Jerusalem Bound: How to Be a Pilgrim in the Holy Land

Rodney Aist

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A pilgrim spirituality for Holy Land travel, Jerusalem Bound resources the Christian traveler with biblical, historical, and contemporary images of the pilgrim life. Integrating historical sources, on-the-ground experience, and the voices of global pilgrims, Jerusalem Bound presents a fresh approach to pilgrimage, explores pilgrim identity and the Holy Land experience, offers ideas for Holy Land travel, and encourages pilgrims to focus upon the Other as much as themselves. Unique among Holy Land resources, Jerusalem Bound discusses material that is seldom addressed on a Holy Land journey: the motives of Holy Land pilgrims, the history of the Christian Holy Land, understanding the holy sites, pilgrim practices, material objects, and the challenges of Holy Land pilgrimage. Emphasizing the incarnational nature of lived experience, the book encourages pilgrims to derive meaning in both the highs and lows of religious travel. Attentive to the transformational nature of pilgrimage, Jerusalem Bound is ultimately interested in Christian formation and the aftermath of the Holy Land journey.



"Rodney Aist is a rare writer on pilgrimage--not only an experienced traveler himself, but an accomplished scholar of pilgrimage in Christian history, and thus uniquely able to draw on both experience and knowledge. As the scholar, he writes with profound acquaintance with centuries of tradition--but his boots that sit near his writing desk bear the dust and scuffs of a practiced pilgrim!"

--Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, Loyola Marymount University


"Whenever I hear the word 'pilgrimage, ' two words come immediately to mind: Rodney Aist. Rodney has studied this important practice extensively. More importantly, he lives pilgrimage. In Jerusalem Bound, he opens a window to the soul-expanding possibilities of pilgrimage to the Holy Land. If you yearn to be something more than a tourist of holy sites in life, read this book! It is more than a guide; it is a portal."

--Paul Chilcote, author of Living Hope


"As someone who has led numerous biblical storytelling pilgrimages to the Holy Land, I was delighted by the way Jerusalem Bound 'stretched my tent pegs, ' revealing just how many more dimensions of a Fifth Gospel encounter should be considered and intentionally implemented. . . . I can't wait to plan and lead my next pilgrimage in a manner that will most certainly encourage a more deeply transformational experience for all."

--Tracy Radosevic, Academy for Biblical Storytelling


"My son Bingham and I made our pilgrimage to the Holy Land in January 2015 at St. George's College, Jerusalem, where Rodney Aist was our course director. In reading his book I relived my experience and gained valuable new information and insights. I strongly recommend to anyone making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest this book. Should I return for another pilgrimage, or to lead one, I will pull Jerusalem Bound off the shelf!"

--Frank Neff Powell, retired Episcopal bishop

About the Author

Rodney Aist is a Holy Land scholar, with a specialty in pre-Crusader pilgrimage. A former course director at St. George's College, Jerusalem, he has taught and guided pilgrim courses for lay and clergy from around the world. A Methodist clergyperson with expertise in ecumenical, culturally diverse ministry, Rodney has served congregations and Christian communities in Arkansas, Scotland, Italy, Jerusalem, and the Navajo Nation. He directs a DMin in pilgrimage at Drew Theological School.


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