This is the first volume exploring spiritual tourism as a phemen in Western cultures of travel, discussing the relationship between contemporary tourism and secular approaches to religious practices. This book investigates spiritual tourism - tourism characterised by an intentional search for spiritual benefit - from a contemporary religious studies perspective. Using field research gathered from spiritual tourism locations in Asia and Europe, and utilizing contemporary scholarship on practices concerned with meaning and identity, it explores the phemena of journeys that are taken for self transformation, tracing the history of transformative ideas in Western cultures of travel, including the modes in which the travel experience has been communicated. Spiritual Tourism provides an important opportunity to comment on the role of tourism in contemporary conceptions of spirituality and spiritual practice in Western society. This groundbreaking series offers original reflections on theory and method in the study of religions, and demonstrates new approaches to the way religious traditions are studied and presented. Studies published under its auspices look to clarify the role and place of Religious Studies in the academy, but t in a purely theoretical manner. Each study will demonstrate its theoretical aspects by applying them to the actual study of religions, often in the form of frontier research.
Alex Norman is Lecturer, Tutor and Researcher at the Department of Studies in religion, University of Sydney, Australia. He is also Co-editor of the journal Literature and Aesthetics.