Venerated for centuries by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, Jerusalem has remained the center of conflict and strife for too long. In her new book, Karen Armstrong explains how Jerusalem has become so deeply rooted in the identities of the three major religions branching from Abraham. Armstrong helps us to understand the nature of Jerusalem's intrinsic holiness while describing the importance of its richly woven history, its archaeology, and its ever-changing topography. Students of religious history will be fascinated by this narrative account, depicting Jerusalem from its earliest beginnings in the 3rd millennium BC through its present-day political issues in the Middle East.
"SPLENDID . . . Eminently sane and patient . . . Essential reading for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike."
--The Washington Post
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.
"THE BEST SERIOUS, ACCESSIBLE HISTORY OF THE MOST SPIRITUALLY IMPORTANT CITY IN THE WORLD."
--The Baltimore Sun
"A WORK OF IMPRESSIVE SWEEP AND GRANDEUR."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review
Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous books on religion, including The Case for God, A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and Fields of Blood, as well as a memoir, The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into 45 languages. In 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and began working with TED on the Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public, crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It was launched globally in the fall of 2009. Also in 2008, she was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal. In 2013, she received the British Academys inaugural Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding.