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Strangers in an old land: 19 Southern pilgrims on the South and religious experience tourism

R. Zachary Finney (Department of Marketing, Mitchell College of Business, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA)
Robert A. Orwig (Department of Business Administration, North Georgia College and State University, School of Business and Government, Dahlonega, Georgia, USA)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 6 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The paper focuses on two main issues. First, 19 Southern Baptists were asked, how they believe living in the Southeastern USA influences their religious faith. Second, the interviewees were asked about their experiences traveling to Israel.

Design/methodology/approach

Through depth interviews, 13 corollaries were derived that help explain the Southern fundamentalist perspective on religion. The paper borrows principles from grounded theory, an inductive method that allows one to observe first and then begin building a general theory.

Findings

Southern Baptists do not believe that living in the South changes their beliefs. However, they do believe that the South is a supportive environment for the Christian fundamentalist. The Baptists experienced Israel in highly idiosyncratic ways. Some said that the experience dramatically changed their lives; others felt that the trip had only a minimal impact.

Originality/value

The paper is among the first to ask Southern fundamentalists how they believe the South influences their beliefs. It helps shine a light on the nature of Southern religion and how Southern fundamentalism fits in the larger Christian world.

Keywords

Citation

Zachary Finney, R. and Orwig, R.A. (2008), "Strangers in an old land: 19 Southern pilgrims on the South and religious experience tourism", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 132-151. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506180810880700

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited