Pilgrimage growth in the modern world: Meanings and implications

Ian Reader

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article examines the contemporary growth of pilgrimages. Examples are provided from variety of traditions and parts of the world, from Japan to Europe, with particular attention paid to the Shikoku and Santiago de Compostela pilgrimages that have experienced extensive growth in recent years. It also draws attention to the growing number of new pilgrimage sites that are not associated with any specific religious traditions or that have 'New Age' associations. While some of the factors accounting for this growth involve continuities from past eras, there are also specifically modern factors. Also considered in this article is how some modern pilgrims appear to repudiate organised religion even while visiting sites normally associated with established religious traditions. Rather than implying some form of religious revival, contemporary pilgrimage growth may, then, be seen as evidence of an increasing turn away from religion as an organised entity. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)210-229
    Number of pages19
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


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