Spirituality in Silence and Nature: Motivations, Experiences, and Impressions among Swedish Pilgrims

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Pilgrimages arranged by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden are a relatively new, but growing phenomenon. Th is study examines Swedish pilgrims’ background, motivations, and experiences. Most pilgrims are highly educated, middle-aged persons with a strong relation to the church. However, a group of religiously interested persons with weaker bonds with the church was also identifi ed. Th e pilgrims uphold a multitude of motivations both on an individual as well as on a group level. The most common motivation is a longing for nature, but three different motivation groups were identified: a leisure group, a spiritual–religious group, and an
escape group. Depending on their motivations, the pilgrims appreciate diverse parts of the pilgrimage. One exception is the silent walk, which gets the highest score by almost everyone. The author discusses if the highly valued silence in group might reflect the power of strong selfexpression values among Swedes found in other studies.


  • Anna Davidsson-Bremborg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy, Ethics and Religion


  • pilgrimage, pilgrim, motivations, self expression values, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-165
JournalJournal of Empirical Theology
Issue number2
StateUnpublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch