Six hundred ninety-eight years have passed since Guilhem Bélibaste, the last known Perfect or Albigensian was burned at stake in Villerouge-Termenès. His execution, in 1321, ended the official presence of the Cathars – who preferred to call themselves Good-Men and Good-Women- in the South of France. The Catholic Church, feeling that the influence of this alleged heretic movement threatened its power, started procedures around 1147 to at first control the Cathars peacefully, but failing to do so, later felt it had to destroy them, by means of crusades and the Inquisition.
For many people, the intangible and tangible remains of Catharism are still part of their cultural and religious memory. Recently, a revival of the Cathar movement has emerged, resulting in religious tourism products, such as trails and pilgrimages. In parallel, some groups appear to be attracted to the alternative teaching which claim a Cathar legacy.
This article intends to investigate those pilgrimages and assesses the secular or religious motivations of the participants. It also examines whether these aspects are creating a new trend, reviving and strengthening interest in the once forbidden religion or resurrecting Catharism presence in the 21st century, an era in which many people are desperately looking for a sense of meaning.
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"Resurrection of a Heretic Religion Through Pilgrimage: the Cathar Case Study,"
International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijrtp/vol8/iss1/8