Venerated for millennia by three faiths, torn by irreconcilable conflict, conquered, rebuilt, and mourned for again and again, Jerusalem is a sacred city whose very sacredness has engendered terrible tragedy. In this fascinating volume, Karen Armstrong, author of the highly praised A History of God, traces the history of how Jews, Christians, and Muslims have all laid claim to Jerusalem as their holy place, and how three radically different concepts of holiness have shaped and scarred the city for thousands of years. Armstrong unfolds a complex story of spiritual upheaval and political transformation--from King David's capital to an administrative outpost of the Roman Empire, from the cosmopolitan city sanctified by Christ to the spiritual center conquered and glorified by Muslims, from the gleaming prize of European Crusaders to the bullet-ridden symbol of the present-day Arab-Israeli conflict. Written with grace and clarity, the product of years of meticulous research, Jerusalem combines the pageant of history with the profundity of searching spiritual analysis. Like Karen Armstrong's A History of God, Jerusalem is a book for the ages. BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Karen Armstrong's Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.
Author: Karen Armstrong
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.
Release Date: 1997
A comprehensive history of Jerusalem, the holy city venerated by the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, explains how the city became a defining site for the three religions, following its development from its earliest origins to the present day. Reader's Guide included. Reissue. 25,000 first printing.
Release Date: 2001
Covers the history of the Crusades, from Pope Urban II's call to holy war through its violent conflicts, while explaining their direct influence on the modern world's ongoing Middle East turbulence among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
Available in Canada for the first time since its initial publication in 1981, this is acclaimed author Karen Armstrong’s classic memoir of her life as a young woman in a convent — the precursor to the bestseller The Spiral Staircase. Through the Narrow Gate is Karen Armstrong’s intimate memoir of life inside a Catholic convent. With honesty and clarity, she explains what drove her at age seventeen to devote herself to God. Over the next seven years, she endures the difficulties of convent life — the enforced silence, the lack of friendship and family, her own guilt at not being able to stifle her voracious intelligence — and unveils the secrets of religious life during the post–Vatican II years. Through the Narrow Gate is a moving account of a young woman’s search for God and the experiences that put Karen Armstrong on her way to becoming one of the most admired and most respected interpreters of religious faith. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Eric H. Cline
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Release Date: 2010-03-10
Genre: Social Science
"Jerusalem Besieged is a fascinating account of how and why a baffling array of peoples, ideologies, and religions have fought for some four thousand years over a city without either great wealth, size, or strategic importance. Cline guides us through the baffling, but always bloody, array of Jewish, Roman, Moslem, Crusader, Ottoman, Western, Arab, and Israeli fights for possession of such a symbolic prize in a manner that is both scholarly and engaging." -Victor Davis Hanson, Stanford University; author of The Other Greeks and Carnage and Culture "A beautifully lucid presentation of four thousand years of history in a single volume. Cline writes primarily as an archaeologist-avoiding polemic and offering evidence for any religious claims-yet he has also incorporated much journalistic material into this study. Jerusalem Besieged will enlighten anyone interested in the history of military conflict in and around Jerusalem." -Col. Rose Mary Sheldon, Virginia Military Institute "This groundbreaking study offers a fascinating synthesis of Jerusalem's military history from its first occupation into the modern era. Cline amply deploys primary source material to investigate assaults on Jerusalem of every sort, starting at the dawn of recorded history. Jerusalem Besieged is invaluable for framing the contemporary situation in the Middle East in the context of a very long and pertinent history." -Baruch Halpern, Pennsylvania State University A sweeping history of four thousand years of struggle for control of one city "[An] absorbing account of archaeological history, from the ancient Israelites' first conquest to today's second intifada. Cline clearly lays out the fascinating history behind the conflicts." -USA Today "A pleasure to read, this work makes this important but complicated subject fascinating." -Jewish Book World "Jerusalem Besieged is a fascinating account of how and why a baffling array of peoples, ideologies, and religions have fought for some four thousand years over a city without either great wealth, size, or strategic importance. Cline guides us through the baffling, but always bloody, array of Jewish, Roman, Moslem, Crusader, Ottoman, Western, Arab, and Israeli fights for possession of such a symbolic prize in a manner that is both scholarly and engaging." -Victor Davis Hanson, Stanford University; author of The Other Greeks and Carnage and Culture
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Karen Armstrong's Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. In the late twentieth century, fundamentalism has emerged as one of the most powerful forces at work in the world, contesting the dominance of modern secular values and threatening peace and harmony around the globe. Yet it remains incomprehensible to a large number of people. In The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong brilliantly and sympathetically shows us how and why fundamentalist groups came into existence and what they yearn to accomplish. We see the West in the sixteenth century beginning to create an entirely new kind of civilization, which brought in its wake change in every aspect of life -- often painful and violent, even if liberating. Armstrong argues that one of the things that changed most was religion. People could no longer think about or experience the divine in the same way; they had to develop new forms of faith to fit their new circumstances. Armstrong characterizes fundamentalism as one of these new ways of being religious that have emerged in every major faith tradition. Focusing on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Muslim fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran, she examines the ways in which these movements, while not monolithic, have each sprung from a dread of modernity -- often in response to assault (sometimes unwitting, sometimes intentional) by the mainstream society. Armstrong sees fundamentalist groups as complex, innovative, and modern -- rather than as throwbacks to the past -- but contends that they have failed in religious terms. Maintaining that fundamentalism often exists in symbiotic relationship with an aggressive modernity, each impelling the other on to greater excess, she suggests compassion as a way to defuse what is now an intensifying conflict.
Author: Bernard Wasserstein
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2008
In this timely book, Bernard Wasserstein offers the first authoritative history of the fraught diplomatic relations surrounding the Holy City of Jerusalem. Jews, Muslims, and Christians have all claimed the city as their own over the centuries--as have a dizzying array of foreign nations. In the period between the founding of the city and its capture by Israelis in 1967, Jerusalem has been conquered at least thirty-seven times. "No other town,” wrote Arthur Koestler in 1948, "has caused such continuous waves of killing, rape, and unholy misery over the centuries as the Holy City.” Today, Jerusalem lies at the core of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is the most deeply divided capital city in the world: its Arab and Jewish residents inhabit different districts, speak different languages, attend different schools, read different newspapers, observe different holy days--live, in almost every significant respect, different lives. Against the background of renewed violence in and around Jerusalem, this book explores the complicated origins of the current diplomatic impasse. Why is the question of Jerusalem so intractable? Why has it outlasted almost every other political dispute as a focus for diplomatic wrangling and collective violence? And what are the prospects for resolution? Meticulously researched, and written with humanity and elegance, this book offers an illuminating contribution to the effort to achieve a lasting negotiated settlement of a tragic conflict that affects us all.
Author: Simon Goldhill
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2009
Jerusalem is more than a tourist site it is a city where every square mile is layered with historical significance, religious intensity, and extraordinary stories. It is a past marked by three great forces: religion, war, and monumentality. In this book, Goldhill takes on this peculiar archaeology of human imagination, hope, and disaster to provide a tour through the history of this most image-filled and ideology-laden city."
Author: F. E. Peters
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2018-05-22
F.E. Peters, a scholar without peer in the comparative study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, revisits his pioneering work. Peters has rethought and thoroughly rewritten his classic The Children of Abraham for a new generation of readers-at a time when the understanding of these three religious traditions has taken on a new and critical urgency. He began writing about all three faiths in the 1970s, long before it was fashionable to treat Islam in the context of Judaism and Christianity, or to align all three for a family portrait. In this updated edition, he lays out the similarities and differences of the three religious siblings with great clarity and succinctness and with that same remarkable objectivity that is the hallmark of all the author's work. Peters traces the three faiths from the sixth century B.C., when the Jews returned to Palestine from exile in Babylonia, to the time in the Middle Ages when they approached their present form. He points out that all three faith groups, whom the Muslims themselves refer to as "People of the Book," share much common ground. Most notably, each embraces the practice of worshipping a God who intervenes in history on behalf of His people. The book's text is direct and accessible with thorough and nuanced discussions of each of the three religions. Footnotes provide the reader with expert guidance into the highly complex issues that lie between every line of this stunning edition of The Children of Abraham. Complete with a new preface by the author, this Princeton Classics edition presents this landmark study to a new generation of readers.
What are myths? How have they evolved? And why do we still so desperately need them? A history of myth is a history of humanity, Karen Armstrong argues in this insightful and eloquent book: our stories and beliefs, our attempts to understand the world, link us to our ancestors and each other. This is a brilliant and thought-provoking introduction to myth in the broadest sense – from Palaeolithic times to the “Great Western Transformation” of the last 500 years – and why we dismiss it only at our peril. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The moving story of her own search for God by the highly-acclaimed author of the bestselling A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism; and Islam: A Short History. In 1969, after seven years as a Roman Catholic nun -- hoping, but ultimately failing, to find God -- Armstrong left her convent. She knew almost nothing of the changed world she was entering, and she was tormented by panic attacks and inexplicable seizures. Her struggle against despair was fueled by a string of discouragements -- failed spirituality, doctorate and jobs, fruitless dealings with psychiatrists -- but finally, in 1976, she was diagnosed with epilepsy and given proper treatment. She then began the writing career that would become her true calling, and as she focused on the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, her own true inner story began to emerge. She would come to experience brief moments of transcendence through her work -- the profound fulfillment that she had not found in the long hours of prayer as a young nun. Powerfully engaging, often heart-breaking, but lit with bursts of humour, The Spiral Staircase is an extraordinary history of self. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Simon Sebag Montefiore
Release Date: 2012
Presents an epic story of the holy city at the heart of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, drawing on new archival materials, current scholarship, and the author's own family records to narrate its tumultuous history.