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Key figure of mobility

The pilgrim

Jackie Feldman

Zygmunt Bauman wrote that whereas the modern problem was to construct an identity and keep it stable, the postmodern one was to avoid fixation and keep all options open. He characterises this shift from solid modernity to liquid postmodernity as the movement ‘from pilgrim to tourist’: the pilgrim follows a lifelong path through the desert of life. Along the road, sacrifices are made, pleasures foregone, byways ignored, immediate rewards forsaken, to achieve one's ultimate goal. In liquid modernity, the pilgrim is replaced by the tourist, the systematic seeker of diversity, pleasure and novelty. I argue that Bauman's image of the ‘plodding pilgrim’ does violence to the multiplicity of pilgrim experiences. I show how historical pilgrimage has involved risk‐taking and serendipity, a suspension of social ties and routines as well as a desire for transcendence. Contemporary pilgrimage often includes a desire for intimacy, intense bodily experience, changed attitudes towards time and nature and the quest for self‐transformation. Pilgrimage may forge alternative bonds of community and provide new ways of imagining futures. The pilgrim, far from being an icon for a frozen past, is a figure that embodies many aspects of contemporary mobility and identity.

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Knowledge at a Distance, Authority, and the Pilgrim's Gaze—A Reflection

Jackie Feldman

Abstract

Two themes that surface in the articles in this collection are: Visual knowledge and the means of acquiring it—the ability of pilgrims to see and read signs while overlooking or avoiding other sources of knowledge that are visible or readily available; and the issue of authority: who propagates and gains from the teaching, images, and practices of pilgrimage?

The articles demonstrate that distance from pilgrimage sites and ignorance of local knowledge is important in intensifying pilgrims’ experience and maintaining the power of traditional authorities. While some shrines readily adopt new technologies to diffuse their messages, activities and images, pilgrimages continue to rely on embodiment and sociality to solidify communities and commitments. The variety of engagements of pilgrimages with changing media and emerging historical realities testifies to the viability of the forms and practices of pilgrimage in transmitting other kinds of knowledge.

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Introduction

Contested Narratives of Storied Places—the Holy Lands

Jackie Feldman

The articles in this special section on pilgrimage and the Holy Lands provide a wide range of perspectives on the practice, representation, and production of sacred space as expressions of knowledge and power. The experience of space of the pilgrim and the politically committed tourist is characterized by distance, impermanence, desire, contestation, and the entwinement of the material and the spiritual. The wealth of historical Christian and Western narratives/images of the Holy Land, the short duration of pilgrimage, the encounter with otherness, the entextualization of sites, and the semiotic nature of tourism all open a gap between the perceptions of pilgrims and those of 'natives'. Although the intertwining of symbolic condensation, legitimation, and power makes these Holy Land sites extremely volatile, many pilgrimages sidestep confrontation with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as inimical to the spirit of pilgrimage. A comparative view of the practices of contemporary Holy Land pilgrims demonstrates how communitas and conflict, openness and isolation are constantly being negotiated.

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Changing Colors of Money

Tips, Commissions, and Ritual in Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Jackie Feldman

The movement of money in Christian pilgrimage is a profound mirror of cultural classifications. By examining tips, commissions, and souvenir purchases in Holy Land pilgrimages, I show how the transfer of monies activates a series of multiple, complex relationships between Jewish guides, Palestinian drivers, and Christian pilgrims. I identify the 'colors'—or moral values—of salaries, tips, and commissions that change hands as 'white', 'black', or 'gray' monies and correlate these colors with particular discourses and degrees of transparency. I then illustrate how prayer, rituals, and the citation of scripture may 'bleach' these monies, transforming tips into 'love offerings' and souvenir purchases into aids to spiritual development or charity to local communities, while fostering relationships and conveying messages across religious and cultural lines. Far from being a universal 'acid' that taints human relationships, pilgrimage monies demonstrate how, through the exchange of goods, people are able to create and maintain spiritual values.

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MEDIATION AS A PRACTICE OF IDENTITY

Jackie Feldman

The performances of the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims by Jewish-Israeli immigrant guides are an expression of belonging to place and history. Through auto-ethnography of my Guiding performance and career path interviews with other immigrant guides, I illustrate how scriptural knowledge, mastery of Hebrew, and the invention of “biblical” rites of hospitality mediate between Christian pilgrims and the land, as well as between Christians and Jews. These performances not only make pilgrims co-producers of the tour; they also assert guides’ claims to nativity. I then compare the performances of such guides with Alaskan cruise guides. I show how the Submission or resistance to the commodifying tourist gaze varies under different gazes, different power conditions, and given other “native” practices of asserting identity and belonging.

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Performing the Hyphen

Engaging German-Jewishness at the Jewish Museum Berlin

Jackie Feldman and Anja Peleikis

The Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) is a dynamic, performative space that negotiates between representing the Jew as an integral part of German history and as ultimate Other. While this tension has been documented through the political history of the museum (Lackmann 2000; Pieper 2006; Young 2000), we focus on the dynamics of guided tours and special events. We claim that guiding and festival events at JMB marginalise Holocaust memory and present an image of Jews of the past that promotes a multicultural vision of present-day Germany. In guiding performances, the identity of the guide as German/Jewish/Muslim is part of the guiding performance, even when not made explicit. By comparing tour performances for various publics, and the 'storytelling rights' granted by the group, we witness how visitors' scripts and expectations interact with the museum's mission that it serve as a place of encounter (Ort der Begegnung). As German-Jewish history at JMB serves primarily as a cosmopolitan template for intercultural relations, strongly affiliated local Jews may not feel a need for the museum. Organised groups of Jews from abroad, however, visit it as part of the Holocaust memorial landscape of Berlin, while many local Jews with weaker affiliations to the Jewish community may find it an attractive venue for performing their more fluid Jewish identities – for themselves and for others.

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Hiking the Via Alpina

Logos, Eros and the Trails to Freedom

Jonathan Atari and Jackie Feldman

Abstract

Can long-distance hiking present an alternative to the mechanisation, uncertainty and alienation of contemporary European life? Through interviews with hikers on the Via Alpina in the European Alps, we explore this question, applying Ning Wang's insights on tourism as exemplifying the ambivalence of modernity. Modern technologies increase communications, mobility and efficiency, while enabling leisure space for tourism. Via Alpina hikers do not ‘opt out’ of the social frameworks governed by Logos modernity but undertake solitary walking in search of an intrapersonal existential authenticity by reconnecting with nature, the body and an alternative experience of time. The Logos-directed elements of planning and navigating through digital devices are limited to the essential required to progress on the path and enable them to inhabit smooth time, free of the restrictive syncopations of work schedules and pressing obligations. Thus, hikers harness Logos modernity to enhance the Eros space of sensuality and emotional release. Through knowledge learned along the way, hikers strive for a positive, responsible freedom that broadens their sense of being in the world.

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TOUR GUIDES AS CULTURAL MEDIATORS

Jackie Feldman and Jonathan Skinner

This special issue devotes comparative and ethnographic attention to the topic of the tour guide as cultural mediator. Based on studies in a panoply of countries (UK, Israel, Peru, Cuba, La Réunion, Germany) and sites (museums, pilgrimages, casual street guiding, mountain treks, folkloric displays), we demonstrate how various settings, power relations, and tourist gazes enable or constrain intercultural guiding performances. Tour guides embody a wide range of roles, cultures and positions on the tourism stage. Their presentation of “their” culture to others carries a certain authority and implicates them in positions towards aspects of their own culture and those of the tourists that they may come to acknowledge, appreciate or resist over time. Thus, approaching tour guides as cultural mediators offers new insights into the anthropology of tourism and cultural contact as a whole.

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Reviews

Urmila Nair, Naomi Haynes, Rebekka King, Joseph Webster, Amanda J. Lucia, Amit Desai, Jackie Feldman, Iza Kavedžija, Michael W. Scott, Jon Bialecki, Andreas Bandak, Nathaniel Roberts, Alan Barnard, Tom Boylston, Dimitri Tsintjilonis, Brian Baumann, Stuart McLean, and Hayder Al-Mohammad

ARNOLD, Daniel, Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind, 328 pp., bibliography, index. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Hardback, £34.50. ISBN 9780231145466.

ATTANASI, Katherine, and Amos YONG, eds. Pentecostalism and Prosperity: The Socio- Economics of the Global Charismatic Movement, 278 pp. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. Hardback, $95. ISBN 100230338283.

BOWMAN, Marion, and Ülo VALK, eds., Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life: Expressions of Belief, 320 pp., bibliography. Sheffield: Equinox, 2012. Hardback, £70.00, $115.00. ISBN 9781908049506.

BRUCE, Steve, Politics and Religion in the United Kingdom, 304 pp., preface, notes, index. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012. Paperback, £19.59. ISBN 9780415643672.

COPEMAN, Jacob, and Aya IKEGAME, eds., The Guru in South Asia: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 260 pp., index. Oxford: Routledge, 2012. Hardback, $155. ISBN 9780415510196.

FEDELE, Anna, and Ruy LLERA BLANES, eds., Encounters of Body and Soul in Contemporary Religious Practices: Anthropological Reflections, 252 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. Oxford and New York: Berghahn, 2011. Hardback, £50, $85. ISBN 9780857452078.

FEDELE, Anna, Looking for Mary Magdalene: Alternative Pilgrimage and Ritual Creativity at Catholic Shrines in France, 336 pp., notes, references, maps, index. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Paperback, $35.00. ISBN: 978-0199898428.

FISKER-NIELSEN, Anne Mette, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Japan: Soka Gakkai Youth and Komeito, 264 pp., appendix, notes, bibliography, index. London and New York: Routledge, 2012. Hardback £78.42. ISBN 9780415694247.

HOLBRAAD, Martin, Truth in Motion: The Recursive Anthropology of Cuban Divination, 344 pp., preface, illustrations, appendices, references, index. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2012. Hardback, $78, £54.50. ISBN 9780226349206. Paperback, $26, £18. ISBN 9780226349213.

KEHOE, Alice Beck, Militant Christianity: An Anthropological History, 208 pp., notes, references, references by chapter, index. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Paperback, £17.15. ISBN 1137282444.

MITTERMAIER, Amira, Dreams That Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination, 308 pp., illustrations, notes, glossary, bibliography, index. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Paperback, $26.95, £18.95. ISBN 9780520258518.

QUACK, Johannes, Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India, xvii + 362 pp., references, appendices, index. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 9780199812608.

RENFREW, Colin, and Iain MORLEY, eds., Becoming Human: Innovation in Prehistoric and Spiritual Culture, xviii + 282 pp., 50 halftones, 24 color plates. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Hardback, £53, paperback £20.99. ISBN 9780521876544 (hardback), 9780521734660 (paperback).

SCHIELKE, Samuli, and Liza DEBEVEC, eds., Ordinary Lives, Grand Schemes: An Anthropology of Everyday Religion, 176 pp., bibliography, index. Oxford and New York: Berghahn, 2012. Hardcover, £35.67. ISBN 9780857455062.

STEWART, Charles, Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece, xviii + 259 pp., maps, illustrations, bibliography. London and Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012. Hardback, £48.95. ISBN 9780983532224.

SWANCUTT, Katherine, Fortune and the Cursed: The Sliding Scale of Time in Mongolian Divination, 244 pp., glossary, references, index. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2012. Hardcover, £43.70. ISBN 9780857454829.

TAYLOR, Mark C., Refiguring the Spiritual: Beuys, Barney, Turrell, Goldsworthy, 244 pp., notes, index, 55 halftones. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Hardback, $27.50, £19. ISBN 9780231157667.

TURNER, Edith, Communitas: The Anthropology of Collective Joy, xiv + 272 pp., notes, references, index. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Hardcover, $95. ISBN 9780230339088.

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Book and Film Reviews

Rebekka King, Jonathan Spencer, Liam D. Murphy, Frederick P. Lampe, Sherry Angela Smith, Michael Rowlands, Nanlai Cao, Julie Botticello, Joana Santos, Joël Noret, José Mapril, George St. Clair, Tom Boylston, Marie Brossier, Alexander Horstmann, Detelina Tocheva, Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic, Michael W. Scott, Uday Chandra, Ana Stela de Almeida Cunha, Steven J. Sutcliffe, Jackie Feldman, Benedikte Moeller Kristensen, and Alyssa Grossman

BIELO, James S., Words Upon the Word: An Ethnography of Evangelical Group Bible Study, x, 187 pp., notes, references, index. New York: New York University Press, 2009. Paperback, $21. ISBN 9780814791226.

BLACKBURN, Anne M., Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka, xxii, 237 pp., figures, bibliographical references. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Cloth, $45. ISBN 9780226055077.

BRUCE, Steve, Paisley: Religion and Politics in Northern Ireland, xvi, 312 pp., tables, appendix. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Paperback, $27.95. ISBN 9780199565719.

CSORDAS, Thomas J., ed., Transnational Transcendence: Essays on Religion and Globalization, 352 pp., introduction, index, references. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Paperback, $24.95, £16.95. ISBN 9780520257429.

HERMKENS, Anna-Karina, Willy JANSEN, and Catrien NOTERMANS, eds., Moved by Mary: The Power of Pilgrimage in the Modern World, xiv, 267 pp., illustrations, bibliography, index. Surrey: Ashgate, 2009. Paperback, $29.95, £16.99. ISBN 9780754667896.

HODDER, Ian, ed., Religion in the Emergence of Civilization: Çatalhöyük as a Case Study, 372 pp., figures, tables, index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Paperback, £23.99. ISBN 978053115019.

HUANG, C. Julia, Charisma and Compassion: Cheng Yen and the Buddhist Tzu Chi Movement, 354 pp., index, references. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. Cloth, $49.95. ISBN 9780674031333.

HÜWELMEIER, Gertrud, and Kristine KRAUSE, eds., Traveling Spirits: Migrants, Markets and Mobilities, 218 pp., tables, references, index. London: Routledge, 2010. Hardback, £80. ISBN 9780415998789.

LA FONTAINE, Jean, ed., The Devil’s Children. From Spirit Possession to Witchcraft: New Allegations That Affect Children, xv, 220 pp., illustrations, further reading, index. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009. Hardback, $79.95. ISBN 9780754667339.

MARY, André, Visionnaires et prophètes de l’Afrique contemporaine, 249 pp., bibliography. Paris: Karthala, 2009. Paperback, €24. ISBN 9782811102814.

MASQUELIER, Adeline, Women and Islamic Revival in a West African Town, 376 pp., illustrations, maps, glossary, bibliography, index. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. Paperback, $27.95. ISBN 9780253215130.

MAYBLIN, Maya, Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil: Virtuous Husbands, Powerful Wives, 212 pp., acknowledgments, introduction, references. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Hardcover, $80. ISBN 9780230623125.

McINTOSH, Janet, The Edge of Islam: Power, Personhood, and Ethnoreligious Boundaries on the Kenya Coast, 325 pp., bibliography, index. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009. Paperback, $23.95. ISBN 9780822345091.

OSELLA, Filippo, and Benjamin Soares, eds., Islam, Politics, Anthropology, viii, 243 pp., notes on contributors, index. Oxford: Blackwell, 2010. Paperback, £19.99, €24. ISBN 9781444332957.

PEARSON, Thomas, Missions and Conversions: Creating the Montagnard-Dega Refugee Community, 241 pp., map, notes, bibliography, index. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Hardcover, $95. ISBN 9780230615366.

PELKMANS, Mathijs, ed., Conversion after Socialism: Disruptions, Modernisms and Technologies of Faith in the Former Soviet Union, 208 pp., notes on contributors, index. New York: Berghahn Books, 2009. Hardback, $85, £50. ISBN 9781845456177.

ROZENBERG, Guillaume, Renunciation and Power: The Quest for Sainthood in Contemporary Burma, xi, 180 pp., foreword, illustrations, notes, bibliography. New Haven, CT: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, 2010. Paperback, $20. ISBN 9780938692928.

RYLE, Jacqueline, My God, My Land: Interwoven Paths of Christianity and Tradition in Fiji, 340 pp., prologue, bibliography, appendices, index. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010. Hardback, $124.95, £66. ISBN: 9780754679882.

SCOTT, James C., The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, 464 pp., preface, notes, glossary, index. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009. Hardcover, $35, £20; Paperback, $25, £16.99. ISBN 9780300169171.

TISHKEN, Joel E., Toyin FALOLA, and Akintunde AKINYEMI, eds., Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora, ix, 365 pp., photos, maps, figures. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. Paperback, $21.74, £14.95. ISBN 9780253220943.

TURNER, Bryan S., ed., The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion, xvii, 691pp. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Hardback, £125/€150. ISBN 9781405188524.

HAKAK, Yohai, and Ron Offer, dirs., Gevald, 48 min., color. Israel: Go2Films, 2009; Religion.com, 50 min., color. Israel: Go2Films, 2010, The Midwife and the Rabbi’s Daughter, 50 min., color. Israel: Go2Films, 2009.

MERLI, Laetitia, dir., Shaman Tour, 63 min., color. Paris: CNRS Images, 2009.

TRENCSENYI, Klara, and Vlad NAUMESCU, dirs., Bird’s Way, 56 min., color. Bucharest: Libra Films, 2009.