Spiritual Tourism: Mystical Merchandise and Sacred Shopping in Glastonbury

Pauline Maclaran, Keele University, UK
Linda Scott, University of Oxford, UK
Many contested spiritual overlays co-exist in Glastonbury, the main centre in England for “spiritual tourism”. These are exemplified by Glastonbury’s high street with its astonishing array of small shops that are devoted to mystical merchandise. Together they present a veritable spiritual bricolage that is manifested through what we have termed “sacred shopping”, a shopping that reflects the rich mosaic of myth and legend that surrounds the region and enables a “pic n’ mix” approach to a personalised spirituality. Drawing on a vernacular religious approach that emphasizes the role of material culture, we argue that Glastonbury’s spiritual shopping plays an important role in carving out sacred space for New Age religious beliefs.
[ to cite ]:
Pauline Maclaran and Linda Scott (2009) ,"Spiritual Tourism: Mystical Merchandise and Sacred Shopping in Glastonbury", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 60-63.