Jerusalem: an ancient city ignites the modern world

Mar 28, 2011

Jerusalem has long been a topic of interest due to its rich tradition and historical significance. In biblical times, Jerusalem’s society was rigid and brutal, an extension of the threats which faced Jerusalem in its formative stages. In the middle ages, Europe looked to the city as a heavenly beacon, breeding the resentful seeds of anti-Semitism and colonial racism. The bloodiness of the crusades further reinforced this Western view of Jerusalem as a city of heightened violence. In Jerusalem, Jerusalem, James Carroll details not only Jerusalem’s history as the City on a Hill, but how it has influenced America from the days of Christopher Columbus to Ronald Reagan. How has Jerusalem’s presence affected the rest of the globe? How has its definitively religious status coincided with so much violence? What, exactly, is so inciting about this ancient city?

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