Episode 19 Man on the Way: The Need for Pilgrimage in the Present World

Doug and his wife Shawn, a cultural geographer, talk through the essentials and purpose of pilgrimage. Today, ‘pilgrimage’ can mean most anything, from going to Graceland to sanctifying the daily grind. But what is the traditional understanding of pilgrimage (particularly from a Catholic perspective)?

We establish some crucial elements and talk through why a restored, traditional, sense and practice of pilgrimage answers to our age of anxious, directionless ‘freedom.’ We pay particular attention to the Camino, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in Spain.

Our epigraph is, of course, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. We end with our Top Ten Books/Movies about pilgrimage.

Show notes:

For Chaucer, there is no substitute for the Riverside edition of his collected works. You’ll have to get a used copy, but it’s well worth it–beautiful edition.

Ready to walk the Camino to Santiago de Compostella? Pick your route.

For the best philosophical take on pilgrimage and man as man-on-the-way, read Gabriel Marcel’s Homo Viator (I mistakenly said it was another neo-Thomist, Etienne Gilson. Marcel is the existentialist-leaning one of the bunch).

Trailer for The Way with Martin Sheen:

An image from the Peutinger Table Shawn mentioned in the Top 10.


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