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Abstract

Recently South Africa has been experiencing accelerated challenges on a spiritual level relating to ‘place of worship’ and spiritual pilgrimage. This has been one of the biggest challenges facing religious activities in South Africa. Arising from that, this paper examines possible connections between salvation seekers and consumers (in the marketplace). To this end, this paper seeks to understand the assertion of ‘distance to travel not being a limitation in the spiritual realm’ (Adeboye, 2014), where some Christians claim that at a certain place there is a blessing waiting for them and that they cannot find that blessing at any other location. The act of shopping for tangible products within a given ‘marketplace’ and shopping for ‘salvation’ (including the selling and promotion of merchandise and services at churches) are compared using a qualitative methodology involving informal conversation interviews, focus groups, semi-structured interviews, observations, and researcher self-reflection. Accordingly, empirical findings show that places of worship show a great variety of blessings for Christians who associate themselves with any denomination without considering time, distance, and place. In addition, the results reveal that spirituality, belief, and religion are major factors promoting pilgrimage i.e. consumers travelling to explore the religious spiritual destination and shopping for associated products and services. The study found that a marketplace is not the same as a spiritual place rather, the spiritual place is considered to be a venue for worship and spiritual distribution of church products.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21427/gsmy-2s62

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