In its most general form, pilgrimage is defined as visiting holy places. An Orthodox pilgrimage, accordingly, involves visiting places associated with Orthodox shrines.
The question of what is a religiously significant shrine is of interest to specialists today for reasons including scientific conscientiousness and sober marketing calculation: existing in the modern economy classification refers to the field of services in the field of recreation (more precisely, to the field of tourism). Even those leaders of the Orthodox Church for whom this kind of "equalization" of pilgrimage (which has a spiritual meaning) and tourism (which they consider outside the sphere of spiritual (church) life) is a completely unacceptable position, cannot distance themselves from the problem of financial and infrastructural support of pilgrimage travel. The “cultural meaning” of the tourist trip is contrasted with the “special” spirituality of the pilgrim. The sign of the latter is not only church-going, but also a special state of repentance. The willingness to “patiently and resignedly endure all hardships” is usually named among the important manifestations of the penitential mood. From the point of view of the organizers and participants of the Orthodox pilgrimage, it is designed to help achieve the goal of the pilgrimage journey - a meeting with a shrine through which God is revealed. True, for pilgrims of a certain rank, the issues of ensuring comfort are not discussed at all, which suggests that this sign is still not decisive.
So what is the spiritual meaning of the Orthodox pilgrimage? What are the signs of a person's approach to the realization of this meaning - on a long or close journey to shrines; are we talking about well-known or "locally revered" shrines, domestic or located abroad? How acceptable are the “aestheticization” and “culturologization” of pilgrimage trips, do they not “erode” their main goal - the worship of the shrine? And, finally, how justified, in light of the question of the meaning of pilgrimage worship, is the spatial movement itself as a "physical" embodiment of worship?
Experts state that recently, interest in visiting holy places (both for tourism purposes and as a pilgrimage itself) has increased markedly. Hence, a purely technical problem arose related to the formation of the target audience - the composition of those groups that make this or that journey. Even if there is a so-called "individual tour", the organizers of the trip need to know the client's expectations - whether he is ready for everyday and other difficulties to the extent that an ordinary pilgrim is ready for them; whether he will agree to the proposed program in the format in which a person who is consciously going on a pilgrimage will withstand it, etc. It is noteworthy that even the "average" group pilgrimage program, for example, visiting the Holy Land, today contains elements of tourist services, such as like "visiting a restaurant on the Sea of Galilee with eating" the fish of the Apostle Andrew "", etc.
In the light of what has been said, it is of fundamental importance to diversify such terms as "historical relic", "shrine", "holy place", "religious ritual", "secular ritual", "rite" "travel", " tourism "," religious tourism "," secular "pilgrimage" "," religious pilgrimage ". This issue was covered in detail in the recently completed complex cultural research by S. Zhitenev, who at one time headed the Pilgrimage Center of the Russian Orthodox Church [Zhitenev 2010: 19-23, 29, 37-38, 110, 145, 150].
I would like to emphasize that the convergence of various types of travel in the 20th - early 21st centuries. [Lebedeva 2008: 75-122], their desire in the essential limit to the format of pilgrimage can be easily explained from that “hunger” for the sense-forming principle against the background of the monotonous (and therefore extremely tiresome) routine of high-tech everyday life experienced by the global society. The “collection of meaning” carried out in pre-secular culture by sacral centers in modern megalopolises with their overloaded psychological rhythms of life is noticeably depleted [Robinov 2011: 36, 40-41]. Hence - the desire to "break out of the vicious circle." Travel (any, including pilgrimage) in this case is the best way out of the situation.
The spiritual component of the annual life cycle, in traditional agricultural and pastoralist societies, periodically "taking" people outside this circle through a holiday - a celebration that has a sacred meaning, at the same time closed itself on the "organization of semantic security" of presence person in the world. "Free" time was allocated for the holiday not by accident: the state of spiritual uplift requires a certain freedom; including "psychologically free" time. The many thousands of years of practice of "Shabbat", like Sunday, a day of "rest from work" - but not a rest from care, is an additional proof of this. On the other hand, the “empty” time of “post-relaxation”, which does not give either full-fledged relaxation as such, or festive “food for the soul” is a scourge of the modern urbanized community, which often seeks to fill the formed spiritual “holes” with all sorts of surrogates, from spending time with pseudo-literary reading and "boxes" TV and PC - before the use of alcohol and psychedelic drugs.
For those who continue the tradition of eating spiritual food, tested for centuries, the vast spaces of communication networks of modern large cities often make the journey to the temple itself a kind of pilgrimage. Recall: a temple in any confession is always associated with a shrine, i.e. with what is associated with the recognition of supernatural value. Such "overvalue", on the one hand, belongs to the area of "pure meanings", meaning. On the other hand, it has, as a rule, a completely visible material embodiment (for example, the central part of the altar in an Orthodox church - the antimension - contains a particle of the relics of the saint). This is also the case when it comes to denominations, where the sacred object is not a sacred physical object, but a kind of objectification of abstract entities, say, ideas or texts. For example, for Protestant evangelicals, the sacred overvalue is the text of Holy Scripture, the reading of which can take place not only in a prayer house, but also at the home of one of the community members. For the followers of new religious movements (NRMs), the natural process itself often becomes a shrine - filled, however, with a supernatural meaning, as in the case of the followers of the Anastasia organization, who worship nature and procreation. Special shrines existed (and still exist) in the context of pagan rituals of the pre-temple period, which suggests - taking into account the well-known facts of “borrowing” of holy places, including temples, by religions that historically replaced each other on a given territory - that sacralization concerns, first of all, the place; structures are a conditionally secondary component of this process. Thus, the sacred groves, once dedicated to the heroes of ancient Greece, left a memory of themselves in the name "Academy". But the cult action associated with planting a sacred grove organically connects people with each other through worshiping the spirit of the departed hero, who “breaks through” to them through the soil around his burial place, and the trees growing from it. Today, such practices have survived, for example, in the shamanism of Buryatia, with its cult of sacred groves - the cemeteries of shamans, where the "spirits of ancestors" live. A similar place of veneration exists in the religion of the Karaites - this is the Iosaphat Valley near Chufut-Kale, which is an ancient cemetery, overgrown in the 19th century. tall trees [Glagolev 1994: 115].
Historical monuments, in turn, are the “children” of the secular culture of the New Age. The memory of the personalities (“heroes”), whose fates are connected with them, is somewhat erased and is determined for the lion's share of the tourist flow by the “glory” (more precisely, “untwisted”) of a particular character in the media (and other informational) space. It is clear that people of different age, professional, socio-economic, etc. will have their "heroes". layers; a "sexual tourist" or a religious scholar will have reasons to visit this or that country.
So, the study of the relationship between the concepts of "religious tourism" and "religious pilgrimage" is of great theoretical importance, primarily in the light of the development and planning of cultural models for the development of this area of business. The concept of "religious tourism", adopted mainly in Western literature (especially among scholars from countries whose fates were historically associated with Protestantism), is intended, in my opinion, to expand the potential audience of visitors to holy places at the expense of people who are not ready for pilgrimage, but with this not experiencing idiosyncrasy from religion as such. Sometimes they are interested in all religions at once, as in the case of the aforementioned religious scholar - let's call this interest "general scientific" or, if you like, "general cultural". For the traditions of Russian pilgrimage culture, however, this formulation sounds somewhat odious - if this is tourism, then why should it be religious? After all, the inclusion of visits to sacred sites in the tour does not automatically make their inspection an occupation that has a proper religious meaning.
Today, representatives of various scientific schools are conducting a serious discussion about how appropriate it is to combine the concepts of "religious tourism" and "religious pilgrimage" into a single term related to the field of tourism business. Many of them, pretending to be "non-confessional objectivity", in fact find themselves dependent on confessional-oriented ideologemes. In particular, there is a dependence of the position of German authors (such as Doctor of Philosophy O. Kurilo, University of Viadrina, - author's archive) on the confessional model of the Lutheran Church, which advocates the exclusive use of the term "tourism" to denote any activity related to travel (in including travel to holy places for religious purposes). A similar attitude is also characteristic of the Office of Pastoral Care for Tourism, Sports and Recreation of the Italian Episcopal Conference [Zhitenev 2010: 78] and the World Tourism Organization [Zhitenev 2010: 103-105]. It should be noted that such an attempt at an “impartial” analysis of the goals and reasons characteristic of religiously motivated travel in the 20th and 21st centuries reduces them exclusively to a secular model of interpretation, which excludes from consideration a large complex of phenomena and processes.
Of course, the absolutization of the "binding" of pilgrimage exclusively to the Orthodox faith, the statement that this topic is "closed" for representatives of other confessions of Christianity and other religious denominations is incorrect. Criticism from the Orthodox authors of the Catholic pilgrimage (“pilgrims”) as “economically dependent” (you become a pilgrim, and God will “write off” part of your sins for this) also seems biased. Indeed, such a practice has been radically destroyed by Catholicism itself since the time of its criticism by Martin Luther. Today, from my point of view, it would be more appropriate to talk about the danger of an "economic" interpretation of the Orthodox religious pilgrimage, which has become one of the major sectors of the "Orthodox economy."
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