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''Places of pilgrimage tend to be very controversial theses days. This is bound to reduce the value of a pilgrimage for a Christian.'' Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you have considered more than one point of view.

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Introduction

R.E. Coursework Question 3 ''Places of pilgrimage tend to be very controversial theses days. This is bound to reduce the value of a pilgrimage for a Christian.'' Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer, showing that you have considered more than one point of view. Many Christians would disagree with this statement and there are a number of reasons why. One reason why some Christians believe that commercialism can be a good thing is because it can help people enjoy their pilgrimage. Personal enjoyment is bound to increase the value of a pilgrimage as if enjoy your experience then you will learn more and it would be easier to reach God. It can also be argued that commercialism at a place of pilgrimage can help the people who work there, for example nuns, to make a living. The actual sites of pilgrimage also need financial support to give access for the disabled as well as many other improvements. ...read more.

Middle

It is also argued that commercialism is never allowed to enter the special areas at a pilgrimage site. This means that it does not affect the value of a Christians pilgrimage as where the pilgrim prays and contemplates Jesus or Mary for example, commercialism is not present. Commercialism can also help pilgrims take time out from the pilgrimage site and reflect. Most Christians would agree that there is nothing wrong with relaxing in bars or looking in shops during your visit to take a break. Many Christians would however argue that yes, commercialism does reduce the value of a Christian pilgrimage. A major reason why is that it is believed that commercialism distracts pilgrims from the main purpose. Pilgrims could spend all their time in shops and other places of interest without really contemplating their pilgrimage or even praying, reducing the value of the pilgrimage. Some Christians even look to the bible to show how commercialism at religious sites is wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

This could cause the different pilgrims to have opposing views causing a lacking sense of unity therefore decreasing the value of the pilgrimage for a Christian. I believe that arguments for both points of view are valid and I can understand the reasons people believe them. Personally, I think that the question is true, but only to a certain extent. I do not believe that some shops outside the main religious area would make the pilgrimage any less valid for a dedicated Christian. In my view the value of a pilgrimage is far more up to the pilgrim rather that their surroundings. I think that to make your pilgrimage meaningful and have value it is up to you entirely. I can also recognise the downfalls of commercialism, for example making the experience tacky or distracting. However I also believe that the positives definitely out way this, making the site more open to the ill and children for example. Overall I believe that commercialism can decrease the value of pilgrimage top a Christian however I have also found that it can also increase the value of a pilgrimage. ...read more.

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