Read CCS Postdoctoral Fellow Elisabeth Becker’s “Tour-guiding as a pious place-making practice: The case of the Sehitlik Mosque, Berlin,” in Annals of Tourism Research, Volume 73, November 2018.
Abstract: The Sehitlik Mosque in Berlin, led by the second and third generations of ethnically Turkish Germans, has risen as an exemplar of public engagement through its tourist enterprise. Drawing from ethnographic research in this mosque, driven by questions on the potential social impacts of piety, I analyze how the tour becomes itself a pious place-making practice: an innovative way of “doing religion” for the post-migrant generations in Berlin. I center on how two key aspects of religious place-making in diaspora are accomplished through the tour: the management of difference and belonging, and the embodiment of faith. This research demonstrates the ways in which tourism in sacred spaces provides unique opportunities for tour guides to have agentive and transformative experiences.