Kristine Culp

“Pilgrimage is an ancient, global, popular, and often ambiguous phenomenon: pilgrims circulating the Kaaba in Mecca; standing before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem; journeying to the banks of the holy Ganges; landing in Plymouth Harbor; seeking the Virgin of Guadalupe, or of Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje; walking arm in arm across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; moving with a sea of pink pussyhats to stand in solidarity with women around the world.

In pilgrimage, an extended and often difficult journey becomes a process of separating from the given, everyday world. Pilgrimage entails stepping away from daily routines and expectations and moving with special deliberateness toward a    place where one might be changed. In marches that are part of social movements, one journeys with others to bring about change and to move together as the wider world is being changed. Movement away from the given world and toward a distant goal can create a wide threshold of transition and transformation.”

— from Kristine Culp, “Pilgrims, Thresholds, and the Camino” in Neither Here nor There: The Many Voices of Liminality. Dr. Culp teaches theology in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and is Dean of the Disciples Divinity House.