Online: Lecture “Pilgrimage, Diplomacy and International Relations”

Feb 18, 2021 7:00PM—8:30PM


Online Zoom event. Prior registration through the REGISTER link above is required for access information. Note 7:00 PM EST. Adjust as appropriate for other time zones.

Cost Free but a suggested $10 donation

Event Contact Indiana Council on World Affairs (


The Indiana Council on World Affairs Distinguished Speaker’s Series with Ian McIntosh.

Please register for this FREE event through the REGISTER link above. Several days before the event begins, you will receive an e-mail with the Zoom login instructions.

Note start time is 7:00 PM EST. Adjust as appropriate for other time zones.

Pilgrimages are by far the most peaceful mass rituals that humankind has yet devised for itself. However, most definitions of this universal phenomenon obscure this and other significant roles that pilgrimage plays in society. In this presentation, Dr. Ian McIntosh will look beyond the personal quest in search of spiritual blessings or sacred truths to pilgrimage’s role in international diplomacy, with case studies from Saudi Arabia and Iran, Pakistan and India, Mongolia and China, among others. We’ll explore the idea of the ‘pilgrim paradox’ as a potential avenue for diplomacy and relationship-building in troubled regions like Xinjiang Province, in western China.

If you’ve ever been on a pilgrimage, aspired to go on a pilgrimage, or wondered how the transformative outcomes of pilgrimage can be applied to other communal undertakings to promote international peace and understanding, then you will want to register for this program!

About the Speaker
Australian anthropologist and peace scholar, Ian McIntosh, is the founder of the Sacred Journeys project that brings pilgrimage and religious tourism scholars together from across the globe for an annual conference. He has co-edited three volumes on pilgrimage and peace-building, and most recently he authored the book “Pilgrimage: Walking to Peace. Walking for Change’. He has also written three books on Australian Aboriginal religion and culture, including ‘The Whale and the Cross’, a biography of the Yolngu elder David Burrumarra. His 2017 documentary ‘Waves of Fortune’ about China and the Maritime Silk Road won a Lower Great Lakes Emmy Award for WFYI.