Footsteps of Jesus

A Pilgrim traveller's guide to the Holy Land

Perry Buck

Currently out of print £10.99

Content

The Holy Land is a relatively small corner of the world but it holds a unique fascination for pilgrims and travellers. People come from across the world, seeking not only to explore the lands and towns of the Bible but to deepen their faith by walking in the footsteps of Jesus himself. At the same time as reflecting on the gospel story, any visitor to the Holy Land also faces the challenge of understanding the complexities of the present day situation there.

This book offers practical guidance on planning a visit to modern day Israel and Palestine, whether you are travelling independently or in a group. There are insights into the people living there today as well as the rich history of the various biblical sites, scripture-based meditations as well as moving stories of initiatives for peace, reconciliation and community-building. While the focus is on Jerusalem, Galilee and the West Bank), there is also a short chapter covering the East Bank of the Jordan and Mount Sinai and other key locations in Egypt.

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Author info

Perry Buck is an experienced journalist and travel writer, whose work has been published in over 30 newspapers and magazines around the world.

Reviews

Christianity has no equivalent of the Hajj. There is no central or obligatory pilgrimage which forms a part of the common experience of Christianity. And yet, as the author of this accessible and interesting guide puts it succinctly in the introduction to this volume, 'within a relatively small and easily navigated part of the world, there is every opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Jesus himself '. When such an opportunity is so readily available, it is a great sadness that more Christians do not avail themselves of it - and that of those that do, so many choose to stay confined within the rigid and narrow parameters set down by the big tour companies for their own convenience.

That is the gist of the journalist and travel writer Perry Buck's motivation for writing this book, and the result is a pleasing one on every level. Buck is adamant that the Holy Land is - with one or two exceptions which he signposts very clearly - a safe, secure and attractive place to visit. And so he offers this small volume as a combination of tourist guidebook and pilgrimage manual. By and large, he steers clear of the complicated political situation in the region, beyond noting its existence. The exceptions to this are his criticisms of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and his insistence that as Christians we should both visit the West Bank and support our brothers and sisters in Christ who live there.

Buck is an astute guide to the practicalities of travelling around the Holy Land, reserving most of his scepticism for the commercial tour companies rather than local businesses and individuals. He is clear that for many people, travelling round the Holy Land on your own with the aid of public transport and hire cars is not only safe but a fantastic way to see the region. And for those who would feel more comfortable being part of a more structured visit, he is quick to suggest that 'you should not be afraid to use your tourist muscle to get the trip you want rather than the run-of-the-mill trip that the tour operator may be keen to sell you'.

The book is divided into geographical chapters, which conclude with a brief chapter on Egypt and Jordan. The text is interspersed with 'footsteps' - Buck's personal recollections of his own experiences as pilgrim and traveller in the Holy Land. Quotations from relevant Bible passages help to set the scene, and in a table at the start of the book events from the life of Christ are matched up to the pages that deal with those places here. Black and white maps and a number of colour photographs complete this attractive volume.

Footsteps of Jesus will be of value to all with an interest in the lands where Jesus walked; it will be of practical help to those planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, individually or as part of a large group. It will also serve as a helpful memento for those who have been to the Holy Land before and wish to recall the experience in the hands of an experienced and capable guide. That is, broadly speaking, my own experience. Having been to the Holy Land just once, as part of a tour party, I would love to go back in a much smaller group, and explore the riches of the area independently. This book is an inspiration, and may one day be a practical tool, in helping me to do just that.

Review by Len Driver, newdirections April 2015


From Woman Alive February 2017

Whether you are a pilgrim, a biker, a hiker, or even an armchair traveller I recommend this book. It's full of practical tips, websites and useful addresses, but the difference here is the heart for the region and its people. I permeates every page and the exquisite photographs tucked into the middle of the book are a bonus, A must for the independent traveller of every budget and for those on tour groups too.

If toy have never visited the lands of the Bible, beware - this guide could cause you to have very 'itchy feet'!

Reviewed by Geraldine Radley

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857463456
  • Published: 24 October 2014
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 232
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