The aim of this study is to understand how authenticity is evoked in a religious pilgrimage and the relationship between authenticity, rituals and consumption.
A critical dimension of pilgrimage is arguably pilgrims’ experience, in particular the authenticity of their experience. The aim of the study is to understand how authenticity is evoked in a religious pilgrimage and the relationship between authenticity, rituals and consumption. The research contributes ethnographic insights from a lesser known, yet significant, Muslim pilgrimage called Ziyara-t-Arba’een. In so doing, pilgrimages are conceptualised as a quest for spiritual authenticity, a hybrid form of existential, ideological and objective authenticity. The findings section leads to a discussion of the ways in which spiritual authenticity is realised through rituals and the consumption of texts, material objects and space. The contribution of this paper is threefold: 1) it explores the different dimensions of authenticity in a pilgrimage experience; 2) it examines the role of material culture and ritual consumption in achieving forms of authenticity; and 3) it broadens the understanding of the pilgrimage as a context-bound and culturally specific phenomenon.
Title: Pilgrimage, Consumption and Rituals: Spiritual Authenticity in a Shia Muslim Pilgrimage
Author(s): Mona Moufahim & Maria Lichrou
Published in: Tourism Management 70 (2019)
Length: 10 page