Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago, Journeys Along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain / Edition 1

Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago, Journeys Along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain / Edition 1

by Nancy Louise Frey
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520217519

ISBN-13: 9780520217515

Pub. Date: 12/30/1998

Publisher: University of California Press

Each year thousands of men and women from more than sixty countries journey by foot and bicycle across northern Spain, following the medieval pilgrimage road known as the Camino de Santiago. Their destination is Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle James are said to be buried. These modern-day pilgrims and the role of the pilgrimage in their…  See more details below

Overview

Each year thousands of men and women from more than sixty countries journey by foot and bicycle across northern Spain, following the medieval pilgrimage road known as the Camino de Santiago. Their destination is Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle James are said to be buried. These modern-day pilgrims and the role of the pilgrimage in their lives are the subject of Nancy Louise Frey's fascinating book. Unlike the religiously-oriented pilgrims who visit Marian shrines such as Lourdes, the modern Road of St. James attracts an ecumenical mix of largely well-educated, urban middle-class participants. Eschewing comfortable methods of travel, they choose physically demanding journeys, some as long as four months, in order to experience nature, enjoy cultural and historical patrimony, renew faith, or cope with personal trauma. Frey's anthropological study focuses on the remarkable reanimation of the Road that has gained momentum since the 1980s. Her intensive fieldwork (including making the pilgrimage several times herself) provides a colorful portrayal of the pilgrimage while revealing a spectrum of hopes, discontents, and desires among its participants, many of whom feel estranged from society. The Camino's physical and mental journey offers them closer community, greater personal knowledge, and links to the past and to nature. But what happens when pilgrims return home? Exploring this crucial question Frey finds that pilgrims often reflect deeply on their lives and some make significant changes: an artistic voice is discovered, a marriage is ed, meaningful work is found. Other pilgrims repeat the pilgrimage or join a pilgrims' association to keep their connectiontothe Camino alive. And some only remain pilgrims while on the road. In all, Pilgrim Stories is an exceptional prism through which to understand the desires and dissatisfactions of contemporary Western life at the of the millennium. "Feet are touched, discussed, massaged, [and] become signs of a journey well traveled: 'I did it all on foot!' . . . Pilgrims give feet a power and importance not recognized in daily life, as a causeway and direct channel to the road, the past, meaningful relations, nature, and the self."

Author Biography: Nancy Louise Frey is an anthropologist and writer. She lives on the Galician coast in Spain.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520217515
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
12/30/1998
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
298
Sales rank:
1,165,046
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Arriving at the End1
Ch. 1Pilgrims to Santiago17
Ch. 2Journey Shaping47
Ch. 3Learning New Rhythms71
Ch. 4Landscapes of Discovery87
Ch. 5Arrivals and Endings137
Ch. 6Santiago153
Ch. 7To the End of the Earth170
Ch. 8Going Home177
Conclusions: Arriving at the Beginning217
Appendix AFieldwork on the Road232
Appendix BThe Twentieth-Century Reanimation237
Notes255
References277
Index297

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