Footpath ~ Spiritpath


Intersections of Pilgrimage Travel
and Spiritual Journey

May 5, 2007

The House of the Redeemer
7 East 95th St
New York, NY

The English word “pilgrimage” comes from the Latin peregrinus.  Per-agrare is the root word meaning “to travel a distance,” and later  “a long journey made to a place of spiritual significance.”  The physical journey to a sacred place is understood as aiding the inward journey toward a sacred space --seeking the God within.

Holy pilgrimage sites of ancient religions include Kurukshetra in India, Thebes in Egypt, and Delphi in Greece.  Among the many places in India which draw Hindu pilgrims are Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Hrishikesh--all of which are in or near the Himalayas. Together they are Hinduisms “four places of holy pilgrimage,” or Char Dham.  Buddha considered four sites to be especially important for his followers to visit--his birthplace in Nepal (Limbini), the place of satori (Bodh Gaya), the place where his teaching began (Sarnath), and his place of passing (Kusinara).  Until its destruction in 70 AD the Temple in Jerusalem was the center of the Jewish religion, and pilgrimages were an obligation.  The practice nearly ceased, but today Jews from many countries travel to the holy sites of Judaism.  Christian pilgrimages were first made to sites connected with the birth, life, and death of Jesus. Other sites were linked with the Apostles, the Saints, and the Virgin Mary. Crusades to the Holy Land were thought of as mass armed pilgrimages.  The pilgrimage to Mecca--the hajji--is the most important of all Muslim pilgrimages, and is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam.  Attempting the journey is expected at least once in the lifetime of every believer.

In modern usage, the meaning of pilgrimage is sometimes diminished.  Sun-lovers may make an “annual pilgrimage to Florida” each spring, or Yankee Stadium may be referred to as the “Mecca of baseball.”  Today, however, we are exploring the original practice and purpose of pilgrimage.

Why has pilgrimage been practiced within most traditions over most of human history?  Why is it still practiced today?  Is it the destination which is vital, or is it the road taken?  Does the act of traveling to sacred sites have spiritual consequences?  Where do pilgrimage travels and spiritual journeys intersect?
         --T. Allen LeVines


Program Schedule:

9:15 a.m.     Registration and Refreshments

9:45 a.m.     Introductions Charles Henderson, President
                        Danelle Warner, Program Chair

10:00 a.m.    Paths of Pilgrim: In the Japanese Buddhist Tradition
--------------- T. James Kodera

11:15 a.m.    Past and Present Journeys on Japan’s
------------------- Oku-no-Hosomichi

                           T. Allen LeVines                

12:30 p.m.     Luncheon

1:45 p.m.      Searching the Soul in Hinduism
                           Bijoy Misra

3:00 p.m.         Dialogue
                           Patrick Quinn, Facilitator

4:00 p.m.         Reception

For more information on the program participants.

Registration information:

Members/Fellows $50
Non-Members  $60; Students $15
Fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and reception.
($5.00 extra at the door.)

Canadian and International registrants, international money orders in US dollars only, please.

To register
 please make check payable to ARC and send to:
Nelvin Vos / ARC
Box 15
Maxatawny, PA 19538
Phone and Fax 610-683-7581

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More about ARC
including membership information and news about our recently published book:
 The ARC Story


From time to time the Board of Directors elects as Fellows individuals it identifies as having made a distinguished contribution to their respective fields. The list of Fellows elected over a period of nearly four decades thus exemplifies what the Society understands as the necessary and vital connections between art, religion and culture.

ARC Fellows


Winter 2007
Liturgy As Theatre

Fall 2006
Its Effects on Culture, Myth and the Arts

Spring 2006
The River is a Magic Thing

Fall 2005
Dance, Dance, Wherever You May Be

Spring 2005
Theology and the Arts as Play

Winter 2005
Uncertainty Principles in the Atoms of Language

Fall 2004
Languages that Shape the Soul

Spring 2004
The Moving Image

Winter 2004
Religion and the Visual Arts

Fall 2003
Theology and Music

Spring 2003
Theology and Poetry:
Languages that Shape the Soul

Winter 2003
Tracing the Garden

Fall 2002
Drawing on the Human

Spring 2002
Alfred Barr and
the Religious Dimension of Modernism

Winter 2002
A Theology of Beauty

Fall 2001
Lifting the Veil

May 2001

February 2001
Performance and Symposium

November 2000
Illuminations & Transformations:
Cross-Cultural Spiritual Dynamics 
in Music, Text, Dance and Film

May 2000
Alternative Readings: 
Sacred Text Embodied in Visual Art

February 2000
The Meaning of Myth

November 1999
Myth, Ritual and the Mediation of Violence

May, 1999
Writers' Ways with Loving and Dying

February, 1999 
The Divine Image
Implications for a changing image of God.

October, 1998 
Uneasy Constellations of Meaning
Theological Perceptions and Visual Images in Sixteenth Century Europe &
The Religious Art of Andy Warhol

hares.jpg (5471 bytes) wharhol

May, 1998 Meeting
AYNI: The Andean Concept of Reciprocity

Webpage design courtesy CrossCurrents
Charles Henderson, Executive Director



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