Talk to offer insight into ancient pilgrimage

Bill Hodapp

Bill Hodapp

A professor at St. Scholastica who is an expert in medieval literature and recently studied in England as a Fulbright Scholar will discuss his experiences walking an ancient Christian pilgrimage route.

Dr. William Hodapp will open the College's School of Arts and Letters Colloquium Series at 3:40 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15 in Tower room 4119. His presentation, "Experimental Archaeology, Performance, and Pilgrimage: El Camino de Santiago in 2016 and the 12th Century Fleury Peregrinus Play," will explore the concept of a religious pilgrimage, which was seen across Judaism, Christianity and Islam in medieval cultures.

Pilgrimage was viewed as a spiritual discipline and metaphor for life, and Hodapp has studied this phenomenon in relation to a wide variety of historical texts, including Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales." He has studied many texts connected to the medieval pilgrimage route El Camino de Santiago, one of the three most popular Christian pilgrimages in the Middle Ages.

From late May through June 2016, Hodapp and his family walked the Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, to Fisterra, Spain. Many travelers and pilgrims still walk and ride the route, which is more than 1,000 years old. The route contains many sites related to medieval pilgrimage along the way. Hodapp recorded traces of the medieval phenomenon as well as observations on the modern. It was an example of field work that informed his study of medieval literature.

In this presentation, Hodapp will examine medieval pilgrimage and the 12th-century Fleury Peregrinus play in light of his experiences on the Way of St. James.

The 40-minute presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session, and refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public. The colloquium series, which is in its 11th year, provides visibility to diverse research projects by faculty members in St. Scholastica's School of Arts and Letters.