The religious landscape of North America is different from other regions of the world in that not only is there a lack of a highly visible religious elements, but also the idea and practice of pilgrimage and ritual travel is not as pervasive as in Europe and Asia. However, there are many human-built and natural spaces marked by Roman Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Indigenous peoples, and members of other faiths which are subject to either formal or informal pilgrimage-like travel. Visits to these sacred sites have intensified with the rise and expansion of tourism after World War II, conflating pilgrimage-like travel with tourism. As such, there has been an expansion of the term ‘pilgrimage’ to describe the visits of people to sites of historical, political and/or pop culture importance. This paper examines the changing religious and ritual landscapes in North America, and examines the case of tourism and pilgrimage to Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ontario, to show how ritual journeys in North America have become more inclusive over time.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.