Table of Contents

Introduction: approaching Lutherland.
Opening the door.
The Wittenberg festivals.
A mighty fortress?.
Martin Luther, German hero.
Sociability, conviviality.
The carnivalesque, processing change.
Pilgrimage, sacred space. This is a field study of religious tourism and festivity in contemporary Wittenberg, Germany, the one-time home of Martin Luther. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the city and surrounding region have been developing their historical and cultural resources, through the production of large-scale public festivals, museum exhibits, as well as religious and heritage tourism. The city, marketed as a European culture capital, is also Protestant sacred space, attracting Lutherans from the around the globe. In his recent study, A Secular Age, Charles Taylor notes that festivity is experiencing a renaissance, and he identifies its emergence in public culture as "one of the new forms of religion in our world." Festivals and pilgrimage routes are not only ritual forms, they are cultural institutions playing central roles in a globalized world. Stephenson examines two important genres in today's globalized world: public festivals and religious, or heritage, tourism and pilgrimage. He presents the vibrant details of Wittenberg's Luther festivals and pilgrimage scene, describing rites and performances, and including the voices and narratives of people encountered in the field. Wittenberg's festival and tourism scene includes a range of genres: parades and processions, liturgies and concerts, music and dance. These cut across cultural domains (religion, politics, economics, theatre), and mobilize multiple identities (religious, secular, American, German, traditional, and postmodern). Atheists dress up as monks and nuns for Luther's Wedding. Conservative Lutherans work to uplift the secular, carnival-like festivities. Street players wander the city, while American Gospel singers and Peruvian pan flute bands entertain the crowds. Written in an accessible, jargon free-style, the book presents a lively, informed account of contemporary festival and pilgrimage culture in Wittenberg. This on-the-ground account is brought into dialogue with important methodological and theoretical issues informing the fields of ritual studies and performance studies.