The world is full of books, and there are quite a few about pilgrimage. These are just a few of those I’ve read, enjoyed and been inspired by.
This is a fairly recent book, the final volume in the well-worth-a-read “The Ancient Practice Series”. For my money it is one of the best books on the subject and has shaped quite a bit of my more recent thinking on ‘life as pilgrimage’. It’s worth reading for the ‘theology of pilgrimage’ articulated in the Preface alone. Not everyone will be comfortable with this book, but there’s a lot of challenge to be found within its pages. Charles Foster, ‘The Sacred Journey, 2010, Thomas Nelson, Nashville
In a completely different vein, Sally Welch walks us through the process of pilgrimage and various stops along the way, with stories from real travellers, relevant quotations and reflections making up each stage. Sally Welch, ‘Making a Pilgrimage’, 2009, Lion Hudson, Oxford
The next two books both try to give a historical and theological look at pilgrimages across a variety of faith traditions, a look at some classic destinations and at some of the classic literature about pilgrimage. Read them cover to cover or just dip into the occasional chapter.
Edward C. Sellner, ‘Pilgrimage…exploring a great spiritual practice’, 2004, Sorin Books, Notre Dame, Indiana
Jim Forest, ‘The Road to Emmaus…pilgrimage as a way of life’, 2007, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York
There are hosts of books that are accounts of actual pilgrimages made by various people for a whole variety of reasons. Shirley De Boulay’s book about her journey to Canterbury along The Pilgrims’ Way was the inspiration for the post before this one.
Douglas Vest’s book gives a number of small snapshots of various pilgrimages, while Gerald Hughes concentrates on just two. Hughes’ account makes for compelling reading and Vest’s book includes questions for reflection at the end of each chapter and a pilgrimage planning checklist at the end of the book.
Douglas Vest, ‘On Pilgrimage’, 1998, Cowley Publications, Cambridge, Boston Massachusetts
Gerard W. Hughes, ‘In Search of a Way’, 1986, DLT, London
The final book is an anthology of various texts written by pilgrims or about pilgrimage down through the ages.
Martin Robinson, ‘Sacred Places, Pilgrim Paths’, 1998, Fount, London
It would be interesting to know about any books you’ve read and enjoyed on the subject.