Religion and Tourism : Crossroads, Destinations and Encounters book cover
1st Edition

Religion and Tourism
Crossroads, Destinations and Encounters

ISBN 9780415549325
Published November 30, 2010 by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

This book explores the dynamic interaction between religion and tourism in the modern world. It considers questions such as:

  • do travellers leave their religion at home when they are touring – and what happens if not?
  • what are the relationships between tourism and pilgrimage?
  • what happens to religious performances, places and festivals that function as tourism attractions?

Other chapters examine religious theme parks, wellness and spa tourism, the roles played by tourist guides, guidebooks and religious souvenirs, and the role of tourism as a major arena of religious encounters in the contemporary world. Surveying the growing body of work in the field, Michael Stausberg argues that tourism should be a major focus of research within religious studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Crossroads  1. Affinities  2. Interfaces  3. Pilgrimage and Tourism: Ideal Types and Conflations  Part 2: Places and Spaces  4. Religious Sites and Places  5. Tourist Spaces  Part 3: Encounters  6. Exposures  7. Performances  8. Mediations  9. Terminal Reflections

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Michael Stausberg is Professor of Religion at the University of Bergen, Norway. He is the European editor of the journal Religion, and his recent publications include (as editor) Contemporary Theories of Religion (also published by Routledge).


'Religion and Tourism breaks new ground by insisting that scholars take the intersection between religion and tourism seriously, rather than simply ‘‘confirming prejudices’’ that depict tourism as superficial and a marginal topic for academic research. …This book does valuable work in drawing scholarly attention to the ways in which tourism promotes inter–religious encounters and the communication of knowledge about religion as well as to the religious experiences that at least some tourists see as central to their travels.'Ellen Badone, McMaster University, Canada in Journal of Contemporary Religion

'…This book represents a provocative attempt to engage scholars in a discussion about the implications of tourism for studies of religions. It invites additional theoretical and methodological reflections about religious phenomena in contexts of modernity and suggests a plethora of topics for further study. I anticipate numerous case studies that will find their beginnings in this book….'Thomas S. Bremer, Rhodes College, USA in Religion

'Religion and Tourism provides an insightful read and refreshingly compelling overview of the crossover between religion and tourism from a religious studies perspective. Stausberg’s noteworthy contribution to contemporary knowledge propels the study of religious tourism to new heights and provides a salient conceptual grounding heretofore unmatched by scholars of religion.'– Dallen J. Timothy, Arizona State University, USA

'Stausberg has produced a rigorous, rich and thoughtful volume that explores the intersections between religion and tourism and in doing so opens up a myriad of opportunities for research and critical reflection.' – Mike Robinson, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK