Honors Dialogue of Civilization: Spain, Summer 1, 2014


Dialogue of Civilizations (Spain)
Faculty Leader: Prof. Liz Bucar (e.bucar@neu.edu)
Term: Summer I
Dates: Sunday, May 4th to Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

• HONR 3309 Honors Seminar Abroad – The Act of Pilgrimage
• HONR 3309 Honors Seminar Abroad – Islam and Spain

Much of what we think of as typically “Spanish” has its roots in the tension between Christianity and Islam that came to define Spain. The course provides first hand experiences of role of religion in Spain through two units. First we travel to southern Spain to an area that for centuries was a Muslim country ruled by the Moors and called al-Andalus. Granada, Seville, and Cordoba provide a laboratory to explore how Spaniards and the Christian church have historically dealt with the challenges of religious and ethnic plurality. Second we head north to visit the a pilgrimage route the Catholic Church promoted as part of its efforts to push the Muslim Moors out of Spain: the Camino del Santiago de Compostela. For over 1000 years, people of faith have traveled this route, where legends tell us St. James is buried. We will spend two weeks as pilgrims, walking the last 150 miles of the route, and resting in towns that bear vivid material evidence of the popularity of this practice through their ecclesial art and architecture. This unit will allow the student to explore the significance of pilgrimage by performing the actions of a pilgrim.

Santiago, Granada, Seville, and Cordoba are all mid-sized, cosmopolitan Spanish cities used to catering to foreign visitors. The towns we will staying in during the Camino portion of the Dialogue will vary from small rural village to mid-sized towns. All are used to catering to pilgrims.

We will be staying in shared rooms in inns or small hotels throughout the Dialogue, in all cases these will be walking distance to city center. Class discussions will occur either on site of accommodations or in cafes or parks. We will have internet access every couple days for the first 2 weeks (while in Andalucia), but limited to none during the walk on the Camino. Breakfasts will be included for the entire trip. Dinners are included during the days on the Camino (because this is the only way we can reserve accommodations for all of us to stay together). Other meals are on your own, but a list of suggested eateries during the Andalucian portion will be provided. Part of the pilgrimage experience will be finding food or packing food for the day’s hike. Laundry will be available every 5-7 days, but the cost is not included in the program.

Selection Criteria:
Students must be active Honors Program students in good standing. GPA will be a factor in selection. Interviews will begin right after the priority deadline (application date), however acceptances will not be made until final fall grades are available. There are no coursework prerequisites. The instructor will conduct interviews of all applicants. Final decisions will be made by instructor in consultation with Honors staff member. Note: The nature of pilgrimage requires that students be able to walk 8-15 miles a day for multiple days in a row in various weather conditions (including rain). There will be limit to the personal items students may bring on the trip. Moreover, students will not be allowed to use IPods, MP3, players, cell phones or any other electronic devices WHILE WALKING on the pilgrimage routes.

For more details and application process please see: