A “masterful” history of the city and its holy wars past and present, from the New York Times–bestselling author of Constantine’s Sword (The Boston Globe).
How did this ancient Middle Eastern city become a transcendent fantasy that ignites religious fervor unlike anywhere else on earth? Jerusalem, Jerusalem journeys through centuries of conflict among Jews, Christians, and Muslims, right up to the present-day Israeli-Palestinian struggle—with fascinating examinations of how the idea of the holy city has shaped not just the region’s history but the world’s.
"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 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.