THE INTIMACY OF MEDIATION

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Amos S. Ron Ashkelon Academic College, Israel amosron@gmail.com

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Yotam Lurie Ben-Gurion University of the Negev yotam@bgu.ac.il

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The contact zone between groups of Christian pilgrims touring the Holy Land and the Jewish-Israeli tour guides leading these groups can become an area of intercultural intimacy, respect and mutuality, based on a form of shared understanding, despite the cultural differences. Thus, after making sense of the piecemeal and practical notion of “shared understanding” that develops in the day-to-day interaction between the guide and the pilgrims, three practical mediation techniques that are commonly used by guides, are identified through observations and interviews with guides regarding their practical handling of cross-cultural and ethical difficulties. These techniques, channeled into guiding practices, enable guides to engage other religions while fostering Relations of intimacy.

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