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Pilgrimage of life (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)

5 October @ 4:00 pm - 11 October @ 9:00 am

Image credit: Sara Bain

Pilgrimage of life 5th – 11th October 2024

A week to explore our lives as pilgrimage, deepening our resources to face climate change with Alastair McIntosh.

Climate change is the most pressing physical problem that the whole world currently faces. But what are its deeper roots? Is it sufficient to face it at the conventional levels of science, politics and economics, or does it also require insights into the human condition that only deep psychology and a profound spirituality can offer?

The Russian writer Maxim Gorky said “All of us are pilgrims on this earth. I have even heard it said that the earth itself is a pilgrim in the heavens.” How does ecological theology help to understand this, and  how might an understanding of our own lives as pilgrims help to inform, and to sustain, the vocations called for from us in these times?

Above all, however, how can we not let these times go to waste, but to let God use them to deepen our own spirituality and, perhaps, that of the world on its pilgrimage through time? During this week we will reflect together on the words of both a former Iona Abbey warden and in the experience of the Columban monks that Saint Adomnan recorded: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”?


Alastair McIntosh is a human ecologist whose work connects the social and environmental problems of the world to a call for spiritual deepening. He lives in Govan from where George MacLeod founded the Iona Community. Alastair is a founding trustee of the GalGael Trust that builds community in hard-pressed social contexts, an honorary professor in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow and the author of a dozen books. The books most pertinent to this week are Parables of Northern Seed: Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power (Aurum 2001), Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition (Birinn 2008), Poacher’s Pilgrimage: a Journey Through Land and Soul (Birlinn 2016) and Riders on the Storm: The Climate Crisis and the Survival of Being (Birlinn 2020).


6 Nights: £762 per adult, £381 for reduced rate – see our programme page for more information.


5 October @ 4:00 pm
11 October @ 9:00 am
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Iona Abbey Centre
Isle of Iona United Kingdom
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