Fourpilgrimage and Shrines

Robert A. Scott

in Miracle Cures

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262751
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520946200 | DOI:
Fourpilgrimage and Shrines

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This chapter explains why people chose to go on pilgrimage and what such journeys entailed. Pilgrimage is hardly unique to Christianity. Other scholars—including students of religion, history, archaeology, and spirituality—have written about it far more incisively. By and large, however, they are mainly concerned with the spiritual quest. The chapter's interest in the topic of pilgrimage is narrower. Though, of necessity, it includes aspects of spiritual quests, it focuses primarily on the beliefs and practices associated with appealing to saints for relief from illness. People joined pilgrimage for all sorts of reasons, illness being only one of them. Most, including the sick, took to the road as a way of expressing devotion to their faith. Some went involuntarily, having been ordered to make a pilgrimage by their bishop as a penance for their sins.

Keywords: pilgrimage; journeys; Christianity; religion; spiritual quests; beliefs; practices; saints; illness; penance

Chapter.  10026 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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