Pilgrimage Pathways for the United States

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Pilgrimage Pathways for the United States

Creating Pilgrimage Routes to Enrich Lives, Enhance Community, and Restore Ecosystems

James E. Mills


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An inspirational argument for the creation of a new pilgrimage tradition in the United States.

Pilgrimage is a sacred tradition that has existed around the world for centuries. Every year, more than one hundred million devotees from different cultures and faiths embark on journeys to such holy sites as Santiago de Compostela, Mecca, and Banaras. For some, making a pilgrimage is a spiritual act, while for others it is a secular experience of personal restoration. And yet there has never existed a tradition of pilgrimage within the United States.

Cultural geographer James E. Mills makes a compelling case for the creation of a network of American pilgrimage routes to heal societal divisions and foster a new ethos of humanitarianism and environmentalism. He also addresses practical considerations for the development, ownership, and administration of future routes. Pilgrimage Pathways for the United States is for anyone considering a pilgrimage and for those of us who are interested in connecting and protecting our natural world, including environmentalists, interfaith clergy, political leaders, community developers, and activists.


James E. Mills:
JAMES MILLS is a professor at SUNY Oneonta, where he served as the director of the Environmental Sciences Program for eight years and helped create a new major in environmental sustainability. He currently teaches regional courses on Asia, the Geography of Culture and Environment, and a course entitled Religion, Spirit, and Environment. Mills received an undergraduate degree in natural resource management from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a doctorate in geography from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Over the course of his personal and academic career, Mills has visited pilgrimage destinations across East and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.

KIRK MAGOON graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Ferris State University. After years playing baseball, and a short stint on the Amazon bestseller list as a mystery writer, he is now a professional voice over artist. He currently resides in the Midwest with his wife and is a stay-at-home dad with two wonderful children.