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'Places of pilgrimage tend to be very commercialised these days. Is this bound to reduce the value of the pilgrimage for the Christian? Do you agree? Evaluate.

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Introduction

Our assigned Coursework Question is: 'Places of pilgrimage tend to be very commercialised these days. Is this bound to reduce the value of the pilgrimage for the Christian? Do you agree? Evaluate' It is clearly evident that Commercialism, which now has engulfed most places of pilgrimage, has brought with it some advantageous and some disadvantageous factors. Throughout this essay I will discuss both the beneficial points, which commercialisation has brought to places of pilgrimage, and also the reasons why too much commercialisation can in some cases be detrimental to the religious significance of a visiting pilgrim. Firstly I will examine the favourable factors of commercialisation that are advantageous to places of pilgrimage. It may be said that visiting a place of pilgrimage would be more appealing to the younger generation if it were to be busy and lively. This is important because there is a need for more worship to be aimed at younger people, for the reason that it is they whom are the future and will pass on their views of religious beliefs to a new generation. ...read more.

Middle

Souvenirs can be readily purchased as mementoes of pilgrimage. Also, these can be taken home for others to share in the experience. The sharing of your experience can also be interpreted as the sharing of your faith. More commercialism means more profits. These takings can be beneficial. The livelihoods of the people involved are important, they may be supporting a family with the income they receive from their business, and it would seem slightly unchristian to forbid them from trading and preventing them from making profit. Due to commercialism pilgrimages are more accessible, if they are, for example, advertised in holiday brochures the trip will cost less so then it may be more affordable for a greater number of pilgrims to go. I will now discuss the negative points of commercialisation, which have proved themselves to be disadvantageous as regards to making the area a spiritual place where pilgrims can visit and reflect on their faith. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is by no means appropriate for spiritual reflection and progression. It becomes very difficult to feel God's presence. Private prayer, being alone with God becomes unattainable. By examining all of the preceding factors, I have concluded that Commercialisation is a dire thing that has scared most of our few places of pilgrimage. Despite the obvious benefits of commercialisation i.e. the profit that can be ascertained from it, I think that the influence of commercialisation has ruined most of our sacred, holy places of worship. The lesson that has been taught in the New Testament about respecting holy places i.e. not trading on them has been clearly disregarded. I think that keeping commercialisation out of places of pilgrimage is unlikely to happen in the near future, however I would like to see that the influence of commercialisation is kept to a minimum. Because the quiet dignity that has remained in these areas for hundreds of years is slowly being offended by local merchants with the desire to exploit the beliefs of pilgrims, which have existed for generations. Mattthew Storey Page 1 Pilgrimage Q3 ...read more.

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