This text proposes a conceptual discussion and a preliminary analysis of a specific situation. In a Brazilian town, a monument representing a Catholic saint has been proposed as a project of ‘religious tourism’. Some of the literature on this subject is examined in order to delineate a perspective that, instead of pointing out its contradictions or ambiguities, allows us to follow the encounters between religion and tourism in their multiple possibilities and meanings. The Brazilian monument is analyzed in order to demonstrate how three different visions converge on it: that of the state, that of the Catholic Church, and that of a group of ‘pilgrims’. In considering these perspectives, the goal is to understand how the various concepts relate to practices of tourism that offer structure and frameworks to promote religious and secular projects.
EMERSON GIUMBELLI is a Full Professor at the Postgraduate Program of Social Anthropology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He has co-edited volumes such as Secularisms in a Postsecular Age? Religiosities and Subjectivities in Comparative Perspective (2017) and Religión, Cultura y Política en las Sociedades del Siglo XXI (2013), and he is a co-editor of the Brazilian journal Religião e Sociedade. He is the author of Símbolos Religiosos em Controvérsias (2014) and O Fim da Religião: Dilemas da liberdade religiosa no Brasil e na França (2002). E-mail: email@example.com