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Destinations for the Spirit
Heather Vogel Frederick -- 6/5/00
"Pilgrimage, or going on sacred journeys, has been a human endeavor forever, across all cultures and civilizations," notes Jan-Erik Guerth, editorial director of HiddenSpring, the new general trade imprint of Paulist Press. "More and more, people are interested in travel with a deeper meaning." In a move targeting this growing market, HiddenSpring is launching The Spiritual Traveler series, which debuts this fall with England, Scotland, Wales: The Guide to Sacred Sites and Pilgrim Routes in Britain by Martin and Nigel Palmer. Next in the series (spring 2001) is New York City: A Guide to Sacred Spaces and Peaceful Places by CUNY professor Ed Bergman in association with the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which unearths such surprising treasures as Indian caves (yes, in Manhattan), a monument to Joan of Arc and an old African-American burial ground near Wall Street.

At Travelers' Tales, managing editor Lisa Bach believes that this growing subcategory is "more than just a trend--it's really why so many people travel, to find deeper meaning, and return home changed somehow. It's travel as transformation." Pilgrimage: Adventures of the Spirit, a November Travelers' Tales title edited by Sean and James O'Reilly, covers territory that is both traditional and unconventional, religious and secular, from Egypt's Mount Sinai to sacred Mexican soil. According to Bach, "It's a wonderful collection of contemporary writers focusing on journeys and adventures of the spirit that are both intended and unintended."

Other travel titles in this vein include The Spirit of Asia: Journeys to the Sacred Places of the East (Thames & Hudson) by Michael Freeman and Alistair Shearer, The Buddhist Guide to New York (St. Martin's) by Jeff Wilson and, from City & Company, New York's 50 Best Places to Find Spiritual Renewal by Beth Donnelly and Andrea Martin and New York's Remarkable Houses of Worship by David Dunlap and J Vecchione.

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