Pilgrimage has always mixed obligation with novelty and adventure

“In medieval times, when life was so narrowly circumscribed, religious pilgrimage was pretty much the only excuse a claustrophobic peasant had to leave his or her stupid little village, so a pilgrimage was an exercise in novelty and adventure under the banner of obligation; now, so many of us feel so surfeited with choice, the idea of pilgrimage has gained appeal as an exercise in obligation under the banner of novelty and adventure. The whole thing only works if you’re operating under the assumption that you’re doing this because you feel like you have to, like there will be some dire consequences if you cheat and take a bus. Of course there aren’t any such consequences, but the point is to play by the rules.”
–Gideon Lewis-Kraus, interview with Frank Bures, World Hum, 4/25/12

Posted by | Comments (1)  | July 29, 2013
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

One Response to “Pilgrimage has always mixed obligation with novelty and adventure”

  1. Zeke Says:

    Isn’t that the same reason Ibn Batutta ended up on his extraordinary journey?