Pilgrimage has been a part of Christian experience since biblical times. Creating new stories, pilgrimage affords sacred travelers experiences that transcend nationalism, denominational identity, and cultural borders melding their individual constructs of meaning with communal experiences to create new insights. On these pilgrimages, music has played a significant role in the development of community. While pilgrimage is an independent act, it is also a shared existence with other pilgrims with music serving as a bridge between these two realities. With an estimated 100 million people undertaking pilgrimages at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the rediscovery of pilgrimage, and the music that accompanies it, has meaningful connections for the post-modern church struggling to find a new identity. The ecumenical communities at Iona and Taizé provide particular case studies for the role of music in forming community among disparate travelers. The individual and communal nature of pilgrimage, the ability of pilgrimage to provide commonality in a diverse society, and the role of singing and traveling music calls for the reexamination of this ancient practice for the post-modern church.
Perkins School of Theology
C. Michael Hawn
Music, Religion, Theology/Religious Education
Number of Pages
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Taylor, Joshua, "Songs for the Journey: The Music of Pilgrimage" (2021). Doctor of Pastoral Music Projects and Theses. 2.