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Pilgrimage and Religion: Pilgrim Religiosity on the Ways of St. James

Institute of Sociology, FernUniversität in Hagen, 58084 Hagen, Germany
Academic Editors: Mariano P. Barbato and Denise Starkey
Religions 2021, 12(3), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030167
Received: 12 February 2021 / Revised: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 2 March 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pilgrimage and Religious Mobilization in Europe)
Pilgrimages on the Ways of St. James are becoming increasingly popular, so the number of pilgrims registered in Santiago de Compostela has been rising continuously for several decades. The large number of pilgrims is accompanied by a variety of motives for a contemporary pilgrimage, whereby religion is only rarely mentioned explicitly. While pilgrimage was originally a purely religious practice, the connection between pilgrimage and religion is less clear nowadays. Therefore, this paper examines whether and in which way religion shows itself in the context of contemporary pilgrimages on the Ways of St. James. For this purpose, 30 in-depth biographical interviews with pilgrims are analyzed from a sociological perspective on religion by using a qualitative content analysis. This analysis reveals that religion is manifested in many ways in the context of contemporary pilgrimages, whereby seven forms of pilgrim religiosity can be distinguished. They have in common that pilgrims shape their pilgrim religiosity individually and self-determined, but in doing so they rely on traditional and institutional forms of religion. Today’s pilgrim religiosity can therefore be understood as an extra-ordinary form of lived religion, whose popularity may be explained by a specific interrelation of individual shaping and institutional assurance of evidence. View Full-Text
Keywords: pilgrimage; Way of St. James; religion; lived religion pilgrimage; Way of St. James; religion; lived religion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Heiser, P. Pilgrimage and Religion: Pilgrim Religiosity on the Ways of St. James. Religions 2021, 12, 167. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030167

AMA Style

Heiser P. Pilgrimage and Religion: Pilgrim Religiosity on the Ways of St. James. Religions. 2021; 12(3):167. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030167

Chicago/Turabian Style

Heiser, Patrick. 2021. "Pilgrimage and Religion: Pilgrim Religiosity on the Ways of St. James" Religions 12, no. 3: 167. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12030167

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