Aired: April 16, 2011

Travel for Transformation

The Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrimage trail in northern Spain, continues to attract tens of thousands of travelers each year. Among those are George Greenia (William & Mary, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities), who for years has walked the 500-mile route with his students. George studies the relationship between medieval and modern pilgrimages. He says that today’s American pilgrimages, like Underground Railroad tours, share something in common with medieval pilgrimages—transformation of the traveler. Also featured: Between 1898 and 1901, China experienced a movement marked by violent opposition to Western Imperialism. In the summer of 1900, a Christian missionary and explorer from Sweden escaped what became known as the Boxer Rebellion. To save his family and other Christian missionaries, Frans Larson led a caravan through the Gobi Desert and into Siberia. That explorer’s great-grandson, Henry Hart (William & Mary), recently retraced his great-grandfather’s trip through the Gobi.


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