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Virgin Trails: A Secular Pilgrimage Hardcover – Apr 27 2002


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Hardcover, Apr 27 2002
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Key Porter Books (April 27 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552633748
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552633748
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

As an examination of the many European manifestations--and locations--of the "cult" of the Virgin Mary, journalist Robert Ward's Virgin Trails is less about the Catholic religion than it is about the devotees who undertake pilgrimages to the various holy sites of France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Ward, a self-described atheist, is unafraid to cast a critical eye on the subject, though mostly his observations are those of a man trying to, in his own words, "catch a glimpse of what's going on inside." To do so, he becomes something of a pilgrim himself. His goal is not the same as the Mary worshippers he follows, who are usually looking for a cure or some other miracle, but he nonetheless learns that "a pilgrim's journey is a distillation of the journey of life, with all its riddles, doubts, hardships and temptations."

Ward's strength as a writer is his religious knowledge, and some of the book's most enthralling sections are the historical contexts and backgrounds he provides for the various places he observes the pilgrims--from Paris, France, to Fatima, Portugal. He examines faith and belief with both respect and wide-eyed curiosity, yet never without his own brand of levity. Virgin Trails is an absorbing, well-researched travelogue that takes a modern look at a very old and complex subject. --Adem Tepedelen

Review

" One pilgrim's wonderful and keenly observed walk..." -- Dennis Bock

"...hilarious, moving, thoughtful, and delightful." -- The Georgia Straight

"Ward is an able communicator of the political, religious, and human histories of the places through which he walks on the pilgrim's way ..." -- The United Church Observer

"Ward's examination of the Marian phenomenon ... is open-minded, thought provoking, and best of all, highly entertaining." -- The Globe and Mail

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Amazon.com: HASH(0xa11c2ac8) out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0bae458) out of 5 stars Tracking Down Mary Sept. 14 2011
By Julie D. - Published on Amazon.com
An avowed atheist, Ward indulged his long held desire to walk on pilgrimage in going to various Marian shrines throughout Europe. In doing so he presents one of the clearest and most even handed views of pilgrimage and these shrines that I have ever read. He gives the history for each place, which includes Lourdes, Chartres, and Fatima. We then share his experiences in current day surroundings and see the many types of pilgrims that also are at these shrines. Atheist or not, Ward has an excellent understanding of the Catholic Church's view and is more open minded in many cases than some Catholics I know. Highly recommended.


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