In spite of Islam’s long history in Europe and the growing number of Muslims resident in Europe, little research exists on Muslim pilgrimage in Europe. This collection of eleven chapters is the first systematic attempt to fill this lacuna in an emerging research field.
Placing the pilgrims’ practices and experiences centre stage, scholars from history, anthropology, religious studies, sociology, and art history examine historical and contemporary hajj and non-hajj pilgrimage to sites outside and within Europe. Sources include online travelogues, ethnographic data, biographic information, and material and performative culture. The interlocutors are European-born Muslims, converts to Islam, and Muslim migrants to Europe, in addition to people who identify themselves with other faiths. Most interlocutors reside in Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Norway.
This book identifies four courses of developments: Muslims resident in Europe continue to travel to Mecca and Medina, and to visit shrine sites located elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. Secondly, there is a revival of pilgrimage to old pilgrimage sites in South-eastern Europe. Thirdly, new Muslim pilgrimage sites and practices are being established in Western Europe. Fourthly, Muslims visit long-established Christian pilgrimage sites in Europe. These practices point to processes of continuity, revitalization, and innovation in the practice of Muslim pilgrimage in Europe. Linked to changing sectarian, political, and economic circumstances, pilgrimage sites are dynamic places of intra-religious as well as inter-religious conflict and collaboration, while pilgrimage experiences in multiple ways also transform the individual and affect the home-community.
"Muslim Pilgrimage in Europe is therefore very helpful in explaining and providing knowledge about Muslim pilgrimage phenomena in Europe. It also highlights multiple important issues on Muslims’ living in the West, especially on issues of identity, religious revivalism, and interreligious dialogue."
Anwar Masduki, doctoral student in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen.
Ingvild Flaskerud and Richard J. Natvig
1 Moved by Mecca: The meanings of the Hajj for present day Dutch Muslims
2 Mediating pilgrimage: Pilgrimage remembered and desired in a Norwegian home-community
3 Online Bosniak hajj narratives
4 Pilgrimage to Mecca by British converts to Islam in the inter-war period
5 Seeking blessing and earning merit: Muslim travellers in Bosnia-Hercegovina
Tone Bringa and David Henig
6 Pilgrimage as Muslim religious commemoration: The case of Ajvatovica in Bosnia-Hercegovina
7 After the War, before the Future: Remembrance and public representations of atrocities in Sarajevo
8 Dealing with Boundaries: Muslim pilgrimages and political economy on the southern Albanian frontier
Antonio Maria Pusceddu
9 Pilgrimages in Western European Sufism
10 Pilgrimage to a shrine: The recreation of a Sufi tradition in the UK
M. Amer Morgahi
11 Muslim pilgrims in Brittany: Pilgrimage, dialogue and paradoxes
The public prominence of religion has increased globally in recent years, while places associated with religion, such as pilgrimage centers, and famous cathedrals, temples and shrines, have attracted growing numbers of visitors and media attention. Such developments are part of a global process where different forms of travel – physical movement such as labor and lifestyle migration, tourism of various forms, the cultural heritage industry and pilgrimage – have become a major feature of the modern world. These translocal and transnational processes involve flows of not just people but also material objects, ideas, information, images and capital.
The public prominence of religion aligned to the modern growth of tourism (sometimes now claimed as the world’s single largest industry) has created a new dynamic relationship between religion, travel and tourism. It has been mirrored by expanding academic research in these areas over the last twenty years across a variety of disciplinary areas, ranging from anthropology, sociology, geography, history and religious studies to newly emergent areas such as tourism and migration studies. Such studies have also expanded exponentially in terms of the geographic spread of places, religions and regions being researched.
This series provides a new forum for studies based around these themes, drawing together research on the relationships between religion, travel and tourism. These include studies from global and cross-cultural perspectives of topics, such as: