Jesus: A Pilgrimage

HarperOne. 2014. 528p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780062024237. $27.99. REL
In this work—part travelog, part biblical commentary, part memoir, part meditation—prolific Jesuit author Martin (culture editor, America magazine; My Life with the Saints) devotes a chapter to each of the towns he visited while on a pilgrimage in the Holy Land, villages in which particular incidents in the life of Jesus took place. He explains and reflects on the relevant Gospel stories as he proceeds. For example, in the chapter "Tabgha," he considers the story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and reflects on an incident in his experience when Jesus made small things great, and suggests how this event can help those who feel their efforts are inadequate. The chapters are ordered according to the life of Jesus, and do not correspond to the order of Martin's visit, so the account isn't so much about places as it is about coming to understand Jesus better and fostering a deeper relationship with him. Martin often refers accessibly to the scholarship about a particular biblical passage, with the relevant text provided in full at the end of each section.
VERDICT This will appeal to readers (not just Catholics) seeking an introduction to the Gospels that is personal but rooted in serious scholarship.
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