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Sacred Roads: Adventures from the Pilgrimage Trail (Signed First Edition)

Shrady, Nicholas

19 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0060671122 / ISBN 13: 9780060671129
Published by Harper San Francisco, 1999
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

New York: Harper (1999). First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New/New. A pristine unread copy (without marks or bruises or smells or any other defect). Comes with archival-quality mylar dust jacket cover (not clipped, of course). Shipped in well-padded box. Purchased new and opened only for author to sign, no inscriptions, just the author's name. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on half-title page along with date (Spring 1999) and place oif signing (Seattle). You cannot find a better copy. Bookseller Inventory # Signed-Nonfiction-26

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Sacred Roads: Adventures from the Pilgrimage...

Publisher: Harper San Francisco

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition...

About this title


How many of us have longed to travel the same roads that Jesus traveled? To walk in the footsteps of the Buddha? In Sacred Roads, Nicholas Shrady journeys to some of the most holy destinations in the world, and in his recollections we can see the beginnings of our own spiritual voyage.

From Medjugorje, Bosnia, where pilgrims flock to the miraculous site of the Virgin Mary's appearance, to Konya, Turkey, where, since 1271, people have traveled to pay their respects at the tomb of the Sufi mystic Rumi, Shrady reveals the wonders of pilgrimage. What would it be like to walk the five hundred miles of venerated ground to Santiago de Compostela, through the countryside and rugged mountains of Spain, to the burial site of St. James? Or, how would it be to climb to the source of the Ganges, high in the Himalaya, and later drift down the sacred river by rowboat to the teeming holy city of Varanasi, where the dead are cremated alongside the river's banks? With vivid detail, incisive objectivity, and even unexpected humor, Nicholas Shrady discovers the paradoxes and the hidden truths of religion, and he shares with us the sublime epiphanies and the absurd dilemmas that await a modern-day pilgrim.

Sacred Roads sends a clear message: If a pilgrimage beckons--walk on! The adventures and insights that await are certain to be worth the effort, and the journey itself will be life-changing. The sacred roads of the world offer an opportunity to reflect and rejoice--and it is in these moments that the jewels of the pilgrim's trail are uncovered: ". . . never had I previously felt so near to the Absolute as when I was bound to a sacred path--not in any church, confessional, or moment of solitary prayer." For, as any pilgrim knows, the real pilgrimage brings us to the true destination: our own sacred road.

"The pilgrim's progress is both an interior journey, a spiritual exercise, and a physical journey toward an actual site imbued with a divine character. The condition of the pilgrim, in fact, comes remarkably close to that of the hero. By abandoning familiar, worldly surroundings, submitting [oneself] to physical hardship and sometimes considerable danger, and paying homage or doing penance at a holy site, pilgrims, like heroes, know that they will return from their odyssey in some way renewed, or at least inwardly changed."

-- from Sacred Roads


Nicholas Shrady's Sacred Roads: Adventures from the Pilgrimage Trail is the best kind of personal essay. Shrady's subject is determined by his own experience, but his perception of that experience always pays homage to the many men and women who have gone before him--and it paves the way for those who will follow. That particular strength is exceptionally well suited to a book about pilgrimage, because a pilgrim's movements are always at least as socially conditioned as they are individually elected. The driving question of Sacred Roads is this: how does the act of walking a pilgrim's path lead to spiritual insight? This Mississippi-River-size question is fed by smaller tributaries: Do danger and adventure make the rewards of pilgrimage greater? How should a pilgrim cope with obstacles in his or her path? Should obstacles be interpreted as providential or accidental? What do you do when a so-called holy man threatens your life?

A skeptical Catholic, Shrady is blessed with faith and doubt in equal measure, which imbues his stories of pilgrimages to Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, and Hindu holy places with authentic suspense. To extract from this book a succinct lesson is impossible; to try would be an injustice. Suffice it to say that Shrady is an ideal companion--simultaneously erudite, easygoing, intense, and blissfully ignorant. And best of all, he's a tenacious guardian of the solitude he finds on the pilgrimage trail, so as to be more fully present to his fellow pilgrims and readers:

I came to regard the conventional world from which I was at least temporarily removed as chaotic and aimless; the world of pilgrimage, by contrast, was, despite often precarious conditions, marked by a purity of focus. If I felt somehow blessed, it was because the pilgrimage brought me closest to Man's first condition.
--Michael Joseph Gross

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