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Title: Religiousness as tourist practice
Author: Terzidou, Matina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 103X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis interprets ways in which religion is performed within the tourism sphere, moving from a study of textuality towards the essential embodiment and materiality of the tourist world. Embracing recent developments in studies of religion, religious tourism and tourism in general, this research seeks to consider not only the permanent religious structures and the experiences they stage, but also how individuals as reflexive beings become believers through a variety of unpredictable, active and complex performances that are enabled through tourism. Based on post-human theories (Franklin, 2008; Haldrup and Larsen, 2006; Latour, 2005; Picken, 2010; Walsh and Tucker, 2009) and on social and individual constructivism alike, religion is considered a network, of the human, immaterial and material worlds, each of which is assigned agency. Accordingly, the performative approach (Crouch et al., 2001; Edensor, 2000, 2001; Perkins and Thoms, 2001) is considered here as being the most adequate in addressing how religion is experienced multi-dimensionally. Using the example of the sacred island of Tinos, Greece, religious oriented tourism is regarded as a process of experiences in which three moments are performed: pre-trip, onsite, post-trip. The first stage explores religious tourists’ motivations and expectations from the religious trip. The second stage explores religious tourists’ on-site practices and the last stage the potential transformative effects the trip may have on the religious tourists. Rooted in the above, the study also acknowledges the complex process of becoming a religious tourist and of experiencing the holy that extends beyond the strict boundaries of the three stages, which rather seem to interact and to be linked with each other. Religious tourists’ collective and individual performances as well as their engagement with materials are explored using participant observation and in-depth interviews. Having explored the diversity and richness of tourist practices, the study identifies some main themes that underpin religious tourist experience, such as ghostliness, the theo-real and place entrenched sacredness, and discusess issues of authenticity and multiplicity of tourism performances, developing the tourism theory and the idea of pilgrimage within the Greek Orthodox context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available