive scholarship.’

Edwin Bernbaum – Journal for the Study of Religion,
Nature and Culture

Mount Sacred, se esiste, non è alle nostre spalle, ma si staglia di fronte a noi come una possibilità sempre aperta

Paolo Costa Annali.Recensioni.Online


Read full text at JSTOR.


Jon Mathieu is professor of history at the University of Lucerne and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He was the founding director of the Instituto di Storia delle Alpi at the Università della Svizzera italiana and has organized several international conferences about the history of mountains. In 2008 he received the King Albert I Mountain Award for his research.

Publication date, 15 May 2023, 170 pp.

ISBN 978-1-912186-716 (PB) £30
eISBN 978-1-912186-72-3 (OA ebook)