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Abstract

"Adventist historians and tour guides refer to site visits using words like “living experience,” “spiritual reflection,” and “sacred space,” but these terms are not adequately engaged, thus rendering them abstract and relegating them to the background. Michael Campbell suggests, for example, that those who participate in an Adventist historical site visit are “personally confronted with the reality of God’s continued leading.” But what exactly does this mean, and perhaps more importantly, how does it happen? We need a more systematic way of connecting these places with our own experience, laden with personal meaning. The purpose of this brief study is to more fully explicate the significance of these terms, and place them in the foreground of the personal and/or group site visit by reframing such visits as a practice in theologically reflective Christian pilgrimage... This study is comprised of three parts. The first part lays a normative groundwork by discussing the contours of Christian pilgrimage biblically and historically. Part two consists of a case study where I discuss a pilgrimage-like visit I took to the Church at Washington, New Hampshire and the significance of this site for the SDA Church. The final part offers a theological reflection on the pilgrimage experience. In total, this research project represents one example in how to reflect theologically on pilgrimage-like visits to Adventist historical sites."

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