In 1970, Wendell Berry described nature poetry as a ‘secular pilgrimage’. 1 While recognising the laic nature of much environmental wayfaring, the contemporary Scottish nature poet Alec Finlay (b. 1966) importantly observes that this journeying is
Walking and Looking in Ken Cockburn and Alec Finlay’s The Road North
Alice Tarbuck and Simone Kotva
Sites of pilgrimage and heritage tourism are often sites of social inequality and volatility that are impaired by hostilities between historical, ethnic, and competing religious discourses of morality, personhood, and culture, as well as between imaginaries of nationalism and citizenship. Often these pilgrim sites are much older in national and global history than the actual sovereign nation-state in which they are located. Pertinent issues to do with finance—such as regimes of taxation, livelihoods, and the wealth of regional and national economies—underscore these sites of worship. The articles in this special issue engage with prolix travel arrangement, accommodation, and other aspects of heritage tourism in order to understand how intangible aspects of such tourism proceed. But they also relate back to when and how these modern infrastructures transformed the pilgrimage and explore what the emerging discourses and practices were that gave newer meanings to neoliberal pilgrimages. The different case studies presented in this issue analyze the impact of these journeys on the pilgrims’ own subjectivities—especially with regard to the holy sites being situated in their imaginations of historical continuity and discontinuity and with regard to their transformative experiences of worship—using both modern and traditional infrastructures.
Past and Present
Yvonne Friedman and Shulamit Furstenberg-Levi
“A successful pilgrimage depends completely on the guide … it is most effective to have only one guide accompanying a group.” —Padre Gianfranco Pinto Ostuni, director of the Delegazione di Terra Santa, 2016 To date, guiding, a significant aspect of
Architectural pilgrimage is implicitly appreciated in architecture and design circles, especially by students who are encouraged to “travel to architecture,” with the focus on the Grand Tour as a means of architectural exploration. However, the expression has not been made explicit in the fields of architectural history, pilgrimage studies, tourism research, and mobility studies. I explore how pilgrimage to locations of modern architectural interest affects and informs pilgrims' and architects' conceptions of buildings and the pilgrimage journey itself. Drawing initially on a European architectural pilgrimage, the personal narrative highlights the importance of self-reflection and introspection when observing the built environment and the role of language in mediating processes of movement through and creation of architectural place-space.
Surf Tourism in Costa Rica
Stefan Michael Krause
Surf tourism is a largely ignored mode of touristic behaviour in the academy. This investigation adds to a very limited body of work by providing explorations of the significance of surf tourism for surfers and by bringing forward data and observations of the impacts surf tourism has had on Playas Jacó and Hermosa, Costa Rica. Interview, statistical and observation data are used here to argue that: a surfer habitus creates dispositions for many surfers to travel to exotic coastal destinations on the periphery; surf trips to Costa Rica in many ways are experientially similar to pilgrimages; and that surf tourism can be seen to be directly and indirectly associated with many economic, environmental and socio-cultural costs and benefits to the local communities under study. Considering the applied dimension of surf tourism it is argued that surfers may indirectly set in motion a process of development and foreign investment into areas that are ill prepared for large numbers of visitors.
Framing the Experience Through Linear Meta-Narrative
Christian pilgrims come to the Holy Land to visit specific physical places that give their faith a tangible form. On organized tours, pilgrimage is structured through an itinerary which consists of a series of encounters, purposefully shaped to bring to life the story of Jesus. These encounters involve performative practices of tour-group leaders at specific symbolic sites with particular narratives. The biblical reality is invoked through a process of meta-framing which allows for a cognitive shift from the mundane walking from site to site into a biblical reality. Meta-framing interlaces the Christian religious memory, performed by the spiritual leader, with the Israeli historical memory, performed by the Israeli tour guide, into a single, linear meta-narrative.
Rudel’s twelfth-century song, ‘Lanquan li jorn son lonc en may’, embodies the pain and longing of amor de lonh, or love from afar. The convention of amor de lonh, which originated in Provençal lyric poetry, stimulates the lover towards agonised introspection at the same time as impelling his thoughts outward, towards the distant object of his desire. This motif of the distant beloved means that Rudel’s lyrics express love as a desire for travel: when the defining – indeed, only – feature of the beloved is her distance, desire and the impulse to travel become compacted together. In the thirteenth-century Life of Rudel (described by one editor as ‘a narrative transformation and concretization of the dreams’ of this song [Rudel 1978: 54]) the poet falls in love with the countess of Tripoli after hearing pilgrims speak of her: in order to see her he takes up the cross of pilgrimage and sets sail (‘se croset et mes se en mar’, [ibid.: 58]). In this fictionalised biographical account, love is framed by two acts of pilgrimage, one a religious pilgrimage, which incidentally carries the stories of the countess to Rudel, and the other an amorous pilgrimage which cloaks itself as a religious journey.
Marc Roscoe Loustau
Why do post-pilgrimage slideshows help Transylvanian Hungarian Catholics perform domestic devotional labor? There is growing interest in breaking open pilgrimage research, and scholars have recently begun studying rituals of return—including pilgrims’ practice of using photographs to narrate their journeys after returning home. I contribute to this effort by sketching out the general characteristics of Transylvanian Hungarian Catholics’ post-pilgrimage slideshows about the Medjugorje shrine. I then give a detailed description of an exemplary case: a married couple’s presentation for their children gathered around the family computer. Although we might expect pilgrims to routinize stories and images from a chaotic journey, many slideshows were quite disorganized and impressionistic. This disorganization helped travelers tailor their stories to the diverse spiritual interests of guests in a changing Transylvanian Hungarian Catholic religious landscape. Family members’ conversations also dramatized how neoliberalism in Romania has emerged alongside new global pilgrimage sites like Medjugorje. Medjugorje appeals to pilgrims because it is a privileged site for advertising national wares on the global market.
Analytical Routes through Multiple Meanings
Translator : Jeffrey Hoff
. There are many examples of how tourism and pilgrimage can combine, such as diaspora tourism whereby people travel back to their places of origin. In fact, the book produces a complex vision of how different religions deal with tourism, illustrating that
Contested Narratives of Storied Places—the Holy Lands
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.