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Pilgrimage as Metaphor

(1,141 words)

Author(s): Daniel P. Terkla
Metaphor is the most powerful epistemological tool humanity has for describing and understanding existence and the unknowable. This trope enables the acquisition of knowledge via transferal, by asserting a failed equivalence (A = B) that produces revealing comparisons, or similes. For instance, we know the metaphor Ulysses (A) is a lion (B) literally to be untrue; however, the asserted equivalence of "Ulysses" and "lion" causes us to transfer the qualities we associate with the animal to the epic hero (and vice versa, although moving from A to B…

Fabulous or Imaginative Pilgrimages

(2,095 words)

Author(s): Daniel P. Terkla
Imaginative travel accounts, particularly quest narratives, are a staple of medieval literature. All such tales, including those of pilgrimage, are built upon the generic-level metaphor, life is a journey (see also Homo Viator). These narratives, whether sacred or secular, rely upon a set of conventions that date to antiquity and include: the mentor/guide and naïve mentee/student pair; experiential learning via adventure and hardship; testing of the naïf, literal and figurative border crossing; …

Palestine Pilgrims’ Text Society

(353 words)

Author(s): Daniel P. Terkla
The goal of this ambitious publication project, as conceived by the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, was to "place within the reach of English readers the most important of the records which the early mediæval pilgrims have left of their pilgrimages to Jerusalem and the Holy Land." As such, in purpose the Library fits into a tradition epitomized by Thomas Wright's 1848 Early Travels in Palestine. Wright believed that these records provide "no little insight into the history of […] intellectual improvement" which readers acquire by accompanying "these early …