Pilgrims Crossing Borders


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Introduction to pilgrim ways as a means of dialogue

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  • A Cultural Route Connecting Scandinavia with Europe In Northern Spain, on the pilgrim way to Santiago de Compostela, we find these characteristic pilgrim road signs. One week’s walk from Santiago, you will see this road sign with directions and distances to the major pilgrim sites in Europe. Scandinavians have gone on pilgrimages ever since the Middle ages; to Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago – but also to the Cathedral of Saint Olav in Trondheim, Norway.
  • A pilgrimage to Scandinavia Sweden, Denmark and Norway all have ancient pilgrim ways, and we are happy to join in the work for cultural routes through history and landscapes through which the countries of Europe can become more closely connected.
  • Where the ways meet Saint James and Saint Olav meet under the cockle shell. The motif is from a 12th century reliquary shrine in a Norwegian Stave Church (Hedal); and is also the emblem of the Norwegian Confraternity of Saint James. De møtes under det symbolske pilegrimsskjellet. Til venstre står apostelen Jakob den eldre, også kjent som Sant Iago, skytshelgen for pilegrimene og for byen Santiago de Compostela. Til høyre står Hellig Olav, Norges evige konge og skytshelgen. Begge har sine gjenkjennelige attributter. Motivet minner oss om pilegrimstradisjonens historiske forankring i en internasjonal kulturarv. Som helgen ble Olav en av de viktigste i Nord-Europa. – Ikke til å undres over at han blir fremstilt som St. Jakobs følgesvenn. Olavskulten nådde i sin tid langt utenfor Nordens grenser. I tiden før reformasjonen fantes det i Nord-Europa rundt 350 olavskirker og kapell, 52 av disse lå i Norge, mens 75 lå i Sverige. Det var olavskirker på de britiske øyer, i hansabyene ved Østersjøen, i Normandie, Russland og Bysants (Istanbul). I Norge finnes i dag 17 olavskirker som ennå står og er i bruk.
  • Relikvieskrinet i Hedal stavkirke (fra ca 1250). Har motiv fra Tomas Beckets (1118- 1170) martyrium samt møtet mellom Jakob og Olav. St. Thomas' Becket grav i Canterbury er Englands nasjonalhelligdom. I Valdres kan du gå seksten mil merket pilegrimsvei fra Hedalen stavkirke i Sør-Aurdal (i Oppland) til St. Thomaskirken på Filefjell.
  • The Cult of Saint Olav in Europe The legacy after Saint Olav is international. After he had been designated a saint, the cult of Olav spread throughout the Nordic countries, on the British Isles and in Hanseatic towns along the Baltic, finding adherents in the Netherlands, and Normandy, and even as far away as Spain, Russia and Constantinople. The oldest surviving picture of Olav was painted on a column in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem (12th century) From the time prior to the Reformation we know of at least 340 Olav churches and Olav chapels . Here on this map you can see how widespread the Olav churches and chapels were. The easternmost Olav church is in Novgorod, Russia, and the southernmost is in the Turkish capital of Istanbul. Popularity and veneration Why did he become so popular, what was it that made a former Viking and a rather rash ruler, prone to rough treatment of his enemies, become loved and venerated in the Nordic countries and in Northern Europe? The legendary Olaf was deeply loved by people because he appealed to more or less all groups. He was the champion of peasants and sailors, the patron saint of travelling merchants and city dwellers, defender of the monarchy and the protector of the needy. He was a hero after the fashion of the times, a knight of the faith as if springing from the imagery of the stories of the knights. Nordic champion of peasants and sailors British patron saint of travelling merchants Hanseatic town, Baltic city dwellers Netherlands defender of the monarchy Normandy protector of the needy Spain Russia (Novgorod) Constantinople
  • The Nativity Church in Bethlehem This site celebrating the birth of Jesus has been a destination for pilgrims for centuries. The still-intact church, originally built in the fourth century is entered through a low narrow door. And inside…
  • The oldest surviving picture of Saint Olav The oldest surviving picture of Olav was painted on a column in the Nativity Church in the 12th century. Legend has it that the painting was commissioned by a pilgrim whose silhouette we can just barely see at the bottom left hand corner of the picture, or medieval grafitti, if you will… Why did he become a hero? Olav became a saint deeply loved by the people because he appealed to more or less all groups. He was a hero after the fashion of the times, a knight of the faith, as if springing from the imagery of the stories of the knights. champion of peasants and sailors patron saint of travelling merchants and city dwellers defender of the monarchy protector of the needy Now let’s move forward into the present….
  • Et Olavskapell i Roma I barokkirken San Carlo al Corso (nær den spanske trappen) finnes det et  Olavskapell  med et stort bilde av Hellig Olav.  San Carlo al Corso (wikipedia)
  • Øystein Erlendsson; biskop, katedralbygger og en av Norges helgener. Jeg tror vi har noe å lære av ham. Det står ikke til å nekte for at han var trønder, og jeg tillater meg å nevne at han var født på plassen Rossvoll i Trøndelag en gang på 1100-tallet, vi kjenner ikke det eksakte fødselsåret. Om Rossvoll lå i Børsa i Sør-Trøndelag, eller i Verdal i Nord-Trøndelag; se det er omdiskutert, men mye taler nok for at han var verdaling og følgelig Nord-Trønder. Skjønte vi det ikke! Øystein ville opp og fram, og lærdom søkte han både hjemme og ute i Europa. Under sine studier i utlandet lærte han om lover, om kirkelige forhold, om teologi, om å bygge og ta vare på kulturtradisjoner – og om å reise katedraler. Både i Frankrike og i England mottok han impulser og verdifull kunnskap. Under oppholdet i Lincoln i England (der han oppholdt seg i eksil etter å ha falt i unåde hos kong Sverre) fikk han inspirasjon fra katedralbyggerne der. Det ser vi resultater av i Nidarosdomens buer og arkitektur den dag i dag. I Øystein møter vi en mann med visjoner og ambisjoner. En nordmann som blir Europeer og internasjonalist i ordets beste forstand. Olav hadde banet veiene før ham, veier som etter hvert knyttet Norge til den europeiske sivilisasjonen og kulturarven.
  • Muslims praying in the Dovre mountains This might come as a surprise, Muslims praying on the Norwegian mountains. Let me make a long story short: A Turkish Muslim immigrant in Trondheim came one day to see the Christian pilgrim minister of Trondheim; and he said: "There ought to be closer contact between Muslims, Jews and Christians. We're all the sons of Abraham. Let’s co-operate and see how we can remain friends despite of our differences, and let’s see if I can help you become a better Christian, and you in return could help me becoming a better Muslim.” So he took the Norwegian pilgrim minister with him to Turkey where they both attended a large conference on religious dialogue. Some months later, the pilgrim minister brought some of his friends, and the Turkish Muslim some of his, on a pilgrimage over the Dovre Mountains towards Nidaros together. The beauty of the majestic mountains inspired this moment when the Muslims knelt in prayer to thank God for generous gifts.
  • Plain pilgrims These are pilgrims crossing the border between Sweden and Norway in July. Please don’t be discouraged by the snow-capped mountains! We shall have a look at some of the more “ordinary” pilgrims in Norway. How many are there, for example? - Last year (in 2008) 300 pilgrims received their pilgrim diploma. 800 people visited the Pilgrims’ Centre, while 4 000 attended the Saint Olav’s vigil (as pilgrims) on the 29th of July, Saint Olav’s feast day. If we were to include visitors to Stiklestad (the place where Olav fell), and perhaps we should, the number of pilgrims would rise significantly. On your own or with a group? It is possible to go on a long pilgrim walk on your own, but you would need to be an experienced hiker. Good planning would also be necessary. But, it’s indeed possible, and many have walked the whole way. The majority of pilgrims who walk the Saint Olav’s Ways, choose to do so in organized groups, often with a pilgrim guide. The guide will not only lead the way, he or she is also has knowledge about the history, the sights, the flora and fauna of the landscape you walk through. There are many advantages of walking in a group: The practical details of meals and accommodations have been planned by the pilgrim guide. You can thoroughly enjoy the walk. You will get to know an interesting group of people. People from all walks of life and with different outlooks make a diversified mix indeed. The scenery and the simplicity of the pilgrim walk eliminate social differences and inspire dialogues.
  • Pilgrim Renaissance [Signs and symbols for pilgrims] Sign for the Ways of St James and for the City of Santigo de Compostela St Henry of Finland St Olav’s Ways of Norway The Danish Confraternity of Pilgrims to Santiago St James and St Olav, The Norwegian Confraternities of St James and St Olav. The Swedish Vadstena Pilgrims’ Centre The pilgrim ways of Scandinavia are connected with the Ways of Saint James on the European Continent.
  • I shall conclude my presentation with this picture of two fellow pilgrims who are enjoying a moment of quiet bliss on their pilgrimage from Sweden to Norway. Let my try to express what I think is the essence of the pilgrim experience: It is the physical challenges, It is contact with and impulses from new cultures, It is the beauty of the environment It is close encounters with a diverse cultural heritage And last, but not least, it is the people you meet along the way The Pilgrim ways have become common ground for international understanding – and indeed also, for religious diversity and dialogue. Certainly ideals to appreciate in this day and age
  • Credo for pilegrimer Som pilegrimer har vi et utmerket utgangspunkt til å: lytte til hverandre kvitte oss med fordommer. • vise toleranse og bygge broer. skape forståelse mellom kulturer og livssyn. praktisere raushet og gjestfrihet (the end) Thanks to all contrbutors of images and maps. Pax et bonum Stein Thue stein.thue(*)gmail.com
  • Pilgrims Crossing Borders

    1. 1. Pilgrims without borders Celebrating Diversity By Stein Thue
    2. 11. Olavs reiser
    3. 12. Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. - Matthew 7:1
    4. 13. Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. - Talmud, Shabbat 3id
    5. 14. Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. - Sunnah
    6. 15. Confucianism: Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state. Analects 12:2
    7. 16. Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana-Varga 5,1
    8. 17. Hinduism: This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you - Mahabharata 5,1517
    9. 21. Defend Human Rights and the Dignity of Man. Protect Our Planet and the Environment.
    10. 22. Europa Compostela 2010 <ul><li>Den fælles europæiske ide for Europastafetten: </li></ul><ul><li>Ikke for Jakob alene, men også for </li></ul><ul><li>Menneskenes fællesskab, solidaritet, gæstfrihed og </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerance på tværs af grænser. </li></ul><ul><li>Kaj Højland </li></ul><ul><li>Foreningen af de Danske Santiagopilegrimme </li></ul>
    11. 23. Veien til Compostela - den første europeiske kulturveien 23 October 1987: “May the faith which has inspired pilgrims throughout history, uniting them in a common aspiration and transcending national differences and interests, inspire us today, and young people in particular, to travel along these routes in order to build a society founded on tolerance, respect for others, freedom and solidarity ” The Declaration that founded the Programme of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe.
    12. 24. The Santiago de Compostela Declaration 23 October 1987 <ul><li>Insists on the path as a symbol of European reconstruction and as a model for future activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Some tasks ahead </li></ul><ul><li>Identify resources throughout the European continent </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a system of signposting, using an emblem suggested by the Council of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Restore and rehabilitate the heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Launch cultural activity programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Promote on-going exchanges between towns and regions </li></ul><ul><li>Foster contemporary artistic creation </li></ul><ul><li>Appeal to all Europeans and in particular to the youth by recalling the fundamental values: </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerance, respect for others, freedom and solidarity. </li></ul><ul><li>We should add the importance of respect for cultural diversity, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. </li></ul>