Tracing an ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome, the bestselling Seattle writer Timothy Egan explores the past and future of Christianity. Elliott Bay Book Company presents Egan on Town Hall’s stage for a discussion of A Pilgrimage to Eternity, his soul-searching book grappling with his own beliefs. Moved by his mother’s death and his Irish Catholic family’s complicated history with the church, Egan embarked on a thousand-mile pilgrimage through the theological cradle of Christianity, exploring one of the biggest stories of our time: the collapse of religion in the world that it created. Egan recalls how he set out along the Via Francigena, once the major medieval trail leading the devout to Rome, and made his way overland via the alpine peaks and small mountain towns of France, Switzerland, and Italy. The goal: walking to St. Peter’s Square, in hopes of meeting the galvanizing pope who is struggling to hold together the church through the worst crisis in half a millennium.
Egan weaves a modern Canterbury Tale in the chapel where Queen Bertha introduced Christianity to pagan Britain; parses the supernatural in a French town built on miracles; and journeys to the oldest abbey in the Western world, founded in 515 and home to continuous prayer over the 1,500 years that have followed. Join Egan for a thrilling journey, a family story, and a revealing history that looks for our future in its search for God.
Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of eight books, most recently The Immortal Irishman, a New York Times bestseller. His book on the Dust Bowl, The Worst Hard Time received numerous accolades, including a National Book Award for nonfiction. He writes a weekly opinion column for The New York Times.
Presented by Elliott Bay Book Company.