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The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de Santiago [Paperback]

Arthur Paul Boers , Eugene H. Peterson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Aug. 16 2007
The Word Guild 2008 Canadian Christian Writing Awards finalist!

Pilgrimage is a spiritual discipline not many consider. Aren't the destinations far? Don't they involve a lot of time and walking? Just a few years ago, Arthur Paul Boers wasn't thinking about pilgrimage either. But he began to sense a deep call from God to walk the five-hundred-mile pilgrimage route known as Camino de Santiago, ending in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, at a cathedral that is said to hold the relics of the apostle James.

In these pages he opens to us his incredible story of renewed spirituality springing from an old, old path walked by millions before him. It's a story of learning to pray in new ways, embracing simplicity, forming community, living each day centered and focused, depending on God to provide. Joined by hundreds of others from all over the world, Boers points the way to deeper intimacy with God--a way made by walking in faith.

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3.0 out of 5 stars Sobering and somewhat depressing April 18 2013
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I had heard Professor Boers speak, and bought to book to learn more about his journey. It's been some time since I read the book, but I found it more sad than inspiring. Suffering may have been the way of pilgrims historically, but needless suffering doesn't call me closer to God. The author's walking on a bloody foot, rather than taking time out to heal fully, made me want to write him and encourage him to be kinder to himself. All that said, the details of the pilgrimage route, and stories of other pilgrims were interesting.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful Camino Pilgrimage by a man of God Feb. 7 2008
By Timecheck - Published on Amazon.com
I'm constantly struck by how each book about the Camino brings a unique lens to bear. How many variations can there be when describing a demanding trek of many days? It's a classic play, the walker as the hero, with a flaw of physical frailty and self-doubt, with the adversary being the distance and the climate. With the help of the ally - the support of strangers, and for some, faith - the walker triumphs; or there is failure and the play is a tragedy.

Arthur Boers gives us another one of these unique views. His is the insight of a Mennonite pastor and teacher, walking the walk, and analyzing the experience in terms of his faith and his occupation. Of Dutch background, he speaks Dutch, French, English and Spanish, along with a little German.

The thread of the book is of course, the journey. The reader will be mentally tracking him across Spain, sharing the experiences, but what I found the most instructive was listening to this man of God share his daily thoughts.

As the author encounters the situations of daily walking, he finds correlations and metaphors in scripture. Just some of his daily thoughts: Feet get a lot of attention in scripture, and are an important part of the biblical experience. Walking can be a spiritual process. In current times, walking is an act of protest. What if everyone walked to church? Churchgoers attend for a variety of reasons, not always spiritual, so why be surprised to find walkers on pilgrimage for a variety of reasons?

The book has several appendices on practical matters, but one I mentally filed away for the future. That appendix listed a number of obscure pilgrimage routes. We all are familiar with the big three of Santiago, Rome and Jerusalem, but have you heard of Asperen, South Holland, Netherlands, or Croagh Patrick, County Mayo, Ireland, or Holy Island, Lindisfarne, England? To name a few.

I recommend this book particularly for those making a faith-based journey. The only other Camino book I can think of that is clearly faith based is Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrimage without leaving home. Sept. 15 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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This was a total surprise. To prepare for a pilgrimage I read portions of the book slowly for months and found that it led me on a deep, transforming internal pilgrimage. I hated to have the book end. The actual pilgrimage I took didn't compare with the internal richness I gained as I read the book. There were no overt exhortations telling me what to think or believe or experience but simply Arthur de Boers sharing his own experience on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I will read it again and again I am sure.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meditative Walking July 5 2011
By Olivia P. - Published on Amazon.com
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This is a nice enough book for the spiritually-minded walker, but I believe one has to take on faith the word of the author, a Mennonite teacher and preacher, as well as a Benedictine oblate, that he himself covered the entire Camino, for the little he writes about actual walking alludes to North America as well as to Spain -- his book being a series of loosely connected essay chapters, by no means confined to the Way of St. James, on such topics as pilgrimage ancient and modern, on simplifying one's life by cutting back on "stuff," on walking as a spiritual exercise, or on walking as a protest against the automobile. Although Boers, evidently a very traditional Christian, is philosophically the polar opposite of New Age Shirley MacLaine, both writers are similar in that neither reveals much about the day-by-day Camino experience and are best read for their respective worldviews alone.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spiritual walk Aug. 4 2008
By Paul J. Boucher - Published on Amazon.com
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I am planning to walk the Camino de Santiago next May and have been reading a variety of books by very different people with different reasons for doing the pilgrimage. I personally want the experience to be spiritual and provide me with time to reflect on the past and explore what comes next in my life. I feel the author did that on his journey. I had a hard time putting the book down and was disapointed when I finished. An outstanding book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life As A Walk Feb. 10 2010
By Mark - Published on Amazon.com
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What a compelling read! Whether you're spritual in the traditional or secular sense, the author movingly uses the Camino as a metaphor for the larger walk of life. This book created in me an introspective re-examination of the deeper meaning of life and relationships. Read it whether you walk the Camino or not... you will be better off for having done so.
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