Sincethe 1950s, millions of American Christians have traveled to the Holy Land tovisit places in Israel and the Palestinian territories associated with Jesus's lifeand death. Why do these pilgrims choose to journeyhalfway around the world? How dothey react to what they encounter, and how dothey understand the trip upon return? This book places theanswers to these questions into the context of broad historical trends, analyzing howthe growth of mass-market evangelical and Catholic pilgrimagerelates to changes in American Christiantheology and culture over the last sixty years,including shifts in Jewish-Christian relations, the growth of small group spirituality, and the development of a Christianleisure industry.Drawing on five yearsof research with pilgrims before, during and after their trips, Walking Where Jesus Walked offers a lived religion approach thatexplores the trip's hybrid nature for pilgrims themselves: both ordinary-tiedto their everyday role as the family's ritual specialists, andextraordinary-since they leave home in a dramatic way, often for the firsttime. Their experiences illuminate key tensions in contemporary US Christianitybetween material evidence and transcendent divinity, commoditization andreligious authority, domestic relationships and global experience.Hillary Kaell crafts the first in-depth study of thecultural and religious significance of American Holy Land pilgrimage after1948. The result sheds light on how Christian pilgrims, especially women, makesense of their experience in Israel-Palestine, offering an important complementto top-down approaches in studies of Christian Zionism and foreign policy.
Walking Where Jesus Walked
American Christians and Holy Land Pilgrimage