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El Camino: Walking to Santiago de Compostela [Hardcover]

Lee Hoinacki
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 6 1998 Penn State Series in Lived Religious Experience
A day-by-day account of the author's five-hundred-mile solitary pilgrimage on foot to Saint James's legendary burial place in Spain includes his reflections on religious sensibility and other observations along the way. UP.

Product Details


Product Description

From Library Journal

At the age of 65 in the spring of 1993, Hoinacki, an American, walked the same path that pilgrims have been following to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, since the Middle Ages. As a former Domincan priest, political science professor, and subsistence farmer, Hoinacki had been searching for spiritual satisfaction in many ways and wanted to find out what the pilgrims experienced in their travels to the burial place of St. James. His work is a day-by-day account of his solitary travels from St. Jean de Pied Port, France, to Santiago de Compostela, in 32 days and across 500 miles. Hoinacki set out with little preparation and equipment so he could be open to all that the walk offered. His reflections involve, among other things, what modern technology and integration into Europe have done to Spanish tradition and civilization and the value of pain in personal spiritual growth. He also felt the presence of pilgrims from long ago walking with him and helping him when times were hard. Recommended for larger travel, Spanish studies, and religion and philosophy collections.?William R. Smith, Johns Hopkins Univ. Lib., Baltimore, Md.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Lee Hoinacki is a former Dominican priest, professor of political science, and subsistence farmer. He holds degrees in philosophy, political science, Latin American Studies, and theology and has taught at Sangamon State University, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Penn State University, and, in Germany, at the University of Oldenburg and the University of Bremen.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover
While this book contains great descriptions of the camino, the refugios and the travelers along the way, I was unprepared for the screed against modernization and technology. Obviously, there are serious downsides to progress as we know it, but the relentless atttack on technology and the modern world borders on fanatical. It makes for a tiresome, if not predictable, read.
As travel writing, it's perfectly adequate.You do feel like you are inside his head, brushing up against his thoughts and perceptions, occasionally tripping on his prejudices as he ambles through the 500 some odd miles from the French border to Santiago de Compostela. If you do decide to pick up this book, make sure you also read something that presents the camino and the people on it through different perspectives. I'm sure you could find a book about the camino that is a little less judgemental.
As religious reflection, well, let's just say it's no Seven Storey Mountain and leave it at that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritually and emotionally moving experience July 12 2000
Format:Hardcover
I was totally fascinated by this book. The descriptions of places and historical references were a great addition to understanding the signficance of the pilgrim's journeys, currently and in centuries past. The author's thoughts on technology, tradition, modernization and even aging were a marvelous commentary set against this ancient journey. As a result of a previous visit to Santiago and reading this book, I am even more moved to make my own journey on the camino.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
An inspiring travelogue of the ups and downs of the life of a modern pilgrim. Great reflections on spirituality, religion, modernisation, architecture, and travel in the modern age. Lots of practical tips can be gleaned from his experience of the walk. It was one of the first books I read about the pilgrimage before setting out myself this past fall. Hoinacki taught me that this pilgrimage, although not original, is certainly experienced uniquely by each person who decides one day to just put on a pack and start walking, like he did. He decided that chocolate would be too much of an indulgence for the pilgrim. So he never ate chocolate while he was walking. I did. And lots of it!!
P.S. I got my copy at Wide World Books and Maps in Seattle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for the traveller and pilgrim Jan. 28 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a great book and is a very useful guide to the pilgrimage. It is hard to find, and Amazon is doing a great service in trying to provide it for pilgrims. However extracts from the book with very useful information can be found at the Telegraph Online London web site in the TRAVEL section. Look search under Yahoo for Telegraph Online and then Browse the many pages and articles on the pilgrimage found under the travel section. The book is fully reviewed in the newspaper's travel pages, the site has many useful useful facts about the pilgrimage including a FAQ
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for the religious pilgrim Jan. 28 1998
Format:Hardcover
This is a great book and is a very useful guide to the pilgrimage. It is hard to find, and Amazon is doing a great service in trying to provide it for pilgrims. However extracts from the book with very useful information can be found at the Telegraph Online London web site in the TRAVEL section. Look search under Yahoo for Telegraph Online and then Browse the many pages and articles on the pilgrimage found under the travel section. The book is fully reviewed in the newspapers's travel pages, the site has many useful useful facts about the pilgrimage including a FAQ
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