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The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount [Kindle Edition]

Gershom Gorenberg
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The new millennium dawned quietly, defying modern-day prophets of apocalypse. Yet for countless believers around the globe ­- Christians, Jews and Muslims -- anticipation that the world is about to end burns more intensely than ever. God's kingdom is near, they believe, and the key to salvation is Jerusalem's Temple Mount, -- the most sacred and contested real estate on earth. In The End of Days, leading Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg portrays how such faith has fueled the real-world struggle in the Middle East and reveals why, even in times of peacemaking, it continues to be a powerful catalyst for conflict.
Adroitly portraying former-hippies-turned-true-believers, American radio evangelists of the End, radical Palestinian sheikhs, and Israeli ex-terrorists, Gorenberg weaves a story that stretches from California churches to West Bank settlements. He explains why believers hope for the End, and why prominent American fundamentalists provide hard-line support for Israel, while looking forward to an apocalypse in which they expect Jews to die or else convert. He makes sense of the messianic fervor that has driven Israeli settlers to oppose peace, and describes the Islamic apocalyptic visions that cast Israel's actions in Jerusalem as diabolic plots. He examines, as well, what happens when secular politicians try to channel these religious passions for their own purposes.
At the center of this story is the Temple Mount, where Solomon and Herod built their Temples, where the Dome of the Rock now stands -- and where both Jewish extremists and millions of Christian fundamentalists expect the Third Temple to be built soon. Holy to both Judaism and Islam, the Mount is where nationalism and faith join in a volatile mix. Any attempt to spark the End by clearing the ground for the Temple, therefore, could ignite holy war. This book explains the Mount's dangerous fascination for fundamentalists, and shows why the risks will actually increase in the new millennium ­ as prophesied dates pass and believers look for a way to ensure that the End comes.
Cain murdered Abel, according to an ancient legend, in an argument over who would possess the Temple Mount. That parable sums up the passions aroused by the sacred hilltop. The End of Days shows, with clarity and poise, how conflict over Jerusalem is rooted not only in the past but even more in expectations of the future, and how the fiery belief in apocalypse has a very real impact on contemporary life and international politics.

Product Description Review

For the average American watching CNN, the conflict in the Middle East is a complicated affair, mired in an ancient past and an uncertain future. It also seems like a distant story, one that only remotely touches upon the temples and churches beyond the Middle East. Not so, explains Gershom Gorenberg, a senior editor at the Jerusalem Report. In fact, the threat of apocalyptic religious violence is happening now, and it's happening everywhere. It is fuelled in part, he says, by Christian leaders in America's fundamentalist churches.

To help readers make sense of it all, Gorenberg centres his fascinating discussion around the Temple Mount, the world's most desired piece of religious real estate. It is where King David erected an altar, where Solomon and Herod built their temples, and where the Dome of Rock now stands. (Cain even murdered Abel, according to ancient legend, over who would own this place.) The Christian far right now stakes a future claim to the Temple Mount, where they predict (or at least hope) the "Third Temple" will be built shortly. Gorenberg offers the impressive research of a seasoned investigative journalist, yet he possesses the narrative skills of a novelist. The result is an enthralling and informative read. --Gail Hudson

About the Author

Gershom Gorenberg is a senior editor and columnist at THE JERUSALEM REPORT, a regular contributor to THE NEW REPULIC and coauthor of SHALOM, FRIEND: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF YITZHAK RABIN. He grew up in California and since 1977 has lived in Jerusalem.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 582 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0684871793
  • Publisher: Free Press (21 Feb. 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BOR8QF4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #453,066 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely plea for relativism and humility 14 Oct. 2002
Deciphering the signs pointing to all-out war in the Middle East is the passionate purpose of this book, which analyzes the motivations of fundamentalist and evangelical Christians who support Israel in its struggles against the Palestinians in general and in its often violent disputes over the Temple Mount in particular because their literal interpretations of Scriptural passages lead them to believe that these current events represent enactments of the "Endtime" in which the Messiah will reappear and perform the Final Judgment. A decidedly unbenign corollary of such beliefs, of course, is the expectation that the majority of Jews will be killed during the ensuing Armageddon, and that only the few who convert in time will join the ranks of true believers who enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In tracing these volatile beliefs, summarized under the rubric of "dispensational premillennialism," along with the parallel convictions of Jewish messianists and the unswerving commitments of Muslims to the defense of the sacred precincts on the Mount, Gershom Gorenberg contrasts the literalism with which a "political arrangement over thirty-five acres," the area of the Temple Mount, "is described as a cosmological defeat of light by darkness" - i.e., an accommodation preventing the destroyed Temple's rebuilding, an essential precondition to fulfillment of the Doomsday scripts of both Christian and Jewish fundamentalists - with the moderate evangelicals' rejection of the Crusades as a betrayal of Jesus, who "saw the image of God in every person he met. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a piece of work is man... 12 Jan. 2010
A thoroughly diverting read - and a 'fundamentally' deadly serious one. If you approach this book without a prior agenda (unlike certain reviewers) you should find secular Jew Gorenberg a thoroughly engaging companion and guide to the wilder byways of three faiths. What a glorious collection of kooks (including the rabbis Kook, father and son, and the brothers Elboim). What hath God wrought, indeed...
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5.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening read 21 July 2014
By Ash
One of the most eye opening and educational books i have ever read on this conflict. Before i read this book i had a one sided opinion. That of a Muslim. Once i read this book i was enlightened and learned that there are those of us that believe in eternal life and those that believe in the life and death from a religious view point. An amazing read full of so much content and unbiased view points.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is real horror 3 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very engaging book, describing real recent historical events coupled with the rise of fundamentalism and fanaticism. So you thought the fundamentalism is one and the same with Islam and Muslims? Read On!!!!
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