Hospitality refers to the relationship between a guest and a host,
wherein the host receives the guest with goodwill, including the
reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Louis,
chevalier de Jaucourt describes hospitality in the Encyclopédie as
the virtue of a great soul that cares for the whole universe through
the ties of humanity.
Hospitality ethics is a discipline that studies this usage of
2 Historical practice
3 Global concepts
3.1 Ancient Greece
India and Nepal
3.6 Celtic cultures
4 Current usage
4.1 Anthropology of hospitality
5 See also
7 Further reading
Derives from the Latin hospes, meaning "host", "guest", or
"stranger". Hospes is formed from hostis, which means "stranger" or
"enemy" (the latter being where terms like "hostile" derive). By
metonymy the Latin word 'Hospital' means a guest-chamber, guest's
lodging, an inn. Hospes is thus the root for the English words host
(where the p was dropped for convenience of pronunciation),
hospitality, hospice, hostel and hotel.
In ancient cultures hospitality involved welcoming the stranger and
offering him food, shelter, and safety.
In Ancient Greece, hospitality was a right, with the host being
expected to make sure the needs of his guests were met. The ancient
Greek term xenia, or theoxenia when a god was involved, expressed this
ritualized guest-friendship relation. In Greek society a person's
ability to abide by the laws of hospitality determined nobility and
social standing. The Stoics regarded hospitality as a duty inspired by
India and Nepal
Nepal hospitality is based on the principle Atithi Devo
Bhava, meaning "the guest is God". This principle is shown in a number
of stories where a guest is revealed to be a god who rewards the
provider of hospitality. From this stems the Indian or
of graciousness towards guests at home and in all social situations.
The Tirukkuṛaḷ, an ancient Indian work on ethics and morality,
explains the ethics of hospitality through its verses 81 through 90,
dedicating a separate chapter on it (Chapter 9).
Mosaic at San Vitale, Ravenna,
Abraham and the angels, pre-547
Judaism praises hospitality to strangers and guests based largely on
the examples of
Abraham and Lot in the
Book of Genesis
Book of Genesis (Genesis
18:1–8 and 19:1–8). In Hebrew, the practice is called hachnasat
orchim, or "welcoming guests". Besides other expectations, hosts are
expected to provide nourishment, comfort, and entertainment for their
guests, and at the end of the visit, hosts customarily escort
their guests out of their home, wishing them a safe journey.
In Christianity, hospitality is a virtue which is a reminder of
sympathy for strangers and a rule to welcome visitors. This is a
virtue found in the Old Testament, with, for example, the custom of
the foot washing of visitors or the kiss of peace. It was
Jesus in the New Testament. Indeed,
Jesus said that those
who had welcomed a stranger had welcomed him. Some Western
countries have developed a host culture for immigrants, based on the
One of the main principles of
Pashtunwali is Melmastia. This is the
display of hospitality and profound respect to all visitors
(regardless of race, religion, national affiliation or economic
status) without any hope of remuneration or favour.
Pashtuns will go
to great lengths to show their hospitality.
Celtic societies also valued the concept of hospitality, especially in
terms of protection. A host who granted a person's request for refuge
was expected not only to provide food and shelter for his/her guest,
but to make sure they did not come to harm while under their care.
In the West today hospitality is rarely a matter of protection and
survival and is more associated with etiquette and entertainment.
However, it still involves showing respect for one's guests, providing
for their needs, and treating them as equals. Cultures and subcultures
vary in the extent to which one is expected to show hospitality to
strangers, as opposed to personal friends or members of one's ingroup.
Anthropology of hospitality
Jacques Derrida offers a model to understand hospitality that divides
unconditional hospitality from conditional hospitality. Over the
centuries, philosophers have devoted considerable attention to the
problem of hospitality. However, hospitality offers a paradoxical
situation (like language) since inclusion of those who are welcomed in
the sacred law of hospitality implies others will be rejected. Julia
Kristeva (1991) alerts readers to the dangers of “perverse
hospitality”, which consists of taking advantage of the
vulnerability of aliens to dispossess them.
Hospitality serves to
reduce the tension in the process of host-guest encounters, producing
a liminal zone that combines curiosity about others and fear of
strangers. In general terms, the meaning of hospitality centres on
the belief that strangers should be assisted and protected while
traveling. However, not all voices are in agreement with this
Anthony Pagden describes how the concept of
hospitality was historically manipulated to legitimate the conquest of
Americas by imposing the right of free transit, which was conducive to
the formation of the modern nation-state. This suggests that
hospitality is a political institution which can be ideologically
deformed to oppress others.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Hospitality
Look up hospitality in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Hospitality management studies
Hospitality services, modern-day hospitality networks
Reciprocity (social psychology)
Reciprocity (cultural anthropology)
This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain
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^ Wade, William Cecil (1898). The Symbolism of Heraldry. London: G.
Redway. pp. 31, 67.
^ Lower, Mark Anthony (1845). The Curiosities of Heraldry. London:
J.R. Smith. p. 73.
^ Guillim, John. "A Display of Heraldry" 1724
^ a b Jaucourt, Louis, chevalier de. "Hospitality." The Encyclopedia
of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project.
Translated by Sophie Bourgault. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing,
University of Michigan Library, 2013. Web. [fill in today's date in
the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets].
<http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0002.761>. Trans. of
"Hospitalité," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences,
des arts et des métiers, vol. 8. Paris, 1765.
^ C. Lewis, Elementary Latin Dictionary (Oxford Univ. Press, 2000), p.
^ Cassell's Latin Dictionary, revised by Marchant, J & Charles J.,
^ Pohl, Christine D., Making Room: Recovering
Hospitality as a
Christian Tradition, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999
Tirukkuṛaḷ Archived 2014-12-16 at the Wayback Machine. verses
^ Pope, GU (1886). Thirukkural English Translation and Commentary
(PDF). W.H. Allen, & Co. p. 160.
^ Kagan, Yisrael Meir (1888). Ahavath chesed : the Love of
Kindness (2nd, rev. ed.). Warsaw: Feldheim. p. 284.
^ Babylonian Talmud Sotah, 46B
^ Alain Montandon, L'hospitalité au XVIIIe siècle, Presses
Universitaires Blaise Pascal, France, 2000, p. 12
^ Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Baker
Academic, USA, 2001, p. 458
^ Lawrence Cunningham, Keith J. Egan, Christian Spirituality: Themes
from the Tradition, Paulist Press, USA, 1996, p. 196
^ Gideon Baker,
Hospitality and World Politics, Springer, UK, 2013, p.
^ J. Olaf Kleist, Irial Glynn, History, Memory and Migration:
Perceptions of the Past and the Politics of Incorporation, Palgrave
Macmillan, USA, 2012, p. 113
^ Banting, Erinn (2003). Afghanistan the People. Crabtree Publishing
Company. p. 14. ISBN 0-7787-9335-4. Retrieved
^ Schultheis, Rob (2008). Hunting Bin Laden: How Al-Qaeda Is Winning
the War on Terror. New York: Skyhorse. p. 14.
^ Hussain, Rizwan (2005). Pakistan and the Emergence of Islamic
Militancy in Afghanistan. Aldershot: Ashgate. p. 221.
^ Charles MacKinnon, Scottish Highlanders (1984, Barnes & Noble
Books); page 76
^ Derrida, J. (2000). “Hospitality”. Angelaki: Journal of
Theoretical Humanities,5(3), 3-18.
^ Kristeva, J. (1991). Extranjeros para nosotros mismos, trad. de X.
Gispert, Barcelona, Plaza & Janes Editores (Hombre y Sociedad).
^ Graburn, N. H. (1983). “The anthropology of tourism”. Annals of
tourism research, 10(1), 9-33.
^ Lashley, C. (1995). Towards an understanding of employee empowerment
in hospitality services. International Journal of Contemporary
Hospitality Management, 7(1), 27-32.
^ Pagden, A. (1995). Lords of all the worlds: ideologies of empire in
Spain, Britain and France c. 1500-c. 1850. Yale University Press.
Danny Meyer (2006) Setting the Table : The Transforming Power of
Hospitality in Business
Christine Jaszay (2006). Ethical Decision-Making in the Hospitality
Karen Lieberman & Bruce Nissen (2006).
Ethics in the Hospitality
And Tourism Industry
Rosaleen Duffy and Mick Smith. The
Ethics of Tourism Development
Conrad Lashley and Alison Morrison. In Search of Hospitality
Hospitality: A Social Lens by Conrad Lashley and Alison Morrison
The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg
Customer Service and the Luxury Guest by Paul Ruffino
Fustel de Coulanges. The Ancient City: Religion, Laws, and
Institutions of Greece and Rome
Hospitality in Antiquity: Livy's Concept of Its Humanizing
Jacques Derrida (2000). Of Hospitality. Trans. Rachel Bowlby.
Stanford: Stanford University Press.
James A. W. Heffernan (2014).
Hospitality and Treachery in Western
Literature. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Steve Reece (1993). The Stranger's Welcome: Oral Theory and the
Aesthetics of the Homeric
Hospitality Scene. Ann Arbor: The University
of Michigan Press.
Mireille Rosello (2001). Postcolonial Hospitality. The Immigrant as
Guest. Stanford University Press.
Clifford J. Routes (1999). Travel and Translation in the Late
Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
John B. Switzer (2007). "Hospitality" in Encyclopedia of Love in World
Religions. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Immanuel Velikovsky (1982). Mankind in Amnesia. Garden City, New York:
Christian Hänggi (2009).
Hospitality in the Age of Media
Representation. New York/Dresden: Atropos Press.
Thomas Claviez, ed. (2013). The Conditions of Hospitality: Ethics,
Politics, and Aesthetics on the Threshold of the Possible. Bronx: