Pilgrimage

£10.99

Pilgrimage, a global ritual embraced by all faiths, is one of the most enduring traits in our human story. In this compelling history, Peter Stanford reflects on the reasons people have walked along the same sacred paths across the ages. How do the experiences of the first pilgrims to Jerusalem, Mecca and Santiago de Compostela compare to the millions of people who embark upon life-changing physical and spiritual journeys today? And why do we still feel compelled to walk, stop and think about our lives? The book explores sacred landscapes across the world, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, to the monolithic rock-cut churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia and the riverbanks of the Kumbh Mela in India. These journeys are to places of healing and reflection, but also to sites of danger and even violence, at crossroads where different political and religious tensions meet.

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SKU: 9780500296639 Category: Tag:

Description

A thought-provoking reflection on pilgrimage past and present, and a compelling exploration of its relevance today.

The enormous rise in popularity in recent decades of the Camino, the ancient pilgrim path that stretches from France, across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, is part of a wider phenomenon being witnessed on other time-honoured pilgrim routes around the globe and across the faiths. But this is happening in a world that in many places is self-avowedly ever more sceptical, secular and scientific, with formal religious affiliation in steep decline. Why?

Some argue that tourism is the new religion, and that those who today walk in the footsteps of countless past generations of believers do so to enjoy the holiday experience, the escape from their everyday world, the health benefits of so much exercise, and the companionship, without seeking any sort of spiritual enlightenment. Yet by looking at a diverse range of pilgrimage sites that includes Rome, Jerusalem, Lalibela in Ethiopia, the Buddha Trail in northern India, Shikoku in Japan and the self-styled ‘power place’ of Machu Picchu in Peru, Peter Stanford draws on his own experience as a pilgrim to argue that something more complex and challenging is going on.

Financial crises, increasing inequality, climate change and worldwide pandemics are causing people to question the very foundations on which their post religion, twenty-first-century lives are built. This book considers how pilgrimage, with its long history, essential intertwining of arduous journey and openness to personal transformation, is providing the modern age with a means to take a longer, slower and hence more profound look at life, stretching all the way back to when the first pilgrim put one foot in front of another.

Additional information

Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

256

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

203.51 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K