Charles Foster writes:
“I have tried to articulate a theology of pilgrimage. Some will be hurt and offended by it, and I’m sorry about that. It goes roughly like this:
- Travelling is fundamental to the definition and the psyche of human beings. We can suppress the desire to move, but if we do, nasty things happen to our heads, our societies, our souls and our coronary arteries.
- Since earliest times there has been a bitter battle between settlers and nomads, portrayed, of course, in the story of Cain and Abel. Historically, Cain seems to have got the upper hand.
- In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Yahweh is loudly and unequivocally on the side of the nomads. He was a pilgrim God, travelling in a box slung over the shoulders of refugees and worshipped in a tent.”
“The Sacred Journey”, p XIII-XIV
So you could say that pilgrimage is: fundamental(…and beneficial) – a basic part of who we are and good for us, confrontational – settlers and nomads will always see things differently, and incarnational – a reflection of something of God’s character in us.