Currently Reading: Religious Tourism by Charlie Sampson


I came across this book when I visited a friend’s place. She had a small collection of travel books and I got around to checking this out.

As a huge fan of philosophical and religious studies, I became intrigued with curiosity.

The book starts promising enough,

With John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1960) it was argued and widely accepted, that knowledge comes entirely from the external senses, that what one knows comes from the physical stimuli to which ones has been exposed, thus, one could “use up” the environment, taking from all it offers, requiring a change of place. Travel, therefore, was necessary for one to develop the mind and expand knowledge of the world.

He also follows up with

Education provides the true advantages of tourism. Knowledge of a place can best be acquired if that region is properly seen and understood…Geography can also become interesting if students are taken out of their books to see the scenes depicted in pictures with their own eyes. When students actually visit and witness the wonders of the world, they tend to learn more and remember for a longer time… Thanks to tourism, education actually becomes enjoyable

The book explains that religious tourism is a

Form of tourism, whereby people of faith travel individually or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, or leisure (fellowship) purposes… Many of today’s most popular tourist destinations are related to ancient places of worship or to the site of apparent miracles.

So far the book has been an engaging read. It’s very scholarly in its presentation of facts, figures, and ideas that despite readinv only 21 pages out of the total 282 pages, I have learned a lot. For those who may not be interested in reading about very formal accounts on the history of religious tourism, then they may not enjoy this book, in particular, since its approach is quite factual, data-based and straightforward.

However, the book is filled with very interesting facts and figures that I am compelled to finish it. I may try to finish it soon. Hopefully.


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