Title: On an everyday pilgrimage: a suburban Greek convent as a pilgrimage site

Authors: Mari-Johanna Rahkala-Simberg

Addresses: Department of World Cultures, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 38 A, 00014 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Pilgrimage is often seen as a special form of religious travelling which is done relatively rarely, possibly even only once in a lifetime, such as the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. This article argues that pilgrimage does not necessarily have to be such a rare and elevated form of religious behaviour; it can also be even a daily habit or a lifestyle a pilgrim wants to maintain. Pilgrimage in this case helps the pilgrim to maintain a set of values he or she considers important, such as the Greek Orthodox religion, Greekness and a connection to the local community. This article presents the sacred site visitation of a contemporary suburban convent in Northern Greece, the convent of the Dormition of the Virgin.

Keywords: pilgrimage sites; convents; religious tourism; lifestyle; Greek Orthodox religion; Greece; religious travel; local communities; sacred sites.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTA.2012.048990

International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2012 Vol.2 No.2, pp.94 - 107

Published online: 16 Aug 2014 *

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