Courses > 2014 Spring


CINE 252 - The Camino de Santiago in Literature and Film

COML 229 | DTCH 230 | GRMN 230
401 | TR 10:30-12pm | TOWN 319

Since time immemorial people have gone on pilgrimages. The Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain is particularly popular in the Western world. Every year many thousands of pilgrims walk to the place where according to the legend the apostle St James the Greater was buried, thus putting themselves in a long-standing tradition. In the Middle Ages the Way of St James was a very important Christian pilgrim route and one of the most travelled roads in Europe. Pilgrims travelled the long and dangerous road for religious reasons: They came to worship the Saint whose relics were discovered in the 9th century, thus aiming to redeem their pledges to God, to repent their sins, and to earn indulgences. Although these religious motives are less relevant for many people nowadays, modern pilgrims often experience the Camino not only as an athletic or cultural event, but also as a spiritual and transformative journey. This course seeks to explore the differences and similarities in pilgrimage to Compostela in the Middle Ages and in the 20th-21st centuries. What motivated medieval people to undertake the journey, and what moves modern pilgrims? How do they describe their journey? How do they show themselves as pilgrims? Which religious and cultural symbols do they find on their way, etcetera. We will read novels and travel reports (in modern English translations), watch movies, and discuss themes related to both medieval and modern pilgrimage based on scholarly articles.