Rise of Pilgrims on the Camino to Santiago: Sign of Change or Religious Revival?
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- Oviedo, L., de Courcier, S. & Farias, M. Rev Relig Res (2014) 56: 433. doi:10.1007/s13644-013-0131-4
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There is a renewed interest amongst scholars in the practice of pilgrimage. Over the past two decades, pilgrim numbers have risen significantly, whilst forms of “implicit” or “alternative” spirituality have gained visibility and now coexist with organised religions, sometimes sharing the same ritualistic space. There is probably no better place to look at the coexistence of old and new forms of ritual expression than in the Camino to Santiago. To better understand the meanings attributed to this pilgrimage, we undertook a survey with over 470 pilgrims at various locations along the Camino. The findings confirm that individuals with various, often contrasting, motivations and expectations walk side by side on this pilgrimage route. We suggest that the results cannot be read simplistically as either confirming a “post-secularisation” trend or a religious revival.