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Pilgrimage: A Very Short Introduction

Ian Reader

April 2015

ISBN: 9780198718222

144 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

Pilgrimage is found in most religious cultures, from Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and India, to France, Spain, and Japan. In this Very Short Introduction Ian Reader explores the key themes of pilgrimage throughout the ages, considering its various forms and its identity as a 'spiritual tourism' industry, to explain why it has remained so popular.

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Description

Pilgrimage is found in most religious cultures, from Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and India, to France, Spain, and Japan. In this Very Short Introduction Ian Reader explores the key themes of pilgrimage throughout the ages, considering its various forms and its identity as a 'spiritual tourism' industry, to explain why it has remained so popular.

  • Examines the key themes of pilgrimage, through history and in the present
  • Includes examples from around the world, with sites from Japan, India, Europe, the US, the Middle East
  • Considers the importance of both religious and secular pilgrimage
  • Considers its role as 'spiritual tourism' as well as the commercial aspects of pilgrimage, including souvenirs
  • Explores how international and economic developments have influenced pilgrimage
  • Part of the bestselling Very Short Introductions series - over seven million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

Ian Reader, Professor Emeritus, University of Manchester

Ian Reader is Professor Emeritus, University of Manchester. He has held several previous posts at other universities, including the University of Lancaster, UK, the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies, Denmark, the University of Hawaii, USA, and Kansai Gaidai University, Japan. He has published several books and numerous articles on Japanese religious dynamics and practices, including Making Pilgrimages: Meaning and Practice in Shikoku (University of Hawaii Press, 2005), Pilgrimage in the Marketplace (Routledge, 2013), an edited volume Pilgrimage in the Japanese Tradition (with Paul L. Swanson, as a special edition of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 1997), and several journal articles and book chapters.

Table of Contents

    1:Introduction: the multiple forms of pilgrimage
    2:Examining pilgrimage: forms, types, and interpretations
    3:Pilgrimages worldwide: a global and historical outline
    4:Motives and means: Asceticism and the package tour
    5:Tourism, entertainment, relics, and souvenirs
    6:Modern developments, secular sites, and the reshaping of pilgrimage
    7:Conclusion: an ever-changing phenomenon
    Further reading
    Index

Reviews

"a stimulating introduction to an important feature of all religions." - Church of England Newspaper

"The author has successfully written a little book on a much needed topic, especially for urban dwellers nowadays. This is a high recommended 'very short' introduction to the subject." - Josaphat C. Tam, The Expository Times