Pilgrimage, consumption and rituals: Spiritual authenticity in a Shia Muslim pilgrimage



Moufahim M & Lichrou M (2019) Pilgrimage, consumption and rituals: Spiritual authenticity in a Shia Muslim pilgrimage. Tourism Management, 70, pp. 322-332.

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.

Islam; Pilgrimage; Rituals; Consumption; Authenticity; Ziyara

Tourism Management: Volume 70

Publication date28/02/2019
Publication date online13/09/2018
Date accepted by journal25/08/2018

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Dr Mona Moufahim

Dr Mona Moufahim

Senior Lecturer, Marketing & Retail