Nomad’s Progress

Lord Sutherland

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 131, 2004 Lectures

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263518
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734021 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Nomad’s Progress

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This lecture discusses the usefulness, the appropriateness, and the viability of the metaphor of pilgrimage, as it is applied in the post-twentieth century world to the search for moral and spiritual fulfilment. The lecture suggests some parallels with Isaiah Berlin's rejection of the central premise in utopian thought, where the idea of a perfect whole where all good things existed was coherent. It is also implied that there were parallels to some concerns in the recent work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Ernest Gellner; several themes that were central to their theses are identified.

Keywords: metaphor of pilgrimage; moral and spiritual fulfilment; utopian thought; perfect whole; central themes; Alasdair MacIntyre; Ernest Gellner

Chapter.  8476 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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