When the Shrine becomes the Self

Allen pondering

a ten minute conversation with Sara Terreault, at Concordia, Montreal, about what makes post-modern pilgrimage post-modern!

2 replies on “When the Shrine becomes the Self”

Hello Sara and Matthew. Interesting discussion that left me begging for a definition of postmodern first and postmodern pilgrimage second. Your mental peregrinations raised several questions as well as thoughts in ten minutes, and you made me thirsty for a hot cup of tea! The notion of the ‘relic’ reminded me of the cult of martyrs as well as the James Frazer’s idea of contagious magic. The concept of the ‘shrine’, for me, is embedded in the notion of the ‘altar’, but how this squares with postmodern journeying is still a question mark for me. When I travel, I take with me an altar of sorts that can be quickly established and dismantled in any hotel room or campsite. Is it a grounding mechanism? It is certainly a way to take the ‘holy place’ outside of myself with me as a reminder when I pack and unpack, make camp or break camp. Why do humans need and want such things? In their needs and wants, to they go beyond any sense of time (modern, postmodern, etc.).
Just one more thought on peregrinatio. For me, it implies, or I infer, wandering higgly-piggly, with no set place of arrival at a destination. Likewise, mental peregrinations are more like ‘brainstorming’ than concentrating. With that definition, one might suggest that the early monks who went on peregrination pro Christo were themselves postmodern (in the sense of peripatetic travelers).

Eileen Moore, you sound like the children of Israel carrying the ark of the covenant around with them on their journeys! Your linking of the premodern peripatetics and the postmoderns sounds very appropriate to me….that’s a link I’d like to explore even more.

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