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First CfP: Sacred Space, Pilgrimage, and Tourism, London, GB, 26.-28.08.2014 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   

Please find below the second call for papers for a session entitled ‘Sacred Space, Pilgrimage, and Tourism’ at the 2014 Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers. Deadline: February 14th.

 First Call for Papers: Sacred Space, Pilgrimage, and Tourism

Conference:                       RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 August 2014

Theme:                              Geographies of co-production

Conference chair:             Wendy Larner (University of Bristol)

Session sponsored by:       Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group (GLTRG) of the RGS-IBG

And convened by:             Jacky Tivers (St John’s College, Nottingham)

According to Park (1994,245), ‘one of the more prominent geographical dimensions of religious expression is the notion of sacred space’.  Interest in this concept within human geography has increased considerably in recent years (for instance, Hopkins et al, 2013; Dwyer et al, 2013; Sturm, 2013; Megoran, 2013; Przybyiska, 2013; Dewsbury and Cloke, 2009; Daniels, 2009; Holloway and Valins, 2002).  Linked to the idea of sacred space is the phenomenon of pilgrimage, which has been studied through ‘a wide range of approaches – academic, confessional, personal and canonical’ (Coleman and Elsner, 1995, 8), and which has also attracted the attention of geographers (for example, Maddrell and della Dora, 2013).

Today, sacred space and pilgrimage are features of all faiths and spiritualities, as well as being evident within the secular realm, and are therefore important concepts to be considered in relation to geographical understandings of places and their contexts. In addition, sacred sites and pilgrimage routes may be re-imagined as tourism opportunities, both by promoters and by tourists themselves. Indeed, Ron (2009,290) asserts that pilgrimage is simply ‘a sub-type, or form, of tourism’, while Tidball (2004) fears that it may very often show the same characteristics of ‘transience, spectatorship, non-engagement with the local culture and moral irresponsibility’ as tourism often does.

This session aims to investigate the co-production of sacred space through the lens of pilgrimage/theology/spirituality/belief systems, on the one hand, and that of tourism/leisure/promotion/visitor behaviour, on the other, addressing practices at a range of scales - individual, communal and commercial.  Papers are invited which address this issue of co-production specifically, as well as those that deal more broadly with the concepts of sacred space and pilgrimage.

Abstracts of approximately 200 words should be submitted to Jan Mosedale ( This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by Friday, 14th February 2014.




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