Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths

By Karen Armstrong

"SPLENDID . . . Eminently sane and sufferer . . . crucial interpreting for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike."
--The Washington Post

Venerated for millennia by means of 3 faiths, torn through irreconcilable clash, conquered, rebuilt, and mourned for time and again, Jerusalem is a sacred urban whose very sacredness has engendered bad tragedy. during this interesting quantity, Karen Armstrong, writer of the hugely praised A background of God, strains the historical past of ways Jews, Christians, and Muslims have all laid declare to Jerusalem as their holy position, and the way 3 extensively diverse innovations of holiness have formed and scarred town for millions of years.

Armstrong unfolds a posh tale of religious upheaval and political transformation--from King David's capital to an administrative outpost of the Roman Empire, from the cosmopolitan urban sanctified through Christ to the religious heart conquered and glorified by way of Muslims, from the glowing prize of eu Crusaders to the bullet-ridden image of the present-day Arab-Israeli clash.

Written with grace and readability, the made from years of meticulous examine, Jerusalem combines the competition of historical past with the profundity of looking out non secular research. Like Karen Armstrong's A heritage of God, Jerusalem is a publication for the ages.

"THE top critical, obtainable background OF the main SPIRITUALLY vital urban within the WORLD."
--The Baltimore Sun

"A paintings OF outstanding SWEEP AND GRANDEUR."
--Los Angeles occasions e-book overview

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Their author used to be offended with them, the realm had turn into a dismal place—“night and back night”—and their exile had additionally uprooted the spirits in their ancestors, who now wandered misplaced in far-off, inaccessible nation-states, forever displaced. Are they less than, the spirits? Are they there? Do they see the choices set out? the next day is bare and empty. For the Maker is not any longer with us there, he's now not the host seated with us at our fireplace. eleven The lack of place of origin intended that the hyperlink with heaven, which on my own made lifestyles supportable, were damaged. within the 6th century, the Judahite exiles expressed this via asserting that their global had come to an finish. those that wanted to stay dependable to Yahwism and the traditions in their ancestors had a significant challenge. while the exiles requested: “How do we sing considered one of Yahweh’s songs in an alien land? ”12 they weren't easily giving voice to their homesickness yet dealing with a theological quandary. this day spiritual humans think that they could make touch with their God anywhere they're on the planet: in a box, grocery store, or church. yet within the historic international, prayer in our feel used to be faraway from universal. In exile the Judaeans built the perform of lifting up their fingers, delivering the path of Jerusalem, and talking phrases of compliment or entreaty to Yahweh accurately instead for sacrifice, which was once the conventional approach to strategy the deity. thirteen yet this kind of prayer was once a unique notion and wouldn't have happened to the 1st deportees as a question after all. The exile might train the Judaeans the extra inside spirituality of the Axial Age. after they first arrived in Babylonia in 597 the exiles might most likely have felt they had been taken clear of Yahweh’s presence. His domestic used to be in Zion, and so they couldn't construct a temple to him in Babylon, as we'd construct a church, synagogue, or mosque, simply because in keeping with the Deuteronomist perfect there has been just one valid shrine for Israel and that used to be in Jerusalem. just like the Gabon Pygmies, the exiles should have puzzled no matter if their Maker used to be truly with them during this unusual urban. Hitherto Israelites had accrued for communal worship in simple terms in areas linked to a revelation of Yahweh or another form of hierophany. yet there has been no recognized example of a Yahwistic theophany in Babylonia. Then, suddenly, Yahweh made an visual appeal in Tel Aviv. one of the first batch of deportees to reach in Babylon in 597 was once the priest Ezekiel. For the 1st 5 years, he stayed by myself in his condominium and didn't communicate to a soul. Then he was—literally—knocked out via a shattering imaginative and prescient of Yahweh which left him surprised for a whole week. A cloud of sunshine had appeared to method him from the north in the middle of which he observed an immense chariot drawn through 4 of the cherubim, unusual beasts no longer not like the karibu carved at the palace gates of Babylon. whilst he attempted to explain this apparition, Ezekiel used to be at pains to teach that it lay past common phrases and ideas. What he had noticeable was once “something … formed like a throne and excessive upon this throne used to be a being that appeared like a guy.

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