Thomas S. Bremer, Ph.D.
I have written two books. The first was my dissertation converted to something more readable for academic and general audiences, the second an overview of American religious history. Additional academic publications are listed below with links to PDF versions for some (let me know if you want a copy of something that is not posted). A complete list of academic publications and presentations can be found on my curriculum vitae.
Work in Progress
Currently I am working on a book titled Sacred Wonderland: The Story of Religion in Yellowstone under contract with the University of Nebraska Press, which will examine the religious history of the world’s first national park. I also have begun research on religion in gateway communities to American national parks
Blessed with Tourists: The Borderlands of Religion and Tourism in San Antonio recounts the history of San Antonio, Texas, as a travel destination, with chapters on the history of the Alamo as a tourist site and on the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. My second book, Formed from this Soil: An Introduction to the Diverse History of Religion in America tells the story of the diverse sacred traditions and practices found throughout American religious history.
Reviews of Blessed with Tourists:
“This book is at once a fine biography of the evolution of an interesting American city and a revealing case study of the many links between religion and tourism and how modern market forces and the production, consumption, and expression of religion influence each other in so many ways. The subject is wonderful, the research is impeccable, and Bremer writes elegantly and accessibly.”
–Edward T. Linenthal, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
“Bremer does an excellent job of explaining the conflict among local
residents, religious practitioners, and tourists. If you are planning a trip to
San Antonio or want to know more about the Alamo City, get a copy of Blessed
—Mexia Daily News
“Successful in examining a number of emerging themes in the study of
religion and tourism, including the intersection between religion and
capitalism, the production and consumption of religious sites by pilgrims and
tourists, the process of resolution of contested interpretations of sacred
sites, and secular interests in sacred sites.”
—The Professional Geographer
“The book is well written and accessible to a large audience and addresses current issues in American cultural studies, such as race and class. . . . Scholars . . . will find this book impressive and helpful for thinking about the relationship between religion and tourism.”
—Journal of American Folklore
Review of Formed from this Soil:
“Bremer’s text combines features that classroom teachers desire – including a clear chronological narrative as well as images and sidebars on fascinating historical characters and questions – along with provocative challenges to conventional ways of thinking that students will bring to courses. The result is a text that should receive wide usage.”
–Paul Harvey, University of Colorado
Published articles and book chapters
“Acadia National Park: A Soul and Spirit Stretching Place,” in Chebacco: the Magazine of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society volume XX (expected 2019).
“Consider the Tourist,” in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Religion and Materiality, ed. Vasudha Narayanan, Wiley-Blackwell (expected publication Dec. 2019).
“The Modern Religiosity of the Newark Earthworks,” in The Newark Earthworks: Enduring Monuments, Contested Meanings, ed. Lindsay Jones and Richard D. Shiels, University of Virginia Press (2016): 198-212.
“A Touristic Angle of Vision: Tourist Studies as a Methodological Approach for the Study of Religions,” in Religion Compass volume 8, issue 12 (December 2014): 371-379.
“Evangelical Park: Railroads, Profit, and Religion at Yellowstone,” in Ranger Magazine volume 30, number 2 (Spring 2014): 8-9.
“Tourism and Pilgrimage,” in Encyclopedia of Religion in America, ed. Charles Lippy and Peter Williams, CQ Press (2010).
“The Brother of Jesus in Toronto,” in Resurrecting the Brother of Jesus: The Rise, Fall and Religion of the James Ossuary, ed. Bernadette McNary-Zak and Ryan Byrne, University of North Carolina Press (2009): 31-58.
“A Touristic Spirit in Places of Religion,” in Faith in America: Changes, Challenges, New Directions, Volume 2: Religious Issues Today, ed. Charles H. Lippy, Greenwood (2006): 37-57.
“Lorraine Motel,” in American Icons: An Encyclopedia of the People, Places, and Things that have Shaped Our Culture, ed. Dennis R. Hall and Susan Grove Hall, Greenwood (2006): 419-424.
“Sacred Spaces and Tourist Places,” in Tourism, Religion, and Spiritual Journeys, ed. Dallen Timothy and Daniel Olsen, Routledge (2006): 25-35.
“Tourism and Religion,” in The Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition, vol. 13, Editor in Chief Lindsay Jones, Macmillan Reference (2005): 9260-64.
“Reading the Sahagún Dialogues,” in Sahagún at 500: Essays on the Quincentenary of the Birth of Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, ed. John Frederick Schwaller, Academy of American Franciscan History (2003): 11-29.
“Il Genius Loci Ignotus di Eranos e la Creazione di un Luogo Sacro,” in Eranos, Monte Veritá, Ascona, ed. E. Barone, M. Riedl, and A. Tischel, Edizioni ETS, Pisa, Italy (2003): 71-76.
“Tourists and Religion at Temple Square and Mission San Juan Capistrano,” in Journal of American Folklore volume 113, issue 450 (Fall, 2000): 422-35.
“Pilgrimage,” “San Juan de los Lagos, Nuestra Señora de,” “Talpa, Nuestra Señora del Rosario de,” and “Zapopan, Nuestra Señora de,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures, ed. Davíd Carrasco, Oxford University Press (2000).
“Sacrificial Slaughter and Dressing Up: Gender Articulations in Muslim Rituals,” in Religious Studies Review volume 22 (July, 1996): 209-13.
The Healing Power of the Santuario de Chimayó: America’s Miraculous Church by Brett Hendrickson, in New Mexico Historical Review (expected 2019).
Religion and Tourism: Crossroads, Destinations, and Encounters byMichael Stausberg, in Religion, volume 43, issue 1 (2013).
Holy Hills of the Ozarks: Religion and Tourism in Branson, Missouri by Aaron K. Ketchell, in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, volume 76, number 3 (September, 2008).
A Christian Theology of Place by John Inge, in Scottish Journal of Theology, volume 61, issue 2 (May 2008).
Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith by Timothy K. Beal, a book note in Religious Studies Review,volume 32, number 1 (January 2006).
The Secret Life of Puppets by Victoria Nelson, in The Journal of Religion, volume 84, number 1 (January, 2004).
Myths in Stone: Religious Dimensions of Washington, D.C. by Jeffery F. Meyer, in The Journal of Religion, volume 82, number 4 (October, 2002).
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, in The Journal of American History volume 87, number 3 (December, 2000).
The Americanization of Religious Minorities: Confronting the Constitutional Order by Eric Michael Mazur, in Journal of Religion and Society 2 (2000) [http://www.Creighton .edu/JRS/].
The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class by Dean MacCannell (Third Edition), in Journal of Religion and Society 2 (2000) [http://www.creighton.edu/JRS/].
San Fernando Cathedral: Soul of the City by Virgilio P. Elizondo and Timothy M. Matovina, in Koinonia: The Princeton Theological Seminary Graduate Forum XII.1 (Spring, 2000).
Twin City Tales: A Hermeneutical Reassessment of Tula and Chichén Itzá by Lindsay Jones, in Koinonia: The Princeton Theological Seminary Graduate Forum XI.1 (Spring, 1999).