This concluding chapter discusses the three broad themes covered in the preceding chapters. First, pilgrimage is one facet of a larger phenomenon that deserves more scholarly attention: the growth since the 1950s of a multibillion-dollar Christian leisure industry. Second, the Holy Land is the one place in the world where American Catholics and Protestants regularly encounter each other, and others, at shared worship sites that each group may claim as equally theirs. Thus the trip exemplifies (and for pilgrims reinforces) recent trends in ecumenism and pluralism. Third, the rise of Holy Land pilgrimage is intimately connected to American Christians' evolving relationship with Jesus. When pilgrims go to make the past “more real,” they mean that being in the biblical places should anchor and enhance a relationship with Jesus in the present.
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