If your library subscribes to the SCJ click here

Get ADOBE Reader® button Follow 16th Century Journal on Twitter

Journal > Volumes > 43 (2012) / 3 (Autumn)
“Those sanctified places where our Sauiours feete had trode”: Jerusalem in Early Modern English Travel Narratives
Beatrice Groves
Trinity College, Oxford University

This article demonstrates the continuities that persist between early modern English accounts of Jerusalem and pilgrim narratives. Despite Reformed theology's denial of holiness inherent in the physical world, Protestant travelers in the generations after the Reformation relate the traditional pilgrim reaction of prayerful joy in the time-honored places, bring home relics, and record the dimensions of the holiest places, just as pilgrims always had. Recent criticism of early modern travel narratives — which views them as evidence of the increasing secularization of travel in which curiositas, trading interests, and protoimperialism have replaced the old pieties — has not fully registered the extent of the overlap: a persistence of behavior and belief which suggests that travel to the holy land is yet another aspect of post-Reformation culture in which loudly proclaimed skepticism occludes an assimilation of traditional piety. These narratives — and their avid readership — indicate that the journeys to Jerusalem undertaken by early modern Englishmen respond to the pull of holy places that Protestants believe they have abolished.

Pages: 681 - 700