367 pages : maps (black and white) ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Includes bibliographical references and index.
--Quest: Land of kings & athiests. London falling --A Canterbury Tale --At the cliff of the kingdom --Besieged at Calais --The Lost City of Saint-Omer --A night at the monastery --War and peace on the Western front --The miracles of Laon --Sluts and saints along the Chemin des Dames --When God anointed kings --The highest use of monks --Napoleon was bullied here --Wars of religion --Wanderings --Lost: Land of heretics & heroes. The hollowed house of light [House of Enlightenment] --United Europe's ticking clock --The betrayal --Refuge and reform --A theocracy on the lake --The permanent prayer of Saint-Maurice --Answers: Land of miracles & wonder. A pilgrim over the Alps --Monastery in the sky --Mountain myths --Proving the existence of God --A farewell to Augustine --A series of unfortunate events in a small car --The way out of a labyrinth --In the path of the little poor man --Allegories on the wall --The miracle of Montefiascone --The women who live forever --Companions of the Camino --Pilgrim's Progress.
At a time when Britain, America, and much of Europe have never been so secular--and when his mother's death and his Irish Catholic family's complicated history with the church prompted a reckoning with his own beliefs -- Timothy Egan decided to follow in the footsteps of centuries of seekers. He embarked on a thousand-mile pilgrimage through the theological cradle of Christianity, to explore one of the biggest stories of our time: the collapse of religion in the world that it created. Egan sets out along the Via Francigena, once the major medieval trail leading the devout to Rome, and makes his way overland via the alpine peaks and small mountain towns of France, Switzerland and Italy. The goal: walking to St. Peter's Square, in hopes of meeting the galvanizing pope who is struggling to hold together the church through the worst crisis in half a millennium. Making his way through a landscape laced with some of the most important shrines to the faith, Egan finds a modern Canterbury Tale in the chapel where Queen Bertha introduced Christianity to pagan Britain; parses the supernatural in a French town built on miracles; and journeys to the oldest abbey in the Western world, founded in 515 and home to continuous prayer over the 1,500 years that have followed. He is accompanied by a quirky cast of fellow pilgrims and by some of the towering figures of the faith--Joan of Arc, Henry VIII, Martin Luther.