Blessed with Tourists: The Borderlands of Religion and by Thomas S. Bremer

By Thomas S. Bremer

Greater than 1000000 travelers stopover at spiritual landmarks in San Antonio, Texas, every year, gazing and occasionally engaging in non secular actions there. The San Antonio Missions nationwide ancient Park--managed by means of the nationwide Park provider, in cooperation with the Catholic Church--is one in all countless numbers of spiritual locations in the United States and worldwide the place travelers became a well-known presence. In Blessed with travelers, Thomas S. Bremer explores the intersection of tourism and trade with faith in American, utilizing the missions and different San Antonio websites as top examples.Bremer recounts the historical past of San Antonio, from its local American roots to its improvement as a spiritual heart with the expansion of the Spanish colonial missions, to the trendy transformation of San Antonio right into a vacationer vacation spot. utilizing either ethnographic and historic techniques, Bremer examines the suggestions of position, id, aesthetics, and commercialization, demonstrating quite a few ways in which smooth industry forces have an effect on non secular groups. via opting for very important connections among non secular and touristic practices, Bremer establishes San Antonio as a particular resource for someone trying to comprehend the interaction among the non secular and the secular, the normal and the fashionable.

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It is an experience of a lifetime, especially so to him who                      ;  is engaged in the rush and torrent of business life. ’’ 94 By capitalizing on tourists’ desires for cherished memories, the railroads and promotional tracts like Corner’s brought more and more tourists to San Antonio each year. What these visitors found, if one is to believe the propagandizing literature that flowed out of the city, was a romantic place steeped in history: ‘‘There is perhaps no more colorful place in all America than San Antonio .

As long as visitors kept coming and remained willing to pay for a guided tour of the Alamo site, local folks were willing to oblige them. And the guides were happy to spice up their stories in response to tourists’ expectations. Visitors to the Alamo wanted all the details of the battle to be          ;  related in the most heroic terms, and their guides did not hesitate to give them the most harrowing tales of heroism, regardless of their veracity. Yet despite the questionable accuracy of the stories that Alamo guides of the nineteenth century rehearsed for tourist visitors, the tales corresponded to and subsequently corroborated the meaning of the Alamo as a symbol of Texan, and by extension American, identity.

By the s, an official ‘‘custodian’’ of the place served the dual role of protecting the site and greeting tourists. William Corner’s  guidebook described the tour this man provided to visitors. A visitor to-day at ‘‘The Alamo,’’ will be met at its entrance by the worthy janitor, Capt. Tom Rife, a Texan of pioneer days. He guards the building with a jealous care[,] it is indeed a pleasure to note in these days of the irrepressible relic hunter and wall scribbler. The visitor will be given in short the particulars of the foundation of the Mission and the church.

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