Contemporary spirituality tends to follow an inward journey, unconcerned with churches and rituals, even while it is drawn towards pilgrimages to remote places or sacred cities. David Martin writes, "People are rediscovering the journey to a special place as a part of their interior journey through time to discover themselves." These journeys generate personal stories about beginnings, travels and travails, prospects and arrivals: sacred history. Christianity began by emphasising a journey through an inner landscape to a spiritual city, or New Jerusalem, which was the universal home of all nations. Nevertheless real holy cities at the center of sacred territories always return, even in Protestantism where they return as elect nations with a mission. Both the invisible world and tangible locations are permanent presences: sacred geography.
These meditations, sermons and buried mosaics of quotation explore the tensions between the inner journey of the heart-in-pilgrimage--often in the voluntary group of the like-minded--and the physical journey--often also in company--to sacred locations, sometimes remote and away from it all, sometimes to holy cities at the centre of spiritual and political power. There is a link between the voluntary company of the like-minded and universal visions of fraternity and peace, on the one hand, and, on the other, holy cities, particular agglomerations of power and violence, and the social order necessary to the advance of commerce and civilisation. At the heart of these reflections is the encounter between the non-violent, fraternal City of God pursued by the heart-in-pilgrimage, and the more (or less) necessary and defensible regimes of the City of Man. That encounter came to a climax when Jesus entered the holy city on Palm Sunday. The denouement became the sacred history of Christianity that is explored here in Sacred History and Sacred Geography.