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Modern Pilgrimage and Faith

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image of Journal of Empirical Theology

In the eighties a growing interest for popular religious phenomena like pilgrimage was noticeable. This article is aimed at the theological valuation of pilgrimage. This is done by means of the results of an empirical research carried out on Dutch pilgrims visiting Lourdes. The research shows that the pilgrims are close to the church and to religion. The motives to go on a pilgrimage differ for older and younger pilgrims. The elders go on the basis of especially religious motives (seeking help and support and a deepening of faith). The youths go on the basis of especially recreative motive and to meet other pilgrims. The effects are equal for both groups. The physical well-being does not improve, but the psychological well-being does show a slight improvement.


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