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The 21st Century Meets up with the 13th on the Camino de Santiago: Reflections on the Material

Date & Time:
April 24, 2018 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
SS 541
Dr. Rachel Schmidt, University of Calgary

Over 300,000 people traveled one of the routes of the Camino de Santiago in 2017, yet many—if not most--who did so did not identify as Catholic pilgrims seeking reconciliation with the church or with God. Given that these 21st-century pilgrims do not subscribe to the belief that the denial of the body leads to spiritual rewards, I would like to explore different possible frameworks for understanding the physical injuries many undergo as they continue on the Camino. These include: reoccupation of Christian beliefs about the body, communal norms of behaviour among the pilgrims, and the effects of exercise euphoria on pain as well as other feelings of wellbeing or dis-ease.

Dr. Rachel Schmidt is a Professor of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary. She has published two books on Miguel de Cervantes and dozens of articles on early-modern Spain. In the fall of 2017 she walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago to the border of Galicia.