M. Camisasca and P. Cremonesi, Viaggio in Terra Santa (Journey to the Holy Land), Marietti 1820, Milan 2008
G. Bernardelli, Terra Santa. Viaggio dove la fede è giovane (Holy Land. Journey to a land where faith is young) Ave, Rome 2009.
A journey, or rather a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, is such a radical experience for anyone with a bit of curiosity and an itch to write that they have to put their stories to paper, and thus provide a roadmap or suggestions to others also planning to visit the land of Jesus.
Two short books, Viaggio in Terra Santa by Fr Massimo Camisasca and Paolo Cremonesi, and Terra Santa. Viaggio dove la fede è giovane by Giorgio Bernardelli belong to this genre of writing. So does Giuseppe Caffulli’s Colloqui su Gerusalemme, which presents a collection of conversations with people about the city.
From a number of different perspectives (historical, biblical, spiritual), the first two books (Bernadelli’s is more detailed, with maps and data, an alternative to Lonely Planet type travel guide in terms of depth and content) accompany the reader along the roads of the Holy Land, to the places where Jesus lived, without forgetting the modern story of this still suffering part of the Middle East.
The authors meet head on the challenge of such a place, a land where “sky meets the ground” (an expression found in both books), in their telling of a story that reads like a diary.
Edited by Giuseppe Caffulli, Colloqui di Gerusalemme opens a way into the city, sacred for all three Abrahamic religions, through a thread sewn by contemporary witnesses.
In a kaleidoscopic series of conversations the book presents a number of interviews with cardinals like Carlo Maria Martini, Angelo Scola, Achille Silvestrini, Stanislaw Dziwisz and Dionigi Tettamanzi, well know writers like Erri De Luca and Susanna Tamaro as well as public figures like Andrea Riccardi, Enzo Bianchi and Franco Cardini (17 interviews in all conducted by Roberto Beretta, Manuela Borracino, Fr Jerzy Krai and Elisa Pinna).
Various aspects about how people approach Jerusalem are presented through the personal lives and stories of the people interviewed. By the same token, the city’s meaning to world history is outlined; the nature of the extant challenge it represents for the nations of the world is described, possible solutions to the ongoing conflict are offered; all questions that are connected to one another by the fact, as Caffulli suggests, that when this city “gets under your skin, it stays with you, forever.”