Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Globalization and the Camino: from religious to touristic experience


Modern Languages & Literatures


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Date Range



The nation of Galicia, its capital city Santiago de Compostela, and the Camino are important spaces of cultural heritage. The Camino has historically served as a cultural conduit between Spain and the rest of Europe, and today enjoys a privileged place within global culture. The designation of the Camino as a World Heritage Site is a testament to this, as well as to an ever-widening global spotlight on the Camino. The process of globalization appropriates the goods and commodities afforded by the Camino while reinventing and redefining it. In the Middle Ages, pilgrimages were an essential part of western European spiritual and cultural life. At that time, the belief in the myth of Saint James was the foundational impetus for the pilgrimage. But today there is, in general, a different definition of the Camino. It is defined by an agenda of globalization based on a system of capitalism. Today the myth of Saint James, the city of Santiago, and the Camino are, in essence, commodities to be consumed. Therefore, the experience of the Camino has changed from a religious to a touristic one. In summary, my paper maps in greater detail this recent process of the commodification and globalization of the Camino.

Conference Name

American Pilgrim Camino Scholars' Forum

Conference Location

Santa Barbara, CA

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