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(p. 208) Jerusalem Syndrome and Paris Syndrome: Two Extraordinary Disorders 

(p. 208) Jerusalem Syndrome and Paris Syndrome: Two Extraordinary Disorders
Chapter:
(p. 208) Jerusalem Syndrome and Paris Syndrome: Two Extraordinary Disorders
Author(s):

Eliezer Witztum

and Moshe Kalian

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190245863.003.0015
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date: 04 April 2020

The affinity of people to a specific and meaningful geographical area is a well-known human behavioral phenomenon. Some scholars labeled this complex mental relationship with a significant space as “psychogeography.” In “Jerusalem syndrome” pilgrims and tourists may consider themselves to be biblical or messianic figures, act accordingly and utilize the Holy city as the arena where they act out their “mission.” “Paris syndrome” is a form of culture-shock observed primarily in Japanese tourists visiting Paris for the first time. Both are relatively rare phenomena. This chapter briefly describes the historical background and the cultural context underlying the narratives of the afflicted individuals. Research reveals that the vast majority of afflicted pilgrims suffered from severe mental problems prior to their arrival in the Holy City, and that the syndrome reflects their particular idiom of distress.

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