Holy Fire: The Battle for Christ's Tomb

Victoria Clark, Author . MacAdam/Cage $28.50 (294p) ISBN 978-1-59692-156-6

In Innocents Abroad (1869) Mark Twain wrote of the various Christian groups who had chapels in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre: "It has been proven conclusively that they can not worship together around the grave of the Saviour of the World in peace." Little has changed, and journalist Clark traces the historical reasons why this is so. Skillfully weaving narrative about contemporary Jerusalem and Israel with a history of the political and religious wrangling over the places deemed holy by Christians, Jews and Muslims, Clark's book reads like a thriller. She follows the various Christian claims to the land (Orthodox and Roman Catholic) as well as the international ones (the Ottoman Empire and the more contemporary interests of England, France, Russia and the United States) from the time of Constantine up to the creation of the state of Israel. Though her personal dislike for evangelicals mars the book slightly, readers will come to understand why small incidents, such as an Egyptian Copt sitting in the Ethiopian section of the rooftop patio of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, can erupt in violence, and why so many nations today continue to take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. (Dec. 5)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-385-66302-1
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X