This book had a long, slow gestation, and its birth owes a lot to many different people. While I have more recently envisaged it as a companion volume to my earlier monograph on Tibetan religion, The Cult of Pure Crystal Mountain (New York, Oxford University Press, 1999), which also deals with place creation and the ritual culture of pilgrimage in Tibetan societies, this has admittedly been something of an afterthought. The roots of The Holy Land Reborn actually reach all the way back to my undergraduate days. I have fond memories of studying India with Jim Wilson, whose enthusiasm and generosity as a teacher helped determine my long-term fascination with some of the dimensions of religion in India that are treated here. Nor have I forgotten how, during my early days as Jim's student, I serendipitously came across a book by August Hermann Francke (1870–1930) in the university library while daydreaming of Himalayan adventures instead of studying. With fascination, I read and copied Francke's notes on some of the reinvented Tibetan pilgrimage sites to which I have now devoted a chapter in this book. Francke was the fist professor to be awarded a chair of Tibetan studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and as fate would have it that is the post I now hold today. To my other early teacher, and friend, Paul Harrison, I will always be grateful for the inspiring glimpse into the higher levels of the academic study of Buddhism which he gave me. Although I chose to follow a different path, the interest in Buddhist studies which Paul once kindled seems to have fially found some expression in this book. I hope it gives him more satisfaction than regret! I thank Paul as well for introducing me to Gregory Schopen, and also to his scholarship, which as a nonphilologist I nevertheless came to appreciate for its counterintuitive approach.