Interpretation of hospitality across religions

Ksenia Kirillova, Alsu Gilmetdinova, Xinran Lehto

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Given the inter-religious locus of modern tourism and importance of host-guest interaction, current study explores how religion is involved in constructing hosts' understanding of hospitality and hospitable behavior in private, public, and commercial settings. Utilizing hermeneutic phenomenology as a methodological framework, we resorted to in-depth interviews with 30 participants representing Buddhist, Christian and Muslim faiths and did document analysis of respective holy texts. Regardless of religious beliefs, hosts in this study understand hospitality first as their relations to their own communities and only then as associations with outsiders. This communal understanding of hospitality is supported by religious teachings. Findings reveal that interpretation of hospitality and hospitable behavior in private and public domains vary according to religious values while commercial hospitality, somewhat influenced by religion, is mostly understood as a money-making venture. The results are discussed in respect to definitional characteristics of hospitality, the host-guest paradigm, and global processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Definition
  • Guest
  • Hermeneutic phenomenology
  • Hospitality
  • Host
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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