In this paper, I review select developments in the last one hundred years of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic pilgrimage to sites found today in Israel and the Occupied Territories. I argue that only by viewing the pilgrimages under analysis as dissipative systems, is one able to explain historical change in this most turbulent of contexts. When combined with an understanding of pilgrimage as social action, this approach enables historians of religions to account for not only the restructuring of pilgrimages over time but also to understand dynamics surrounding ritual birth and death. Furthermore, the political strategies of traditionalists and revivalists who attempt to authenticate contemporary ritual behavior by linking it up to purportedly longstanding, unchanged practices are undermined. After initially focusing upon changes in pilgrimage catalyzed by socio-political events, I discuss the birth of distinctively new pilgrimages associated with the rise of the State of Israel as well as the demise of several other pilgrimages in the years since 1948.
"Pilgrimage in Turbulent Contexts: One Hundred Years of Pilgrimage to the Holy Land,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 2, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol2/iss1/4