Sacred Tracks: 2000 Years of Christian Pilgrimage
by James Harpur
Ever since the Magi trekked from the East to witness the birth of Jesus, pilgrims have undertaken long and often dangerous journeys to seek out ... Show synopsis Ever since the Magi trekked from the East to witness the birth of Jesus, pilgrims have undertaken long and often dangerous journeys to seek out Christian holy places. "Sacred Tracks" tells the 2000-year story of Christian pilgrimage and the saints and pilgrims, shrines, relics and practices of a tradition that is still flourishing. Drawing on contemporary accounts and a wealth of illustration, "Sacred Tracks" captures the atmosphere of pilgrimage through the ages. It describes the difficult conditions of travel, and the great sites such as Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Canterbury. It looks at the pilgrims themselves, from St Brendan, who is said to have set out across the seas in search of a paradise-like island, to the penitents, cure-seekers and adventures who in the later Middle Ages journeyed into the unknown in their thousands. In recent times pilgrimage has recaptured the popular imagination and Sacred Tracks describes contemporary places of pilgrimage such as Lourdes, Fatima, Walsingham and Knock. It is an unusual combination of history, travel and spirituality that will have broad appeal and will appeal to the large Christian market, especially with the revival of pilgrimage and more active Christianity. It gives details of contemporary pilgrimage sites in Europe, the UK and the Americas. The lively text uses contemporary anecdotes to give a fresh perspective on world-famous sites and routes. The author, is an expert on Christianity - and himself is a pilgrim.