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Experiencing and Teaching Pilgrimage in a Sacred Spaces Course

Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL 61462, USA
Religions 2018, 9(4), 102;
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Journeys: Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage)
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As part of an integrated studies curriculum at the author’s college, all juniors must take a Reflections course in which students consider personal values and analyze familiar and unfamiliar systems of thought and belief, in order to explore their own and others’ ideas about the ultimate meaning and purposes of life. “Sacred Places Past and Present”, is a course designed to fulfil this requirement. This course focuses on a number of important religious sites in the ancient Mediterranean and in the modern world, including the Parthenon, Olympia, Delphi, Stonehenge, and Muir Woods. These places are compared and contrasted in terms of what makes them sacred. Two pilgrimage experiences are part of this course: the hajj to Mecca and the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. In the past, the unit on the Camino focused on Emilio Estevez’s 2010 film “The Way”; however, during the summer of 2016, the author walked the Camino de Santiago. As a result, the course was substantially revised to reflect the author’s own personal experiences as a pilgrim. In particular, Paulo Coelho’s The Pilgrimage was incorporated into the course and students were given an opportunity to participate in a one-day pilgrimage walk in western Illinois. View Full-Text
Keywords: Camino; Santiago; Coelho; hadj; Mecca; Estevez; sacred space; pilgrimage Camino; Santiago; Coelho; hadj; Mecca; Estevez; sacred space; pilgrimage
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sienkewicz, T.J. Experiencing and Teaching Pilgrimage in a Sacred Spaces Course. Religions 2018, 9, 102.

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