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Pilgrim Partners

Who ponders pilgrimage? Certainly researchers do, especially if they've hit the trails themselves. They come from fields as varied as religious studies and kinesiology, art history and dance, medieval law and linguistics. Here are witnesses whose insights can guide those still preparing to hit the trails -- or willing to accompany these experts on virtual treks into transformation.


Kathleen Jenkins & Jessica Streit

Prof. Streit is Assistant Professor of Islamic & Medieval Art, College of Charleston, South Carolina.  Prof. Jenkins is Chair of Sociology and Co-Director of the William & Mary Institute for Pilgrimage Studies.  They spoke for the Muscarelle Museum at William & Mary on "Healing Spaces on the Camino de Santiago and Contemporary Settings."

George Greenia, William & Mary

"Ten years ago I met a man crying by a pile of rocks.  I had already decided that I disapproved of him."  This 2020 TEDx William & Mary lecture on “Modern Pilgrimage and the Quest in the Guest” explains the origins of the Camino de Santiago and how pilgrim strangers come to understand the yearnings of their companions on the trail and their own.  His 2021 Jemison Lecture for the Univ. of Alabama-Birmingham explores “The Spanish Camino de Santiago: Medieval Myth, Modern Revival”.  On July 15, 2021 he was interviewed in Spanish for IV Xacobeo Live! in Santiago de Compostela.  Recent publications include “The Rattle of Time and Travel: The Acoustics of Medieval Pilgrimage", “David Martin Gitlitz (1943-2020)” and Pilgrimage to Santiago (1610) by Diego de Guzmán.” 

Matthew Anderson, Director, Camino Nova Scotia

During his career at Concordia University in Montréal, Prof. Anderson spent decades exploring traditional pilgrimages in Britain and Spain, renewed routes in Norway and Germany, and freshly invented journeys of reparation and solidarity with Martin Luther to Rome and Lakota exiled to Western Canada.  Here are some of his "Pilgrim Stories from Up and Down the Staircase".  His videos on pilgrimage including the Camino documentary, Something Grand, are celebrated.  There is a recent CBC interview.  His latest position is with Camino Nova Scotia.

Philip Booth, To the Holy Land

A Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University, medievalist Philip Booth's website lists research efforts under the umbrella of The Golden Age of Holy Land Pilgrimage: History and Legacy (c.1000-1330).

Kip Redick, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia

Dr. Kip Redick is Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion.  In 2002, Redick started leading study away trips on the Appalachian Trail, and since then expeditions to the Wonderland Trail flanking Mount Rainier, and a leadership seminar walking 100 mile of wilderness in Maine along the Appalachian Trail. He has led treks on the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way and on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, the Camino de Santiago, and the Jesus trail in Israel.  This lecture is on "Spiritual Rambling".

Christian Kurrat, FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany

Dr. Kurrat's is Intellectual Property Transfer Advisor at Germany’s federal distance learning university, the FernUniversität in Hagen.  He is a frequent trekker on the Camino de Santiago, Spain and a convenor for German speaking pilgrimage studies scholars.  His qualitative sociological study deals with “Biographical Motivations of Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago“ (full print publication) and is presented in this teaching video.

Instituto Geográfico Nacional de España

Here is a survey of the offical maps of the Camino de Santiago produced since 1965.  And here is a short (4.5-minute) video produced in 2017 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe's declaration of the Camino as its first European Cultural Route.  In 2017 there were 286 international trails in 28 countries marking over 80,000 kilometers leading to Santiago, plus 31 traditional maritime routes covering an additional 26,000 kilometers.

BBC Radio 4 Podcasts "In Our Time"

Medieval Pilgrimage with guests Miri Rubin, Kathryn Rudy and Anthony Bale.  The rise of pilgrimage for Christians in Europe in the Middle Ages and options for those who could only imagine pilgrimages and imitate them at home.  Includes links for speakers and recommended reading list.

Ian McIntosh, Australian anthropologist and peace scholar

“Pilgrimage, Diplomacy and International Relations”  McIntosh is the founder of the Sacred Journeys annual conference that brings pilgrimage and religious tourism scholars together from across the globe.  Pilgrimages are by far the most peaceful mass rituals that humankind has yet devised for itself, yet most definitions obscure other significant roles that pilgrimage plays in society. McIntosh looks beyond personal quests for spiritual blessings or sacred truths to pilgrimage’s role in international diplomacy with case studies from Saudi Arabia and Iran, Pakistan and India, in troubled regions like Xinjiang Province, in western China.

Steve Lytch

Presbyterian pastor and member of the Board of Directors of American Pilgrims on the Camino, Rev. Lytch has produced moving meditations on Christian pilgrimage.  His seven-minute "Pilgrimage through Lent" is a thoughtful sample, with entries for Week Two, Week Three, Week Four and Week Five.

La Cátedra Institucional del Camino de Santiago y de las Peregrinaciones de la Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Listing of Research Centers, Events, Scholars and grant opportunities in Pilgrimage Studies and the Camino de Santiago.

Kathryn Barush

Prof. Barush teaches Art History and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union of Santa Clara University.  Her lecture on "Shield, help, and bring to joy’: Pilgrimage through Sacred Song" explores the healing, protective, and mnemonic capacity of music of religious pilgrimage.  In the 12th century Godric gave up his life as a merchant seaman to embark on a lengthy pilgrimage.  Dyuring his mystical visions the Virgin Mary gave Godric a hymn for healing and protection.  Dr. Barush’s is the author of Art and the Sacred Journey in Britain, 1790 – 1950 and Imaging Pilgrimage: Contemporary Art as Embodied Experience.  See also her talk Landscapes and inscapes: a pilgrimage through art.  Her latest efforts may be seen at The Berkeley Art and Interreligious Pilgrimage Project.

Nancy Frey, Walking to Presence

Author of the celebrated book Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago (1998), Dr. Frey became a permanent resident of Spain and guides tours on the history and culture of the Camino de Santiago.  In January of 2017 she spoke in London to the Confraternity of St. James on pilgrims' relationship – and dependence – on their digital devices: Pilgrimage in the Internet Age.

John F. Romano

John F. Romano is Department Chair at Benedictine College where he focuses his research on the medieval church. He is the editor of Medieval Travel and Travelers: A Reader published by the University of Toronto Press in 2020.  His recent podcast on Travel in the Middle Ages is engaging.