A new kind of Pilgrimage: The modern tourist pilgrim of nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Palestine

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Abstract

Today, in the transition period between the millenniums, it is obvious that pilgrimage has been a key factor in determining and shaping Palestine's history and territory alike. As a land sacred to the three monotheistic religions, Palestine has over the years received a steady stream of pilgrims eager to visit the sites holy to their faith. Indeed, small as it is, Palestine contains a remarkable number of religious sites, the scene of so many events depicted in the Old and New Testaments. For centuries, these sites have attracted innumerable pilgrims from the four corners of the earth annually. The Late Ottoman period (1799-1917) saw the revival and regeneration of the tradition of Christian pilgrimage. Pilgrimage flourished, most particularly from the time of the Egyptian conquest (1831-40) onwards, with Christians flocking to the Holy Land in their thousands. The question arises, however, whether all these Christians were indeed pilgrims. Were the new visitors and the Christian pilgrims of yore the same, or were there significant differences in the nature of the two groups' visits? In other words, had Palestine become the target for a new kind of traveller, the tourist, already during this period?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2003

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