• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Pilgrimage

  • By: Thomas O'Loughlin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Throughout recorded history, the pilgrimage has been an important practice in most of the world's religions. It consists of an individual or a group leaving home and traveling to a sacred site that has a spiritual magnetism within their belief system. Pilgrims encounter both the core of the religion and their fellow believers in a new and enhanced way, before returning home somehow transformed by their journey. Such a site can be a unique center of divine presence (e.g., the Ka‘bah in Mecca [Makkah]), a place that is the group's “most precious possession” (e.g., the Western Wall, in Jerusalem, of the temple destroyed in AD 70, for Jews), a place linked with primordial history (e.g., Varanasi [Benares] on the Ganges, in Uttar Pradesh, India), the ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles