Course Memo

Geoffrey Chaucer famously wrote that 'folks long to go on pilgrimage.' Indeed, traveling over long distances to a sacred destination is an important ritual practice that has crossed cultures and time. Such journeys have inspired legends, folk-stories, and artistic representations from the early Christian centuries to today. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, this course surveys the relationship of art, material culture, and Christian pilgrimage practice through a close examination of major shrines and their dedications and decorations, paintings, pilgrimage badges and other souvenirs, films, and surrogate sites of pilgrimage such as maps, labyrinths, and manuscripts. We will address the literal and metaphorical meanings of pilgrimage and the conjunction of artistic practice and contemplative prayer.  Students will have the option of a final paper OR a praxis project.