Does it suffice to travel towards a religious destination to be regarded as pilgrims? Does it show that the travellers have undertaken a process of religious conversion and are seeking to express specifically Christian values? If we ask ourselves what a pilgrim is in the 21st century and look for the answer in the principal contemporary publications we find that the pilgrim is one who seeks a “divinising purification, through a sacred path that connects mankind with divinity”1. A pilgrim is very different from a tourist and even from a ‘religious tourist’, as stressed by Paolo Asolan in his review of the volume by Carlo Mazza in Lateranum, the journal of the Faculty of Sacred Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University. In that volume we find a concise but effective definition of religious tourism that expresses the difference between the two experiences. “In the varied and multiple forms of mobility, the typical phenomenon of religious tourism acquires a substantial and indicative significance. By allusion, it recalls the ancient and traditional practice of pilgrimage, of which it preserves profound traces, which reveal a historical, cultural and religious continuity of undoubted symbolic and practical significance in the experience of contemporary man”2. Pilgrimage and religious tourism3 are, in fact, profoundly different, both in their purpose and the ways they are practised. The pilgrim is one who is seeking the answers of faith and experiences travel as an opportunity for the encounter with God. By contrast, the religious tourist also enjoys choosing itineraries and encountering different cultures, while hoping to engage in a dialogue that favours growth and knowledge. But today the boundary between pilgrimage and religious tourism is increasingly narrow. People rarely go to Lourdes, Fatima, Santiago, Rome, S. Giovanni Rotondo, Assisi or Loreto, without living in the town and exploring its environs. They want to understand the culture of the places they visit and see the regions in which they are set and their natural beauties.

Are we all pilgrims? The cultural heritage and sustainable tourism

F. Albani
2019

Abstract

Does it suffice to travel towards a religious destination to be regarded as pilgrims? Does it show that the travellers have undertaken a process of religious conversion and are seeking to express specifically Christian values? If we ask ourselves what a pilgrim is in the 21st century and look for the answer in the principal contemporary publications we find that the pilgrim is one who seeks a “divinising purification, through a sacred path that connects mankind with divinity”1. A pilgrim is very different from a tourist and even from a ‘religious tourist’, as stressed by Paolo Asolan in his review of the volume by Carlo Mazza in Lateranum, the journal of the Faculty of Sacred Theology of the Pontifical Lateran University. In that volume we find a concise but effective definition of religious tourism that expresses the difference between the two experiences. “In the varied and multiple forms of mobility, the typical phenomenon of religious tourism acquires a substantial and indicative significance. By allusion, it recalls the ancient and traditional practice of pilgrimage, of which it preserves profound traces, which reveal a historical, cultural and religious continuity of undoubted symbolic and practical significance in the experience of contemporary man”2. Pilgrimage and religious tourism3 are, in fact, profoundly different, both in their purpose and the ways they are practised. The pilgrim is one who is seeking the answers of faith and experiences travel as an opportunity for the encounter with God. By contrast, the religious tourist also enjoys choosing itineraries and encountering different cultures, while hoping to engage in a dialogue that favours growth and knowledge. But today the boundary between pilgrimage and religious tourism is increasingly narrow. People rarely go to Lourdes, Fatima, Santiago, Rome, S. Giovanni Rotondo, Assisi or Loreto, without living in the town and exploring its environs. They want to understand the culture of the places they visit and see the regions in which they are set and their natural beauties.
CONSERVATION/CONSUMPTION. PRESERVING THE TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE VALUES
978-2-930301-67-9
Conservation, tangible cultural heritage, intangible values, sustainable tourism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1110622
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