The Lost Paradise: The Religious Nature of Tourism

The Lost Paradise: The Religious Nature of Tourism

Maximiliano Emanuel Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2796-1.ch008

Abstract

A vast array of studies focuses on religious tourism as the promising segment of tourism growth for next decades, this is a really prominent theme concerns many scholars today. However, our chapter is on the opposite direction, tourism is an expression of religiosity enrooted in Western Culture. this chapter explores the religiosity of tourism in order to expand the current understanding we have of this complex phenomenon. Far from representing a radical critique to some scholars or some position, this chapter aims to become in a contribution to expand the current paradigms in tourism-led research.
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Introduction

Over recent decades, religious tourism posed as one of the must-read genres in the specialized literature (Vukonic, 1996; Olsen & Timothy, 2006). This happens in a moment where the epistemology of tourism faces one of their most serious crises. Some time ago, John Tribe argued that the scattered production knowledge conjoined to a disorganized growth of tourism literature created a dispersion (indiscipline) which led to the fragmentation of theories and the lack of firm soil towards a shared epistemology of tourism (Tribe, 1997, 2006, 2010). The question whether the scientifization of tourism depended on the number of publications, journals or books seems to be one of the aspects Jafari (2001) and his followers misjudged. In this chapter we discuss tourism from the paradigm of religiosity, understanding as anthropologists did that it should be defined as a rite of passage which sublimates the frustrations that take hit in daily life. From its inception tourism was widely conceived as a modern industry resulted from the combination of technological breakthrough, working hour reductions and the rights to holidays (Towner & Wall, 1991; Ascanio, 2010; Chambers & Rakic, 2015). Though it is a partial truth, this doctrine ignores that in ancient times other civilization developed a similarly institutions which served as escapement-mechanism to regulate social order (Krippendorf 1975). It is important not to lose the sight that romans used the feriae as leaves of three months to visit their relatives. From this term, which comes culturally modern vacations, etiologically come Die Ferien (German) and Das Ferias (Portuguese). At some extent, the American Sociologist Dean MacCannell was the first to preclude tourism is a modern activity, likely because his ethnographies were based on Epcom Center. However, his diagnosis trivialized tourism as a social institution, very important for society. This seems to be one of the reasons, tourism-related scholars did not delve into the religious element of tourism, and instead, see in tourism a vehicle towards heritage. Rather, this chapter explores the religiosity of tourism in order to expand the current understanding we have of this complex phenomenon. Far from representing a radical critique to some scholars or some position, this chapter aims to become in a contribution to expand the current paradigms in tourism-led research.

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