Secular pilgrimages in a post-secular world?

Experiential journeys and hope for the future

Authored by: Chadwick Co Sy Su

The Routledge Handbook of Religious and Spiritual Tourism

Print publication date:  July  2021
Online publication date:  July  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367191955
eBook ISBN: 9780429201011
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses the phenomenon of secular pilgrimages. In particular, I focus here on areas of agreement, disagreement, and subsequent convergence in the literature and individual scholarship regarding religious and secular pilgrimage. In doing so, I ask several questions. First, is “secular pilgrimage” a worthwhile label to be used for the long term? Second, what qualifies and does not qualify as secular pilgrimage? Third, what directions can be taken to ensure that pilgrimage sites, whether religious or secular ones, remain sustainable? Fourth, what possibilities exist for the development of countries and sites both in the Global North and Global South as pilgrimage locales? Fifth, how can religious privilege be replaced with a sense of shared humanity? Several assertions and recommendations will be made for the reader to consider.

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