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Encountering the SacredThe Debate on Christian Pilgrimage in Late Antiquity$
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Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241916

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241916.001.0001

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Jerome’s Position on Pilgrimage: Vacillating between Support and Reservations

Jerome’s Position on Pilgrimage: Vacillating between Support and Reservations

(p.65) 2 Jerome’s Position on Pilgrimage: Vacillating between Support and Reservations
Encountering the Sacred


University of California Press

Jerome came to Palestine accompanied by several monks and upper class enthusiastic female ascetics, leaving behind in Rome a path of anger and criticism directed toward his monastic way of life and his intellectual activity. From the beginning, Jerome had no intention of merely visiting Palestine, as was the practice of most other pilgrims from monastic circles in this period, but planned to remain permanently. Jerome revealed himself as an enthusiastic pilgrim from the moment he reached Palestine. Jerome's pilgrimage Letter was written to console Eustochium upon the death of her mother Paula. Although Jerome stated that he had no intention of writing a detailed account and wished to note “only those places mentioned in the Holy Scriptures,” the letter nevertheless contains a systematic survey of the holy sites he claimed they visited and a description of their personal encounter with those places.

Keywords:   Jerome, pilgrims, Eustochium, Holy Scriptures, Paula

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