Pilgrimage

STANDING ON SACRED GROUND
Fire & Ice

 

In the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia, scientists confirm the benefits of traditional stewardship even as elders witness the decline of spiritual practices that have long protected trees, meadows and mountains. Tensions with evangelical Christians over a sacred meadow erupt into a riot. In the Peruvian Andes, the Q’eros, on a pilgrimage to a revered glacier, are driven from their ritual site by intolerant Catholics.

 

SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER
Osun–Osogbo

 

Join host Bruce Feiler on an unprecedented journey to the world’s most meaningful landscapes and rigorous religious pilgrimages. Feiler and contemporary sojourners trek to sacred sites visited annually by hundreds of millions of pilgrims. Each episode follows a modern-day pilgrim on a private spiritual journey. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the practice of pilgrimage in its varied expressions around the globe, over thousands of years.

 

Osun–Osogbo
Tues., Dec. 30, 9:00 pm
Host Bruce Feiler travels to Nigeria with a group of African American pilgrims who are attending an annual festival in honor of the Yoruba Goddess Osun as a way to reconnect with their cultural and spiritual roots.  This indigenous African faith, sometimes called Orisa Devotion, was first carried to the Americas during the Transatlantic Slave Trade where it evolved and spread to become one of the ten largest religions in the world with upward of 100 million practitioners.  It is most widely practiced in the Caribbean and Brazil, but after being forced underground during slavery, it is now growing in popularity across the U.S.A., especially in African American and Cuban neighborhoods.

 

In company with pilgrims from Miami, New York and Boston, Bruce Feiler visits the last remaining Yoruba sacred grove in Nigeria, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the Osun Festival attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims and visitors from across Africa and around the world.  As two young American pilgrims are initiated as priestesses to the goddess Osun, a Miami-based priest reveals that it’s music and dance that brings most African Americans back to a faith where culture, art and spirituality are inextricably mixed.

 

 

SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER
Hajj

 

Join host Bruce Feiler on an unprecedented journey to the world’s most meaningful landscapes and rigorous religious pilgrimages. Feiler and contemporary sojourners trek to sacred sites visited annually by hundreds of millions of pilgrims. Each episode follows a modern-day pilgrim on a private spiritual journey. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the practice of pilgrimage in its varied expressions around the globe, over thousands of years.

 

Hajj
“The Hajj is the iconic pilgrimage on Earth,” says host Bruce Feiler, as millions of pilgrims gather in the valleys outside the city of Mecca in today’s Saudi Arabia to take part in the annual five-day pilgrimage every Muslim hopes to complete at least once. Since non-Muslims aren’t permitted in Mecca, Bruce’s surrogate is Anisa Mehdi, a veteran reporter of the Hajj, with whom Bruce will Skype at regular intervals.  Anisa joins a group of Muslim pilgrims from Boston who begin their journey in Medina, the second of Islam’s holy cities.

 

 

SACRED JOURNEYS WITH BRUCE FEILER
Jerusalem

 

Join host Bruce Feiler on an unprecedented journey to the world’s most meaningful landscapes and rigorous religious pilgrimages. Feiler and contemporary sojourners trek to sacred sites visited annually by hundreds of millions of pilgrims. Each episode follows a modern-day pilgrim on a private spiritual journey. The series presents a comprehensive picture of the practice of pilgrimage in its varied expressions around the globe, over thousands of years.

 

Jerusalem
Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles, is one of three great festivals in the Jewish calendar when, in ancient times, Jews from across Israel were commanded to come to the Temple in Jerusalem on pilgrimage.   But although Jewish pilgrimage lessened in importance after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 62 C.E., Christian pilgrims began coming to Jerusalem and the Holy Land within centuries of Jesus’ death.

 

During the week of Sukkot, host Bruce Feiler travels to Israel with Jewish and Christian pilgrims.  For many Christians, the road to Jerusalem begins in the Galilee along the Jesus Trail, a route that follows the path of Jesus’ ministry.  For a Jewish pilgrim from Philadelphia, spending Sukkot in Jerusalem not only honors ancient Jewish pilgrimage but also her personal time of decision, whether to remain in America or move to Jerusalem on permanent pilgrimage.