Date of Award

9-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Religious Studies

Supervisor

Ellen Badone

Language

English

Abstract

Prince Edward Island is Canada's smallest province, situated on the Atlantic coast. It is famous for the potatoes that grow in its red fertile soil, its seafood industries, and Lucy Maud Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables, which is set on the north shore of the Island. Prince Edward Island is a popular tourist destination. The tourists seek "authentic" experiences in a bucolic, pastoral atmosphere, and connections to a larger reality than they experience in their everyday lives. Distancing themselves from their everyday routines also provides rejuvenation. Drawing upon fieldwork data gathered on Prince Edward Island, I argue that vacations (specifically to Prince Edward Island) are secular pilgrimages. There are many parallels between pilgrimages associated with religious institutions and vacations undertaken by tourists, and the differences that exist between religious pilgrimage and secular pilgrimage are largely nominal.

McMaster University Library

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