Pilgrimage in the Holy Land Then and Now: The Conway Bursary Presentation
Third year MA Theo Studies student Antje Carrel is the recipient of this year's Conway Holy Land Travel Bursary. She will be recounting her trip to the Holy Land, and giving a presentation of her research at Regent on Nov 16. Below is a preview of her presentation, which will explore historical and current Protestant views on pilgrimage.
I found myself kneeling down. It was the only way three of us could fit in such a tight space. The air was heavy, as if the lanterns’ flames were jealously consuming it all. The feeling of my knees on this hard stony ground led me, automatically, into a prayer of repentance. Silence set in, almost in a ceremonial way, only perturbed by slow, regular breathing. I looked to my left: the fellow, eyes closed, in deep meditation, had decided to sit in an awkwardly huddled-up position. I looked to my right: kneeling, the other student from the Pontifical University of Rome, was deep in prayer, his lips moving subconsciously. Here I was, an evangelical Christian with a mixed Calvinist-reformed, Plymouth brethren background, not to mention an Anglican in the making. Here I was, a theology student, yes—but indeed not from Rome, from Vancouver’s very own Regent College. As I leaned towards the cold marble stone, softened by the touch of countless hands, I responded to the angel of the Lord’s call, "Come and see." As I joined my hands and bowed my head, joy overwhelmed me as I sensed the glory of the place: "He is not here, for he has risen!”
This hour-long vigil over the tomb of Christ happened during a night of prayer in the Holy Sepulchre, which took place as part of an exploration of pilgrimage now and then in the Holy Land. Come and listen to a reconsideration of the protestant view of pilgrimage, as I engage with its meaning throughout history, recount experiences by the Syrian border, in the Holy Sepulchre, and living with a Palestinian family during Ramadan. I'll share the stories of Mani, the seeking Jewish fine arts Professor; Greg, the Lutheran pastor, keen toucher of holy grounds; and Valerie, the Christian woman of Kanna.