Pictures from Turkey

PAUL AND EMPIRE:  THEN AND NOW

A BORG-CROSSAN PILGRIMAGE TO TURKEY

Led by:

Marianne Wells Borg and Marcus J. Borg

Sarah M. Crossan and John Dominic Crossan

May 14 – 27, 2014

Trip map

DAY 1: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - Depart from JFK International Airport on Turkish Airlines into Istanbul.  Meals on board flights. M

DAY 2: Thursday, May 15, 2014 - Arrive Istanbul and connect to the flight for Kayseri. Drive to our hotel in Cappadocia.  But why start a Pauline pilgrimage in Cappadocia?  Cappadocia reminds us that Paul himself was a celibate ascetic as he tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8 — maybe even before Damascus since he never mentions Christ as model.  Also, of course, the celibate asceticism of those Cappadocian cave-churches and cave-monasteries continue Jewish and Christian traditions before them and point to both Eastern and Western Christian traditions after them.  Finally, in 1 Corinthians, Paul described the Risen Christ “as the first fruits of those who have slept” (15:20).  Resurrection is not just individual for Jesus but communal for Jesus and “the sleeping ones.”  Eastern Christianity has maintained better continuity with that Jewish communal vision of resurrection than has our own individual Western tradition.  Dinner and overnight Kaymalki, Cappadocia. MD

DAY 3: Friday, May 16, 2014 - We begin our first full day with an orientation meeting after breakfast.  We then drive to Göreme Park — an open-air museum of those just-mentioned cave-built monasteries and churches—and visit as many as possible.  We see frescoes depicting themes from Eastern Christianity that have no Western equivalents.  We pay special attention to frescoes of that communal Resurrection in such places as the Dark (Karanlik) Church (11th C) and the twin Old and New Tokali (Buckle) Churches (10th C).  Return to our hotel in Kaymalki, Cappadocia for some afternoon rest, dinner, and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Saturday, May 17, 2014 - We visit a completely opposite landscape to the strangeness of Göreme’s eruption-and-erosion residuals.  We walk for a few miles alongside a running stream through the deep and wooded gorge of the Ihlara or Peristrema Valley.  It has many cave churches but, unfortunately, due to lack of supervision, they have been badly vandalized by graffiti.  We pay special attention to the life-of-Christ frescoes in the Kokar Church (10th C) with, once again, that typical communal Resurrection of Eastern Christianity.  Return to our hotel in Kaymakli, Cappadocia for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 5: Sunday, May 18, 2014 - Today we drive from Cappadocia to Lake Eğirdir (a little over 300 miles), we are avoiding an overnight stop just to break the journey because this long-day trip will then allow for a free day on the Aegean coast at Kusadasi.  We will also conduct “Roads Scholarship” on the bus with time for Q&A discussions on what we have seen and what is yet to come.  Dinner and overnight at Eğirdir. BD

DAY 6: Monday, May 19, 2014 - We travel from Eğirdir to Pisidian Antioch so identified because there were many cities named after Antiochus—along its eastern shore of the very beautiful Lake Eğirdir.  Antioch of Pisidia is surrounded on all sides by distant mountains and, on its eastern side, the Anthius River flows through a deep ravine into Lake Eğirdir.  Read Acts 13:14-51 and think how well Barnabas and Paul knew—by foot—this striking mix of lakes and mountains.  Return to Eğirdir for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - We drive from Eğirdir to Pamukkale. On arrival there, we look at the huge north cemetery of Hierapolis and see where Paul got his novel idea that the revered or martyred dead would greet Christ first at the parousia (1 Thessalonian 4:13-18).  It is possibly the very best place to understand Paul’s vision of that consummation as a congratulatory imperial visitation.  Overnight at Pamukale. BD

DAY 8: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - We drive along the Meander Valley, the major east-west artery to the mid-Aegean coast of Turkey—be it for river, road, or railway.  We will stop at Aphrodisias, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Turkey and yet slightly off the beaten track for tourists.  Its Augusteum or Sebasteion, dedicated to Rome, Augustus, and “the Olympian Imperial Gods”, is a uniquely dramatic illustration of Roman imperial theology.  Many of its bas-reliefs are now beautifully displayed in the museum’s new wing—where we begin our visit.  We will also see the Jewish “God-worshippers” inscription from the ancient synagogue, dated around 200 CE.  Drive to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Thursday, May 22, 2014 - Today is totally free of any planned visits or sites.  It is a pause in our pilgrimage and is deliberately left free for any individual activities, for absorbing what we have done and what is still to come, and for enjoying—we hope—the magnificent Aegean sunshine.  Evening meeting, as usual, dinner at Kusadasi, and overnight. BD

DAY 10: Friday, May 23, 2014 - We visit Priene with ruins from the Greek and Roman periods.  We see an important inscription dedicating its main temple to Augustus as Son of God and God Incarnate.  We see the shrine-room where the Calendrical Decree changing New Year’s Day in Roman Asia to the birthday of the God Augustus was discovered and moved to Berlin.  The bouleterion (council chamber) and theater are particularly well preserved.  It also has one of the most ancient synagogues ever discovered in Turkey.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

Day 11: Saturday, May 24, 2014 - We visit Ephesus, the best preserved ancient city in the world. Once on the sea, Ephesus is now about 3 miles inland.  Ephesus was a major center of Paul’s activities (see Acts 19), as well as one of the seven cities of the book of Revelation (Rev. 2:1-7).  Many of Paul’s letters were written during the years he lived here.  We see the Theater, the Library of Celsus, and the “terrace houses”, the villas of the wealthy, a special exhibition only recently opened to the general public.  We also have a special visit to “The Cave of St. Thecla” with a 5th century fresco of her conversion by Paul—a site normally not open to tourists.  Dinner and overnight Kusadasi. BD

Day 12: Sunday, May 25, 2014 - We visit the 6th century Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, the traditional site of his burial.  Then we visit Mary’s House a few miles away, a site sacred to both Christians and Muslims.  Both these visits emphasize the important distinction between historical sites—where something important happened—and liturgical location—where something important is celebrated.  At Mary’s House, we hope to celebrate the Eucharist in a small chapel.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

Day 13: Monday, May 26, 2014 - We visit Miletus where Paul met with the elders of Ephesus on his final journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:15-38).  We also see a reserved-seat inscription to the “God-worshippers” in the theater.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

Day 14: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - We depart from Izmir and connect in Istanbul to our nonstop return flight to the USA arriving back in the mid-afternoon. BM

Price: $4,999.00 per person.  Air from JFK, New York City

Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges, which will be added to your final invoice.  Taxes and fuel surcharges are currently $407.00 and may change.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $899.00

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

Deposit of $300.00 per person due with application.

Final payment due February 1, 2014

Cancellation Penalties
◊ October 1, 2013 – January 31, 2014: $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After February 1, 2014: NO REFUND

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, M Meals on Aircraft

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.

Extension to Istanbul (Optional)


Day 14: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - After checking out of our hotel we drive to the airport to catch our flight to Istanbul.  On our way into the exotic city of Istanbul, we will visit, St. Saviour in Chora to see the magnificent mosaics and Kucuk Ayasofya Mosque.  We will check into our hotel and then, in the afternoon, we will visit Topkapi Palace, the ancient Roman Hippodrome and the Blue Mosque.  We will return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 15: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - We begin our day with a visit to the famous Spice Market and then we will board a ship to cruise the Bosphorus to the gateway of the Black Sea.  We will sail along the European and Asiatic shores of Istanbul and disembark at Sariye where we will have a special fish lunch at the seaside.  We return to the Asiatic side of Istanbul via the Bosphorus Bridge and climb to the top of Camlica Hill for a panoramic view of the city before we return to our hotel in Istanbul.  You will be free for dinner on your own this evening. Overnight in Istanbul. BL

DAY 16: Thursday, May 29, 2014 - Today we visit the world famous Hagia Sophia, once the largest church in Christendom, then a mosque and now a fabulous museum.  We continue to the underground Cistern, the water reservoir of the ancient Constantinople during the Ottoman Empire.  You will have some time to shop at the Grand Bazaar and then have dinner at a Turkish restaurant with a traditional folklore group of singers and dancers for dinner time entertainment.  We return to our hotel in Istanbul for overnight. BD

DAY 17: Friday, May 30, 2014 - Breakfast and then we board our coach and transfer to the airport where we bid our driver and guide goodbye and board our return flight to the United States. BM

Price: $899.00* additional.  Single supplement costs $299.00* additional. 

The leaders of the Borg Crossan Pilgrimage will not join you on this extension.  You will have a private guide from your arrival until your departure as well as a private motor-coach with driver.  The price includes all entrances fees, roundtrip airport transfers, accommodations, tips for meals when meals are included, and hotel taxes.

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

All terms and conditions, cancellation penalties and payment due dates remain the same as for the main itinerary.

Final payment due February 1, 2014

Cancellation Penalties
◊ October 1, 2013 – January 31, 2014: $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After February 1, 2014: NO REFUND

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, M Meals on aircraft

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.