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The Sacred Journey: The Ancient Practices

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
When Yahweh became a man, he was a homeless vagrant. He walked through Palestine proclaiming that a mysterious kingdom had arrived...He called people to follow him, and that meant walking.
Charles Foster
Humans are built to wander. History is crisscrossed by their tracks. Sometimes there are obvious reasons for it: to get better food for themselves or their animals; to
ebook, 252 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Thomas Nelson (first published February 28th 2010)
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Mar 31, 2011 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
My Opinion:

This is the first book on pilgrimage that I've ever read. Charles Foster had me laughing and thinking throughout this whole book. It took me a long time to finish because it made me aware of myself and my beliefs. Something that no book has ever done.

The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster is well written. I was not bored with this book in fact the opposite is true. His writing style is bold and blunt, something you might need to keep an open mind about. This book is about the journey o
Jul 14, 2016 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
Every so often you come across a book that provides the proverbial yet necessary slap across the face, showing you things that were always there but were not put together or were otherwise missed. In the end, you might not agree with everything said in the book, but you walk away thankful to have been challenged and to see things a bit differently.

So it was for me in reading The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster. The book is part (really, the conclusion) of The Ancient Practices Series, a series
Jun 15, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hardly comprehensive or entirely historical work on pilgrimage and the author works hard at being provocative, drawing in non-Christian traditions (sometimes to critique the Christian), while always upholding the centrality of the call of Jesus to "Follow Me." For Foster the life of the pilgrim, of the nomad, beginning from Abel and Abraham, is the Christian model. This got my hackles up at times, because rootedness can be a real virtue in our hyper-mobile time (see Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and ...more

Charles Foster, The Sacred Journey (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Press, 2010), 230 pages including notes, an index and a study guide.

For much of the Christian era, going on a pilgrimage was seen as a valid spiritual practice (at least for a small percent of the faithful). Christians would head to the Holy Lands, even after the Islamic invasion. Later, as Jerusalem became a more difficult destination, Christians would go to Rome or to Santiago or other places in Europe that were important to the
Feb 03, 2011 Wyndy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the seventh book in the Ancient Practices Series. This one is about pilgrimages written by an English wordsmith. Jesus was a walker and all those who follow him must also be walkers in order to understand him more deeply. He includes scenes from his many experiences as a pilgrim and also tidbits from pilgrims of other religions. The writing is excellent, the thoughts clear and easily read. However, I found it quite Eurocentric but I suppose that was to be expected because pilgrimages see ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Foster’s “The Sacred Journey” is his case in support of Christian pilgrimage. He goes into to detail about the history of pilgrimages, their various benefits, and their significant role in journeys of faith.

Foster is in full support of everyone taking a literal pilgrimage to somewhere one deems as holy. The author describes his trip to the Holy Land, as well as giving countless examples of others’ pilgrimages.

I really liked this book, but I found a few problems with it.The first half o
Apr 14, 2010 Karin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I was excited to read Foster's idea on pilgrimage. It's not a topic about which I've studied much, and his credentials seemed sound. However, I never made it through the third chapter. I believe Foster's interpretation of scripture to be so misguided that I am actually surprised that Thomas Nelson agreed to publish it as a “Christian spiritual growth” title.

In an effort to make his point, Foster defends pilgrimage in the first chapter not with Biblical references, but by showing how important it
Oct 30, 2011 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The summer before my senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to go out for a varsity sport. Though there were many reasons, they all boiled down to this: I wanted to connect more with my father. You see growing up I knew my dad was a real manly kind of man. He went loved hunting and fishing, fixed things around the house and worked on cars because he liked it. I wasn’t a huge fan of fishing (I found it kind of boring, but at least you could read). I didn’t care for hunting (same as fishin ...more
Chris Canuel
May 03, 2011 Chris Canuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The Sacred Journey’ by Charles Foster is another book in the Ancient Practices Series’ edited by Phyllis Tickle. I’ve read several of these books and have really enjoyed them…even the ones I’ve had serious disagreements with. Browse my blog for my other reviews related to this series.

‘The Sacred Journey’ is the book in the series that deals with pilgrimage. In the book Mr. Foster makes the point that we are either pilgrims or we are not. I would agree with this point, though I think that all C
Laura Bowman
Apr 06, 2011 Laura Bowman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Foster challenges us to take a pilgrimage in his book The Sacred Journey. He shares some reflections from journey’s he has made as well as others experiences. He even advices you what to take should you venture out.

He starts the book “When man was first born…..he began to walk” then continues on through Abraham, (who is the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) to Jesus who “was the archetypal desert Bedouin, Jesus was homeless”.

He makes the point that “humans have never forgotten
Jul 22, 2011 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I reviewed "The Sacred Journey" by Charles Foster. I received the book for free in exchange for 2 reviews.

This book is based on spiritual pilgrimage. It could be to the Holy Land or it could be any place where one gets growth, one gets answers, or where one learns about themselves in a way that is different from when they first started. The point of a pilgrimage is to move. We as humans are not meant to be stationary. We are nomads who wander. With all the technology that has been coming forth,
Feb 09, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have thoroughly enjoyed and grown with each book in this series. And I am convinced that the ancient practices are the things that are needed if we are to regain our footing in our fast-paced, materialistic, and narcissistic culture. This book, like the rest, stretched my worldview, gave me an appreciation for my faith heritage, and gave me the desire to go on pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage differs from a vacation trip as Communion/Lord's Supper/Eucharist differs from an after meal trip to Baskin-Rob
Apr 25, 2011 Ryan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual-growth
Charles Foster tried really hard in writing this book. He determined to write a book about the sacred journey, or Christian pilgrimage. His main argument is that Christians are built to wander, they are built to go from place to place, never having a “home” while enjoying the minimalistic features of the journey. Not only that, but God is particularly affectionate toward those who wander, toward the nomad. Many things happen on the journey. God-encounters always take place, but sometimes in the ...more
Loraine Alcorn
Apr 01, 2011 Loraine Alcorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from book sneeze and finished it this morning so I thought I would post my review .

The Sacred Journey By Charles Foster

This book is both inspirational and Motivational , it made me really want to get out and explore my environment . I'm not a big traveler but while reading I could feel the passion the writer has for his travels . He shares with you all the wonderful experiences he has had that have brought him spiritual fulfillment and joy . I would recommend this book to an
Apr 11, 2015 Sae-chan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I didn't buy most of the author's idea about pilgrimage. The one thing I bought was quickly apologized as corny: just follow your heart.

For me life is pilgrimage. Every single day is a road we have to take with pilgrim's attitude, otherwise we will miss that day's worth of wisdom.

I felt that the author was too scared to be labeled (just like most Christians, that's why too many people are crowding the main road) liberal, or pantheist, or gnostic (ha!). Whatever labels slapped on our foreheads d
Deb Thorne
Jun 14, 2011 Deb Thorne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exploring physical journeys and pilgrimages as well as life-learning or spiritual journeys/pilgrimages is an interesting concept to say the least. I did enjoy reading The Sacred Journey and getting a feel of Dr. Foster's concepts as they pertain to his life, therefore, got the wheels turning in the attic as to what journeys/pilgrimages I have been on and ones I want to pursue. I would say that reading Dr. Foster's stories and concepts as well as historical facts put me in an introspective positi ...more
Great content, but I felt like I had to forcibly plow through the style. By the end of the book I was skimming and I only finished it because we have in-class quizzes.
Dave McNeely
Mar 08, 2011 Dave McNeely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foster's prose is remarkably beautiful and reminds me a bit of a Donald Miller without the humor. At times, I would find myself thinking, "I'm not sure that's true, but it sure sounds good the way he says it!" This book was a wonderful introduction to the discipline of pilgrimage and simply reading it was its own spiritual reward.
Excellent book for those who wish to think deeply about what it means to live life as a pilgrimage. Well written, thoughtful, engaging.
Nancy Moffett
May 31, 2013 Nancy Moffett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of good ideas around pilgrimages, lots of anti-gnosticism. I will read this book again as I prepare for my own pilgrimage.
H. Holder-bobo
good book, very highly pro-pilgrimage, makes one want to do a pilgrimage, even though family and time disallow such a trek
May 20, 2014 Winston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking book, pushes buttons intentionally. Tries to get people moving figuratively and literally.
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Charles Foster is a Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. He is a qualified veterinarian, teaches medical law and ethics, and is a practicing barrister. Much of his life has been spent on expeditions: he has run a 150-mile race in the Sahara, skied to the North Pole, and suffered injuries in many desolate and beautiful landscapes. He has written on travel, evolutionary bio ...more
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