Book review: Pilgrimage – The Sacred Art
Book review: Pilgrimage – The Sacred Art

Pilgrimage Cover

Planning a pilgrimage? Interested in labyrinths?  Looking to build on a previous pilgrimage experience? This new book by Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook (SkyLight Paths, 2013) is an interesting and readable book, fresh with references to contemporary culture and attuned to the ancient history of pilgrimages as well.

Before you set off on any kind of pilgrimage, this book gives you a sense of the meaning of this ancient spiritual trek across a number of cultures and religious traditions. With crisp writing and references to numerous pop culture pilgrimages—such as the quest down the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz—this fairly short book would provide lively discussion and sharing for both adults and older teen readers. Book groups might reflect on journeys they have taken, and seekers might peek into the world of serious spirituality and find themselves inspired to take a journey of their own.

A long section of Pilgrimage – The Sacred Art addresses the history and use of labyrinths and would be meaningful reading for any parish that has or uses one. A section at the end of the book generally introduces spiritual practices and would serve as a good introduction to this topic. Discussion questions are provided at the end of each chapter and would spark either group interaction or individual reflection.

As the ministry of formation is taken seriously as a lifelong endeavor, pilgrimages are an important element of the Christian journey many of us may find ourselves participating in or even leading. As formation increasingly takes place in more varied venues, this ancient practice is a vital part of our tool box as Christian education professionals.

Cindy Coe (@CynthiaCoe) is 2013 Guest Editor for Episcopal Teacher and a Christian formation specialist with Episcopal Relief & Development.

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