Pilgrimage beyond the Officially Sacred: Geographies of Religion and Spirituality in Sacred Travel, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Pilgrimage beyond the Officially Sacred

Geographies of Religion and Spirituality in Sacred Travel, 1st Edition

Edited by Michael A. Di Giovine, Jaeyeon Choe


202 pages

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Hardback: 9780367441197
pub: 2020-01-08
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Pilgrimage beyond the Officially Sacred 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 originally published as a special issue in Tourism Geographies.

Table of Contents


Geographies of religion and spirituality: pilgrimage beyond the ‘officially’ sacred

Michael A. Di Giovine and Jaeyeon Choe

1. From the liminal to the lateral: urban religion in English cathedrals

Simon Coleman

2. Meaning-making in the course of action: affordance theory at the pilgrim/tourist nexus

Joy W. Ackerman

3. Pilgrim routes as contested spaces in Norway

Hogne Øian

4. Tourism and sacred landscape in Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, Nepal

Yang Mu , Sanjay K. Nepal and Po-Hsin Lai

5. Cultural tourism between local and transnational identities: Jewish heritage in Syracuse, Italy

Andrea Corsale and Shaul Krakover

6. Wak’a/shrine making and pilgrimage tourism in Copacabana, Bolivia

Jessica Joyce Christie

7. Reframing and Reconceptualising Gambling tourism in Macau as a Chinese Pilgrimage

Michael O'Regan , Jaeyeon Choe and Michael Di Giovine

8. Hierarchical value map of religious tourists visiting the Vatican City/Rome

Bona Kim and Seongseop (Sam) Kim

About the Editors

Michael A. Di Giovine is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, USA. He is also a former tour operator whose research in Europe (Italy, Spain) and Southeast Asia (Vietnam and Cambodia) focuses primarily on pilgrimage and tourism, heritage discourses and practices, religious movements and cults, and foodways. A founder and Convenor of the Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group at the American Anthropological Association, Michael has published widely on pilgrimage and religious tourism; among his many publications is the co-edited volume, The Seductions of Pilgrimage: Sacred Journeys Afar and Astray in the Western Religious Tradition (Routledge, 2015).

Jaeyeon Choe is Senior Lecturer in Events & Leisure Management at Bournemouth University, UK. Her research areas revolve around spiritual/religious/wellness tourism, sustainable community development, and poverty alleviation. She has worked on multiple tourism projects in Southeast Asia including a recent study, 'Tourism for SDGs: Wellness Tourism and Sustainable Development in Indonesia'. She serves as an associate editor for the e-Review Tourism Journal and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She also co-founded the Refugee and Migrant Leisure Network with community organisations.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Hospitality, Travel & Tourism