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The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de Santiago Paperback – Aug 1 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de Santiago
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  • Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino
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  • I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Intervarsity Press (Aug. 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830835075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830835072
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #110,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Arthur Boers engages the reader in an intimate conversation about emptying and filling in our life. In this book, he offers a clue about how to live a more meaningful life and to remain truthful in relationships with our own selves, our fellow human beings, mother nature, and the One who created all of us. His painstaking effort to complete his pilgrimage can also be understood as a metaphor depicting various hardships we go through in life. For example, he started his pilgrimage with his wife, but his wife's work situation allowed her to walk with him for only one third of his entire journey. Those who experienced the loss of the beloved might understand well what it means to continue the rest of the journey alone. Life must be lived out to the fullest degree. Boers' sense of humour and his profound spirituality, together with his rich experience as a pastor and professor, flow throughout the book. He also addresses the importance of walking, caring, and sharing in human society from the spiritual perspective. At the end of our journey, no matter what paths we take, we can reach the conclusion that there is "God's Providence," the divine power that shapes us to persevere our sufferings during that challenging journey. The reader is encouraged to explore the unknown world with courage and faith. I highly recommend this book, even if you have no religion.
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A very spiritual book. Really enjoyed reading the book.
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great service and goods
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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ed44b1c) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed80b70) out of 5 stars A thoughtful Camino Pilgrimage by a man of God Feb. 7 2008
By Timecheck - Published on
Format: Paperback
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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed80f78) out of 5 stars Pilgrimage without leaving home. Sept. 15 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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
HASH(0x9ed80d80) out of 5 stars Meditative Walking July 5 2011
By Olivia P. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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
HASH(0x9ed80fb4) out of 5 stars A spiritual walk Aug. 4 2008
By Paul J. Boucher - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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
HASH(0x9ed853c0) out of 5 stars Refelctions on pilgrimage July 22 2012
By R. Sperling - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Author Arthur Paul Boers states, "Pilgrimages are connected to events, stories and narratives of places or people where God has been active or encountered...Christian pilgrimage then, has to do with going to particular locations to situate oneself within God's story among us, so that we too might be touched - even transformed or converted - by salvation history, God's metanarrative. Seeing and directly engaging such sites is a way of appropriating the story for oneself."

This book is not a manual for walking the Camino de Santiago. It is instead an exploration of how pilgrimage can lead oneself back home, into a deeper knowing of self, of God and how to relate to the wider world.

In this book the author takes us on a journey along the Camino de Santiago and invites us to travel with him by engaging us in reflection on the lessons that he learned along the way.

The pace of the book is thoughtful and reflective. Like the ambling that Boers expounds upon, the spiritual lessons are slow to unfold within the text. Whether or not you have ever considered the spiritual discipline of pilgrimage this book has much to teach, not just when it comes to considering whether to embark on your own pilgrimage, but in considering how you walk with God and others day by day.

I learned much through the author's thoughtful reflection and I also, surprisingly, resisted much. Though I could relate both to Boers' Mennonite roots and his Benedictine values, although I've lived cross culturally in Europe for years and place a high value on spiritual disciplines, and though I myself find that I often meet God in deeply personal ways through "ambling", I nevertheless resisted some of the applications that Boers made.

This resistance also teaches me and it leads me to conclude that as Rilke said, "everything must be lived." If "the way is made by walking" then perhaps a pilgrimage is in order.