Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Cognition of Hardship Experience in Himalayan Pilgrimage

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Numen

This article discusses experiences of hardship during Hindu pilgrimages in the Nepalese and Tibetan Himalayas. Pilgrims have to reach their goal by undertaking a journey. The pilgrimage exposes pilgrims to a variety of experiences. The journey’s religious experiences are of significance for the ritual arrangements of the pilgrimage. Cognitive theories and the selectionist approach of “cultural epidemiology” are adopted to offer explanations for the formation of religious beliefs and values associated with travelling experience, hardship and danger during pilgrimage. Specifically, it is argued that the experience of salient emotional events such as hardship are likely to draw upon evolved social exchange intuitions that impose a selective pressure in the cultural formation and recurrence of beliefs regarding religious merits in pilgrimage. It is further argued that social exchange intuitions are a likely source of beliefs in boons and merits, since pilgrimage is already conceptualised as an interaction with “supernatural agents.” These accounts modify and elaborate former suggestions regarding hardship and sacrificial notions in pilgrimage studies. Thus the presented arguments may be relevant to understanding some of the features of pilgrimage that also seem to recur cross-culturally.

Affiliations: 1: Social Anthropology, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg Konstepidemins väg 2, P. O. Box 700, SE 405 30 Gothenburg Sweden, Email:


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Numen — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation