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

James Carroll, Introduction by
James Carroll, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-0-547-19561-2
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-0-547-74762-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-5080-7
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-547-54905-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-88392-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-3080-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-0080-2
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"Oh, Jerusalem, how often have I wept for you!" laments the psalmist. And well we should weep. For millennia, Jerusalem has been the meeting point of religion and culture, traditionalism and modernity, and the apparently inevitable violence that erupts over a particular faith's exclusive claim to the city. Carroll, author of the critically acclaimed Constantine's Sword, has given us one of the broadest and most balanced accounts in recent years of the city of King David—one centered on the concept of "sacred violence" as a path to redemption, a vision long engendered by Jerusalem and all that it represents. But he has another agenda—to analyze and interpret the intersections of history, theology, philosophy, and popular culture in a way that offers hope of an emerging religion that "celebrate[s] life, not death." Given the long history of violence and death surrounding both the physical Jerusalem and the "imagined" city (e.g., America as a "city on a hill"), is this even possible? The former Catholic priest remains optimistic that humanity will find a way to resolve the conflicts that are so much a part of its story. Conceptually profound, richly detailed, and wonderfully realized, this book brings to life the dynamic story of the divided city. (Mar.)
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