Pilgrimage beyond the Officially Sacred: Understanding the Geographies of Religion and Spirituality in Sacred Travel

1st Edition

Michael A. Di Giovine, Jaeyeon Choe

Published December 4, 2019
Reference - 196 Pages
ISBN 9780367441197 - CAT# 345550

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Pilgrimage beyond the Officially Sacred: Understanding the Geographies of Religion and Spirituality in Sacred Travel examines the many ways in which pilgrimage engages with sacredness, delving beyond the officially recognized, and often religiously conceived, pilgrimage sites.

As scholarship examining the lived experiences of pilgrims and tourists has demonstrated, pilgrimage need not be religious in nature, nor be officially sanctioned; rather, they can be 'hyper-meaningful' voyages, set apart from the everyday profane life—in a word, they are sacred. Separating the social category of 'religion' from the 'sacred,' this volume brings together a multidisciplinary group of scholars employing perspectives from anthropology, geography, sociology, religious studies, theology, and interdisciplinary tourism studies to theorize sacredness, its variability, and the ways in which it is officially recognized or condemned by power brokers. Rich in case studies from sacred centers throughout the world, the contributions pay close attention to the ways in which pilgrims, central authorities, site managers, locals, and other stakeholders on the ground appropriate, negotiate, shape, contest, or circumvent the powerful forces of the sacred. Delving ‘beyond the officially sacred,’ this collective examination of pilgrimages—both well-established and new, religious and secular, authorized and not—presents a compelling look at the interplay of secular powers and the transcendent forces of the sacred at these hyper-meaningful sites.

Providing a blueprint for how work in the anthropology and geography of religion, and the fields of pilgrimage and religious tourism, may move forward, Pilgrimage beyond the Officially Sacred will be of great interest to an interdisciplinary field of scholars. The chapters were originally published as a special issue in Tourism Geographies.

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