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By James Carroll.

Jerusalem: Three religions, three families - Faith Matters

If you want to follow the twists and turns between Israelis and Palestinians over who may end up controlling what in the holy city and why, reading Carroll's book is a helpful place to begin. Louis Today "[Jerusalem, Jerusalem brings a fresh interpretation of the city as well as the spiritual impetus of three monotheisitic religions' toehold in its long, bloody past By reading this landmark book, those who think they know all there is to know about Jerusalem or the three religions that have coalesced around it will discover how much they didn't know.

Conceptually profound, richly detailed, and wonderfully realized, this book brings to life the dynamic story of the Divided City.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World

There is something on almost every page that makes the reader want to stop and contemplate. For those meeting Jerusalem for the first time, this volume makes a stunning introduction. Another winner from a skillful writer and thinker of the first rank. Yet the story he tells to explain precisely what drew him to don and then doff a clerical collar, and how this journey explains his motivation for writing this book, is so impressionistically pretentious that this reader, at least, was left scratching his head and scrawling question marks in the margins.

Every historian, professional or amateur, must decide how broad a context to sketch in framing his narrative.

[Jerusalem, Jerusalem] | gyqacyxaja.cf

A book about the American Civil War , for example, might begin by describing the contours of midth-century political debate, or it might start with the tragic compromises of the founding period, or even go back to the arrival of the first slaves in colonial America. But what about a book on the American Civil War that starts with an account of the origins of the universe? Carroll has done the equivalent here. Given the unavoidable limits of any mere book, Carroll inevitably highlights some things more than others.

He is especially fascinated by, indeed fixated on, human acts of violence. The pre-eminent example of violence taming violence, he says, is religion, which arose out of the practice of human sacrifice — a ritual that enabled a community to channel and purge its primitive impulses in a single cathartic act of collective bloodletting. View all New York Times newsletters. The ancient animistic and polytheistic cults from which Judaism emerged regularly sacrificed human beings.

Evil Inclination

The God of the Hebrews demanded that Abraham sacrifice his beloved son Isaac on Mount Moriah widely believed to be the location of the Temple Mount in modern-day Jerusalem but then called it off at the last minute, ultimately substituting circumcision as a nonfatal re-enactment of ritualized bloodshed that founds and forever marks the Jewish people. Yet the catharsis and sublimation invariably fall short of eradicating the urge to violence completely. What if it did?


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Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World

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