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Christian Pilgrimage - Canterbury and Lourdes

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Introduction

ANGELA BENTLEY PILGRIMAGE 1a State the names of two places of Christian Pilgrimage. There are numerous places of spiritual significance where some Christians make pilgrimages to, these could include, Canterbury Cathedral in England, and Lourdes in France. 1b Explain why these two places are important for Christians. These two places are important for Christians because of the events that are said to have taken place there. Ever since the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in the Cathedral in 1170, Canterbury has attracted thousands of pilgrims. The Cathedral is a holy place of pilgrimage, founded by St Augustine for the worship of Almighty God and the honour of Christ our Saviour. Although the town of Lourdes has just 17000 inhabitants, 5 million visitors go there each year. ...read more.

Middle

In Christianity pilgrimage is not compulsory as it is in other religions such as Buddism. Many Christians would not even consider undertaking an act of pilgrimage. There are a number of life changing experiences that going on a pilgrimage could prompt many of which are the main messages of Christianity anyway, but it is felt that undertaking a pilgrimage makes the purpose of these teachings clearer. Many of these teachings relate to family life and the treatment of others in a Christian manner, including, that God is a loving father of his people, that God will forgive people and so should Christians etc. For many a pilgrimage is a wholly spiritual experience that promotes their general Christian well being. 3. 'Pilgrimage is a selfish waste of time and money' Do you agree? ...read more.

Conclusion

A Christian viewpoint would include the spiritual side of the argument and comment on issues such as getting closer to one's faith through pilgrimage. But the opinion of many deeply religious Christians could also be, slightly cynical, and also a view that this author shares. Pilgrimage is a selfish act. The money spent on travelling to a place of religious significance would be better spent on alleviating some of the suffering in this world, eg, helping the starving etc, The time that could appear to be wasted could also be better employed in a number of worthwhile causes, eg, helping to raise money for Christian causes, spending time with someone who is troubled or merely reaching out to one or two people who are friendless. The possibilities are endless, but making time for the benefit of others has got to be a more worthwhile exercise than selfishly exploring one's own religion. ...read more.

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