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Pilgrimage and Tourism to Holy Cities: Ideological and Management Perspectives

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This book covers the ideological motives and religious perceptions behind travel to sites prescribed with sanctity in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It covers sites that have drawn pilgrims and religious tourists to them for hundreds of years, and seeks to provide an understanding of the complex world of religiously motivated travel. Beginning with contemporary perspectives of pilgrimage across these religions, it then discusses management aspects such as logistics, infrastructure, malevolent behaviour and evangelical volunteers. Written by subject experts, this book addresses cultural sustainability for researchers and practitioners within religious tourism, religious studies, geography and anthropology.

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CH 1 Introduction

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Introduction

1

Western Holy Cities and

Places – An Introduction

Maria Leppäkari1* and Kevin Griffin2

Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem and Åbo Akademi University,

Finland; 2Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

1

This book is about a Western conception of pilgrimage as it is understood and

­referred to from three specific perspectives, that of Judaism, Christianity and

Islam. The original idea of the book was to serve as an aid to site managers, students of religion and tourism, as well as others seeking to understand the complex world of religiously motivated travel. Being the first volume in the CABI Religious

Tourism and Pilgrimage Series, it provides new perspectives on old, familiar and well-documented themes with a fresh approach in relation to perspectives on ideological motives, history, management, mental health and religious perceptions. The volume collects for the first time between the covers of a book and presents in an interdisciplinary perspective, the thoughts of authors from various academic fields. This heterogeneity allows a broad span of expertise, information and knowledge that previously can be found only through a thorough search of books and journals. Here practical applications, models and illustrations of religious tourism and pilgrimage management are being studied from a variety of international perspectives. The chapter authors explore the emergence and trajectories of religious tourism and pilgrimage while including a variety of denominations, religions, faiths and spiritual practices. Each author demonstrates in his or her own fashion how intrinsic details play a crucial role within the various pilgrimage management processes.

 

CH 2 Jewish and Israeli Pilgrimage Experience

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Judaism – Jewish and Israeli

Pilgrimage Experience:

Constructing National Identity

Motti Inbari*

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, USA

Introduction

Pilgrimage to the holy city of Jerusalem was a major ancient Jewish ritual. This chapter will discuss how this ancient tradition was transformed in the modern, secular, Israeli–Jewish experience. To this end, three different contemporary pilgrimage locations are presented, along with an explanation of how these new shrines are used for the creation of a national myth. New pilgrimage sites have helped develop Israeli identity, and even secular locations were sanctified. This process was promoted by the State of Israel, thus turning them into political pilgrimages. A different type of pilgrimage was also created from grass roots, by popular participation in newly dedicated shrines of North African Jewish saints.

Thus, the renewed Jewish national home on the biblical borders of the Land of

 

CH 3 Christianity Contemporary Christian Pilgrimage

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Christianity – Contemporary

Christian Pilgrimage and

Traditional Management

Practices at Sacred Sites

Vreny Enongene* and Kevin Griffin

Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

Introduction

This chapter seeks to explore contemporary pilgrimage experiences, with emphasis on where pilgrimage fits in the life of a contemporary Christian. In so doing, it addresses the changing demands of contemporary pilgrims, as well as the factors that are shaping current pilgrimage patterns. The chapter further discusses how the changing needs and expectations of contemporary pilgrims are altering traditional management practices at sacred sites, and provides examples of innovative management approaches adopted in catering to these needs. It further analyses the implications of such pressures on management at sacred sites and the future of contemporary pilgrimage experiences, and questions where pilgrimage fits in the life of a contemporary Christian, and whether or not traditional pilgrimage practice has really undergone a fundamental change in recent times.

 

CH 4 Christian Pilgrimage to Sacred Sites in the Holy Land

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Christianity – Christian

Pilgrimage to Sacred Sites in the Holy Land: A Swedish

Perspective

Göran Gunner*

Church of Sweden Research Unit, Uppsala, Sweden

Introduction

Through centuries, Jerusalem and the Holy Land has been a goal for pilgrims, researchers, travellers, and more recently for tourists. Whatever the purpose of the tour has been, a visit to the sacred places has been part of the journey. This chapter will use Swedish travellers – predominantly Protestant Christians – to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, (to Palestine and Israel) to explore the idea of Western pilgrimage to sacred sites, and uses historical as well as present day examples in order to discuss what a pilgrim may face and react to when visiting a sacred place like Jerusalem.

An inquisitive traveller in the Holy Land was and is usually dependent on a tour leader or a tour guide showing attractions and places of interest. Possibly, the traveller can make the trip with the help of a guidebook. Whether the trip is made with a guide or more independently, preparations have to be done at home, in advance, reading guidebooks and previous travel books. Once the traveller reaches the destination, experiences at sites and encounters with people blend with what was written in the travel books. The nature of the landscape, the villages and towns offer not only a journey in what is seen, but also an experience which is mediated by what is contained in the guide or guidebook’s narratives. Through these interpretations, a place, a building or an outdoor experience often becomes a journey through time. As often as possible, the guides (written and oral) link a site to the events that occurred at the site throughout time, and in particular connections to scripture are emphasized.

 

CH 5 Islam- Contemporary Perspectives

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Islam – Contemporary

Perspectives

Razaq Raj1* and Irfan Raja2

Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK; 2University of Huddersfield,

Huddersfield, UK

1

Introduction

In today’s secular world the relationship between tourists and their beliefs plays a major part in influencing individuals when visiting religious sites. The patterns of visitation within individuals depend on the strength of religious beliefs. In current literature limited research is available that explores the understanding and motivation of visitation patterns of religious tourists. In the Muslim world from Australia to the USA, the mosque in its many forms is the fundamental pilgrimage destination to visit five times a day. The word mosque is a translation of the Arabic word masjid – meaning the Muslim gathering place for prayer. Mosque simply means ‘place of worship’. In reality the five daily prayers set in Islamic practice can take place anywhere, but Muslims are required to gather together at the mosque for the five daily prayers if they are free and able to attend. In the media, the importance of this Muslim concept of mosque visitation for religious worship is being underestimated and undermined.

 

CH 6 Islam-Spiritual Journey in Islam

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Islam – Spiritual Journey in

Islam: The Qur’anic Cognitive

Model

Tariq Elhadary*

Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Introduction

This chapter has been written with two objectives: first, to acquaint the reader with certain matters which they should grasp before embarking on an Islamicrelated religious journey, or more specifically visiting Muslim religious historical places, if they wish to reach a more than superficial understanding of the

Qur’an; and secondly, to illuminate the major tenets of faith referred to in the

Qur’an. Thus, the chapter attempts to clarify the concept of pilgrimage in Islam and to address questions about Islam that commonly arise in the mind of the non-Muslim tourist. These notions are drawn out and explored by utilizing the

Qur’anic Cognitive Model (QCM) and thus present the basic claims of the Qur’an, and thereby minimize the degree of deviation from mainstream Islam.

 

CH 7 Pilgrimage Policy Management

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Pilgrimage Policy Management:

Between Shrine Strategy and

Ritual Improvisation

Simon Coleman*

University of Toronto,Toronto,Canada

Introduction: Managing Space

In the introduction to his book Coping with Tourists (1996, p. 8), the anthropologist

Jeremy Boissevain tells a story about some Maltese friends of his who were celebrating the annual festa or ‘celebration’ of St Leonard on the island, and who made a rather surprising discovery in their house during the event. Two tourists who had come on a commercial festa trip had actually opened the glass inner door to Boissevain’s friends’ home and had started to look around, eventually walking into the front room, where they encountered the surprised residents. Boissevain reports that his friends politely ushered their unwanted guests out into the street, before doing something they had never done before: they went to the wooden outer door of their house – which would normally be left open during the event in order ‘to display festive furnishings and decorations to passers-by’ (Boissevain,

 

CH 8 The Management of Pilgrims with Malevolent Behaviour in a Holy Space

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The Management of Pilgrims with Malevolent Behaviour in a Holy Space: A Study of

Jerusalem Syndrome

Moshe Kalian* and Eliezer Witztum

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Introduction

Cohen (1979) suggested that different kinds of people may desire different modes of touristic experiences; hence ‘the tourist’ does not exist as a single prototype.

He described a phenomenological typology of tourist experiences based upon the concept of the ‘centre’ and ‘the quest for the centre’ introduced by Eliade (1971).

Eliade pointed out that every religious ‘cosmos’ possesses a ‘centre’ which is pre-eminently the zone of the sacred – the zone of absolute reality. The ‘centre’ is considered to be the location ‘where the axis mundi penetrates the earthly sphere’

(Eliade, 1971, p. 971). However, the ‘centre’ is not necessarily geographically central in the daily life space of the community of believers. According to Turner the ex-centris location of the ‘centre’ creates a meaningful content for believers by giving directions and structure to the act of pilgrimage – a sacred journey of spiritual ascension to ‘The Centre Out There’ (Turner, 1973). A relatively new development in this regard concerns psychopathology observed in certain types of tourists and pilgrims (Witztum et al., 1994; Kalian and Witztum, 1998). The dramatic malevolent behaviour, at times observed in certain tourists and pilgrims arriving in

 

CH 9 Logistics at Holy Sites

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Logistics at Holy Sites

Anna Trono*

University of Salento, Lecce, Italy

Introduction

The rapid transformation of modern society has led to radical developments in the ancient practice of pilgrimage. While conserving distinctive characteristics of a religious nature concerning visits to holy places and the experience of pilgrimage itself (Belhassen et al., 2008), pilgrimage is now undertaken for a new set of reasons linked to the search for authenticity, spirituality and cultural enrichment. However, this also means that destinations require complex organization in the provision of structures, infrastructure and services, and the active involvement of public and private sectors, as well as secular and religious authorities.

These changes, which partly reflect the parallel sociocultural transformation of the average visitor, have led to a profound reorganization of the places involved, with consequent socio-economic and environmental impacts. While conserving the spiritual meaning of pilgrimage, sites of religious interest have adapted to the new visitors’ needs by acquiring infrastructure and structures for providing transport (car parks, low-cost flights, coach lines), catering and accommodation for the pilgrims/tourists. The latter also generate demand for tourist goods (religious souvenirs, local food and craft products) and services (travel agencies, specialized tour operators). There is a proliferation of promotional activities (creation of foundations, tourism bourses) and complementary initiatives of a cultural nature (concerts, festivals, shows). These generate interest while consolidating and strengthening the image of the place, diversifying tourist demand with potential socio-economic effects on the region (Herrero et al., 2009).

 

CH 10 Protestants and Pilgrimages

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Protestants and Pilgrimages:

The Protestant Infrastructure in

Jerusalem

Yaakov Ariel*

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, USA

Introduction

In 1889, William Blackstone, a Protestant premillennial activist, travelled from

Chicago to Jerusalem. Certain that Jerusalem was the focal point for what he saw as the impending End-of-Time events, Blackstone investigated the topography of the city in relation to biblical prophecies. He also paid attention to demographic and economic developments, interpreting what he saw in line with his Messianic faith (Blackstone, 1892). Encouraged by his visit, Blackstone came up, on his return, with global initiatives that were intended to bring the Jews back to Palestine in preparation for the End-of-Times events (Ariel, 1991).

Blackstone was one of a long series of Protestant devotees, mostly Evangelicals and Pietists, who came to Jerusalem on short- or long-term pilgrimages, and found meaning and inspiration in the city where Jesus preached, suffered, died and rose from the dead, and to which, many of them believed, he was about to return. In their turn, such pilgrims have affected Jerusalem and Palestine at large in meaningful ways, developing infrastructures that helped transform the place and enlarged the opportunities the city has come to offer Christian visitors as well as local inhabitants (Ariel, 2010). Many of the Protestant endeavours were intended to accommodate pilgrims, provide a large variety of services and enable visitors to connect more effectively with local communities.

 

CH 11 The Impact of the Islamic State if Iraq and Syria's Campaign on Yezidi Religious Structures and Pigrimage Practices

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The Impact of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s Campaign on Yezidi Religious Structures and Pilgrimage Practices

Ibrahim Al-Marashi*

California State University, San Marcos, USA

Introduction

The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the summer of 2014 disrupted the faith and pilgrimage practices of Iraq’s historically vulnerable minority communities. ISIS has created a homogenous neo-Salafi space through ‘religious cleansing’ of persons and physical structures, antiquity sites related to the pre-­

Islamic past, and religious structures used by minority and ‘heterodox communities’. The expulsion of Iraqi Christian Chaldeans from Mosul, the extermination and enslavement of Yezidi communities and the destruction of both communities’ religious structures, sites of local religious pilgrimage, is justified by the doctrinal beliefs of ISIS, but also serves a secular goal of consolidating recently conquered land. Expelling heterodox communities in the name of the faith eliminates potential ‘fifth columns’. ISIS’ allegations of Yezidis as ‘devil worshippers’ and the images of the destruction of their sites also gains approval of ISIS’ inner core of supporters. The choreographed and mediated destruction of these sites concurrently generates coverage by international media, communicating ISIS’ deliberate rejection of the Western liberal state and normative notions of protecting minority rights. The dismantling of the Iraqi–Syrian border and the expulsion of the minority communities that straddled both sides of the border serves in ISIS’ view to rectify the borders of the Arab world drawn by such Western states after

 

CH 12 Ambassadors for the Kingdom: Evangelical Volunteers in Israel as Long-term Pilgrims

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Ambassadors for the Kingdom:

Evangelical Volunteers in Israel as Long-term Pilgrims

Aron Engberg*

Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Introduction

The Bridges for Peace food bank is located in a modest warehouse in Talpiyot, a suburb south of Jerusalem city centre. The shelves along the walls are filled with packs of rice, couscous, spaghetti, tomato sauce, beans, sugar, flour, tea and cornflakes; food stuffs that are to be packed on pallets which will be distributed to Jewish communities in Israel and on the West Bank. Together with an elderly American man and a middle-aged Japanese woman I am walking between the shelves and the pallets, carefully selecting the groceries that are marked on the food order and packing them in a neat pile. From the sticker I understand that this pallet is destined for Ariel, a Jewish community located across the green line that separates

Israel proper from the Palestinian territories.1 An armed Jewish settler comes in and talks jokingly with some of the volunteers, he is here to pick up the pallet.2

 

CH 13 Redeeming Western Holy Places and Contested Holy Cities

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Redeeming Western Holy

Places and Contested Holy

Cities

Maria Leppäkari*

Swedish Theological Institute in Jerusalem and Åbo Akademi University,

Finland

Introduction

This chapter addresses ‘holy places’ in relation to ‘holy cities’ and problematizes the challenges which pilgrimage and tourism research faces when addressing such religious concepts. Within the sphere of religion we find that certain geographical sites are of intrinsic importance as sacred places and attract people in a very special way. Settlements described as ‘holy cities’ are cities like any others, yet they are not; perhaps they are more complex in their characteristics than ordinary urban settlements. Such sites have come to signify something ‘holy’ – they are not only to be considered as physical, they also comprise humans as moral subjects, inhabiting symbolic sets and references to specific places.

The author reflects on the collective impact of the chapters in this book, and argues that they provide new perspectives on old, familiar and welldocumented themes and thus constitute a fresh approach in relation to themes such as ideological motives, ethics and justice, history, management, mental health and religious perceptions. Sustainable development in dialogue and conflict settings is addressed as part of a delicate societal development.

 

Appendix – Discussion Points

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Appendix – Discussion Points

Chapter 2

Comparing the Jewish pilgrimage ritual to the Temple in Jerusalem during antiquity with present-day pilgrimages, what similarities and differences can you identify?

• How do national and international pilgrimages assist in telling the Zionist story?

• In the context of this chapter, discuss the rabbinical concepts of exile and redemption.

Chapter 3

While some authors suggest that the importance of religion is declining in an increasingly globalized, secularized world, Christian pilgrimage is still very popular, and indeed many sites are experiencing increased numbers and pressures. Why do you think this is the case?

• The nature of Christian pilgrimage appears to currently be in a period of change, how is this being manifest, and how will sites cope with such changes?

• What are the main differences and similarities when one compares the pilgrimage experience at the start of the 20th and 21st centuries?

 

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