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Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

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3.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews from Amazon.com

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MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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"A masterful look at the paradoxical city on a hill...a meditation unlike any book published this season, indeed a meditation for all seasons." - "Boston Globe" "Provocative" - "San Francisco Chronicle" ""Jerusalem, Jerusalem"[is] James Carroll's timely contribution to richer understanding of the conflict over this city....If you want to follow the twists and turns between Israelis and Palestinians over who may end up controlling what in the holy city and why, reading Carroll's book is a helpful place to begin." -"St. Louis Today" "[Jerusalem, Jerusalem brings a fresh interpretation of the city as well as the spiritual impetus of three monotheisitic religions' toehold in its long, bloody past....By reading this landmark book, those who think they know all there is to know about Jerusalem or the three religions that have coalesced around it will discover how much they didn't know." -"Oklahoman" the compelling follow-up to [Carroll's] best-selling Constantine s Sword...his use of Jerusalem as a prism to examine the development of monotheism, and his prescription for what he believes might be a more positive future path, provide a powerful and provocative intellectual journey." - "BookPage" "one of the broadest and most balanced accounts of the city of King David in recent years...Conceptually profound, richly detailed, and wonderfully realized, this book brings to life the dynamic story of the Divided City." - STARRED, "Publishers Weekly" "Carroll s writing is so compelling, so beautifully constructed, that, ironically, the book can be a very slow read. There is something on almost every page that makes the reader want to stop and contemplate. For those meeting Jerusalem for the first time, this volume makes a stunning introduction. For others, who have struggled with the city s conundrums, either its symbolic meaning in the history of civilization or its place in the modern world, Carroll s reflections will add clarity if not closure." - STARRED, "Booklist" "A sound, deeply felt study of Jerusalem as the 'cockpit of violence' for the three Abrahamic religions....Another winner from a skillful writer and thinker of the first rank." - "Kirkus" "Carroll here explores not Jerusalem but the idea of Jerusalem how, from the Crusades to Christopher Columbus s Jerusalem-centric view to the founding of Israel, the city has inspired passionate idealism and hence conflict....one of my nonfiction favorites." - "Library Journal""

"A masterful look at the paradoxical city on a hill...a meditation unlike any book published this season, indeed a meditation for all seasons." - "Boston Globe""Provocative" - "San Francisco Chronicle"""Jerusalem, Jerusalem"[is] James Carroll's timely contribution to richer understanding of the conflict over this city....If you want to follow the twists and turns between Israelis and Palestinians over who may end up controlling what in the holy city and why, reading Carroll's book is a helpful place to begin." -"St. Louis Today""[Jerusalem, Jerusalem brings a fresh interpretation of the city as well as the spiritual impetus of three monotheisitic religions' toehold in its long, bloody past....By reading this landmark book, those who think they know all there is to know about Jerusalem or the three religions that have coalesced around it will discover how much they didn't know." -"Oklahoman"the compelling follow-up to [Carroll's] best-selling Constantine s Sword...his use of Jerusalem as a prism to examine the development of monotheism, and his prescription for what he believes might be a more positive future path, provide a powerful and provocative intellectual journey." - "BookPage""one of the broadest and most balanced accounts of the city of King David in recent years...Conceptually profound, richly detailed, and wonderfully realized, this book brings to life the dynamic story of the Divided City." - STARRED, "Publishers Weekly""Carroll s writing is so compelling, so beautifully constructed, that, ironically, the book can be a very slow read. There is something on almost every page that makes the reader want to stop and contemplate. For those meeting Jerusalem for the first time, this volume makes a stunning introduction. For others, who have struggled with the city s conundrums, either its symbolic meaning in the history of civilization or its place in the modern world, Carroll s reflections will add clarity if not closure." - STARRED, "Booklist""A sound, deeply felt study of Jerusalem as the 'cockpit of violence' for the three Abrahamic religions....Another winner from a skillful writer and thinker of the first rank." - "Kirkus""Carroll here explores not Jerusalem but the idea of Jerusalem how, from the Crusades to Christopher Columbus s Jerusalem-centric view to the founding of Israel, the city has inspired passionate idealism and hence conflict....one of my nonfiction favorites." - "Library Journal""

"A masterful look at the paradoxical city on a hill...a meditation unlike any book published this season, indeed a meditation for all seasons." - Boston Globe

"Provocative" - San Francisco Chronicle

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem[is] James Carroll's timely contribution to richer understanding of the conflict over this city....If you want to follow the twists and turns between Israelis and Palestinians over who may end up controlling what in the holy city and why, reading Carroll's book is a helpful place to begin." -St. Louis Today

"[Jerusalem, Jerusalem brings a fresh interpretation of the city as well as the spiritual impetus of three monotheisitic religions' toehold in its long, bloody past....By reading this landmark book, those who think they know all there is to know about Jerusalem or the three religions that have coalesced around it will discover how much they didn't know." -Oklahoman

the compelling follow-up to [Carroll's] best-selling Constantine s Sword...his use of Jerusalem as a prism to examine the development of monotheism, and his prescription for what he believes might be a more positive future path, provide a powerful and provocative intellectual journey." - BookPage

"one of the broadest and most balanced accounts of the city of King David in recent years...Conceptually profound, richly detailed, and wonderfully realized, this book brings to life the dynamic story of the Divided City." - STARRED, Publishers Weekly

"Carroll s writing is so compelling, so beautifully constructed, that, ironically, the book can be a very slow read. There is something on almost every page that makes the reader want to stop and contemplate. For those meeting Jerusalem for the first time, this volume makes a stunning introduction. For others, who have struggled with the city s conundrums, either its symbolic meaning in the history of civilization or its place in the modern world, Carroll s reflections will add clarity if not closure." - STARRED, Booklist

"A sound, deeply felt study of Jerusalem as the 'cockpit of violence' for the three Abrahamic religions....Another winner from a skillful writer and thinker of the first rank." - Kirkus

"Carroll here explores not Jerusalem but the idea of Jerusalem how, from the Crusades to Christopher Columbus s Jerusalem-centric view to the founding of Israel, the city has inspired passionate idealism and hence conflict....one of my nonfiction favorites." - Library Journal" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Provocative . . . the book brims with splendid insights. Los Angeles Times
Jerusalem: the ancient City on a Hill, a place central to three major religions, a transcendent fantasy that ignites religious fervor unlike anywhere else on earth. James Carroll s urgent, masterly Jerusalem, Jerusalem uncovers the history of the city and explores how it came to define culture in both the Middle East and America.
Carroll shows how the New World was shaped by obsessions with Jerusalem, from Christopher Columbus s search for a westward route to the city, to the fascination felt by American presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan. Heavenly Jerusalem defines the American imagination and always the earthly city smolders. Jerusalem fever, inextricably tied to Christian fervor, is the deadly unnamed third party to the Israeli-Palestinian wars. Understanding this fever is the key that unlocks world history, and the diagnosis that gives us our best chance to reimagine peace.
I dare you to read this book and see Jerusalem, or yourself, the same way. Bernard Avishai, author of The Hebrew Republic
"So provocative and illuminating that it should not be overlooked by anyone who cares about the future of Jerusalem." Jewish Journal
JAMES CARROLL's critically admired books include Practicing Catholic, the National Book Award winning An American Requiem, House of War, which won the first PEN/Galbraith Award, and the New York Times bestseller Constantine s Sword, now an acclaimed documentary." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerusalem, Jerusalem 17 May 2011
By Sally K. Severino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Carroll is his remarkable best with this sobering, yet hopeful, book about how violence becomes interwoven in religion and politics. He uses the city of Jerusalem - the origin of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - to trace both literally and symbolically the flow of violence in the world even today.

He draws upon the insights of two men who have enriched our understanding of violence - Rene Girard and Gil Bailie. In particular, these two men have clarified the role of sacrificial killing and the role of the victim in recurring violence.

The sobering aspect of "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" brings home the reality that violence is escaping our control and threatening our human existence. The hopeful aspect of "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" is its call to wake up and change before it is too late.

The first step in waking up is to understand how heavenly Jerusalem defines our twenty-first century imagination. An understanding of James Carroll's insights provides this for its readers.

The book is not for the faint of heart!
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Might Set Us Free 21 Dec. 2015
By E. Corder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The hallmark of James Carroll’s writing is an extremely thorough research to support his storyline, as evidenced in ample Notes and the Bibliography. The Acknowledgements show his total immersion in the subject by actually having lived in Jerusalem and being a member of various religious institutions and joint text studies with eminent scholars in the three Abrahamic religions.

The storyline is about the origins of religion as a consequence of violence in the human condition and the evolution of religious imaginations and inventions with Jerusalem the ground zero of the do-loop between sacred violence and violence to restore the sacred.

His storyline resurrected long forgotten images from my childhood. Towards the end of WW II, large quantities of weaponry....artillery, tanks, trucks....showed up one day in the park behind our home. Big adventure for a little boy. I asked a guard what was happening: ”Die Amerikaner kommen - the Americans are coming.” One day a priest showed up sprinkling holy water on the weaponry, swaying his censer back and forth, and mumbling something in a language I did not understand. The next day everything was gone.

Soon thereafter we fled across the river Rhine to my grandparents just hours before the Americans reached the bridge at Remagen on 7 March 1945. My grandparents’ home town was fire-bombed nearly to the ground after which large numbers of American soldiers showed up with heavy artillery, tanks, and trucks, some of which lined up outside our apartment building. Big adventure again, except the guards did not understand my questions. One day a priest showed up sprinkling holy water, swaying his censer, and mumbling the same language as before, which I did not understand. The next day everything was gone. Even a little boy had to ask the question: what just happened here?

As I grew up I labeled it hypocrisy. Now, thanks to James Carroll, I know it as Jerusalem fever. Apparently one side had been more feverish than the other and was blessed with victory.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem is indeed a hard read, because (1) it covers a very long span of time from our ancestral scavengers to the hunter-gatherers to the present day, delineating James Carroll’s version of the origins and evolution of religion and religion’s intimate relationship with violence, and (2) the multitude of disciplines he calls upon to ferret out the details of that relationship: history, archeology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, sociology, theology, and modern DNA science.

Some of his sentences are the length of paragraphs and so stuffed full of information that one can easily get distracted from what he is actually trying to say. So I find myself going back to the beginning and the end of such a sentence to get the gist of it. It also helps to have a dictionary handy for some of the terms native to the disciplines he calls upon and not readily used in daily life. But it is quite educational.

Then there are very short sentences that seem to make absolutely no sense, for example, “Before God and with God, we live without God.” One has to understand from the foregoing paragraphs what led up to this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison. Patient readers, willing to learn, look up Carroll’s Notes and Bibliography to educate themselves; others may be inclined to throw his book into a trashcan or write negative reviews with ad hominem attacks.

There are also claims that are certainly debatable, if not outright incorrect.

For example, he claims that “The oldest writing, cuneiform Sumerian from the 4th millennium BCE, is an inventory of Sumerian farmers’ possessions, thus beginning what we call history.” Actually, clay tokens are the precursors of cuneiform, having been used as early as the 9th millennium BCE in Mesopotamia almost exclusively for accounting and record-keeping. Still....the same idea. And educational, because I did not know.

Yet another example, he claims that “It is not incidental that the oldest continuously occupied city on earth stands like a sentinel at the south eastern edge of the Fertile Crescent. It is Jericho dating to about 9,000 BCE.” The cities of Byblos, Aleppo, and Damascus would beg to differ with the support of archeologists. Still....Jericho is ancient and fits Carroll’s storyline a lot better. And again educational, because I did not know.

Had James Carroll written Jerusalem during the Inquisition he would most certainly have been burned at the stake for heresy. To wit, for example, the juxtaposition, and thereby its many consequences, of the continuous evolution of Hebrew - Israelite - Jewish religious imagination and invention through self-criticism as opposed to the self-justification and absolute obedience to creed, doctrine, dogma, and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, as promulgated by ecumenical councils and popes. There are many other examples, especially in his concluding chapter - Good Religion.

Alas, he lives in the 21st century and “only” excommunication would have been his fate had he not resigned from the priesthood. He did so right after his “epiphany” when kissing the threshold stone of the ancient gate into Jerusalem, which Jesus must have touched with his bare feet. He knew then what he needed to write. The resignation gave James Carroll the freedom to express his thoughts and propose anti-dotes to the Jerusalem fever. I wish, though, he had remained a priest and stood his ground.

The book provides ample thought-provoking material for the committed faithful, secularists, atheists, agnostics, humanists, and the perennial fence sitters who can’t make up their minds what to believe. I admire his indisputable knowledge of the Holy Scriptures....all three of them..., their origins and history and I respect his intellectual honesty with which he dissects their meaning.

These Scriptures have always been like recurring dreams to me, whose meaning I just could not decipher, even nightmares when reading the apocalyptic prophesies of the coming messianic End Times.

Over the centuries and continuing to this day, all three Abrahamic religions have this insane itch to hasten the coming of Judgment Day with the Jews at the center, either their conversion.... to Christianity or Islam.... or their extinction. As Carroll points out, the holy city of Jerusalem has proven to bring the Jerusalem fever to a pitch: “Jerusalem is the sanctuary of sacred violence.”

And the biblical Armageddon / Megiddo is only a few miles away. For the Muslims it is further north in Syria....Dabiq....a few miles from Aleppo and Raqqa, the headquarters of ISIS. Dabiq is the name of their monthly magazine.

I rather think that James Carroll admires the tenacity of the ancient Hebrews to cling to their God and how they evolved their relationship with Him and His relationship with them, thereby discovering self-awareness, the duality of good and evil, the transcendental Oneness of and with God, his immateriality and, above all, sacred violence as a manmade oxymoron. In Carroll’s story, though, this oxymoron has a label, namely Satan, which all Gospels in the New Testament affix to a people.

The extraordinary spiritual sensitivity of the Hebrew prophets to the revelations of their God always explained what was happening to them and why God sided with their enemies from the Babylonians to the Persians, Assyrians, and Egyptians inflicting unbearable suffering. The reason was always punishment for disobeying the Law.

Yet, no prophets showed up when the Maccabees fought the good fight against the Seleucids [2nd century BCE]. That has always puzzled me. In fact, once the Hebrew Bible was written down as a coherent text, no more prophets show up, even though the suffering of the Jews continued on unprecedented scales at the hands of the Romans and Christianity.

Same happened to the Jewish Christian sect when it finally set itself apart from Judaism. Once Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote the Gospels of the New Testament....about 70-100 CE....there were no more prophets.

Well, that is not entirely true. There was Joseph Smith who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830, also known as the Mormon Church.

And perhaps Ellen G. White, whose fellow Seventh-Day Adventists believe she possessed the gift of vision and prophecy.

Reminds me of Allah’s promise to Muhammad that he was the final prophet and Allah’s revelations were the final words to be obeyed by all of humankind. Did Allah not know about Joseph Smith or Ellen White?

What really seems to trouble James Carroll is Christianity’s claim that its origins are innocent, when in fact they are anything but. The sacrificial violence committed against Jesus is identified with the Jews in all four Gospels. At first obliquely but unmistakably [Mark], then the evil is pinned on the temple priests and elders [Luke], and finally the Jews are identified as Satan himself [John].

One needs to remember that these Gospels are thought to have been written sometime between 70 and 100 CE during which time the Jews suffered the total destruction of their Second Temple and their holy city Jerusalem, were slaughtered and crucified by the hundreds of thousands, and banished from the Promised Land by the Romans. Thus began the diaspora and rabbinic Judaism.

As Carroll tells it, in earlier centuries Hebrew prophets arose and blamed the suffering as punishment for having disobeyed the Law and the Covenant. None rose up this time and none has since in spite of nearly two thousand years of unabated persecution and slaughter at the hands of Christians culminating in near extinction by the Germans under Hitler. The explanation from many scholars: the testaments and prophesies were written for the people who lived during those timespans to provide hope for better times and the soon-to-come redemption and resurrection in the hereafter. The prophets have all been wrong, even Jesus....so far.

So what is going on here, what is the truth, if there ever is to be one?

James Carroll takes great pain in telling the story about this do-loop between sacred violence and violence to restore the sacred in preparation for his attempt to reform the Abrahamic religions, as discussed in his concluding chapter.... Good Religion. By implication then, all previous chapters show the elements of bad religion.

As his theses explain, good religion would:
(1) Celebrate life, not death, which is contrary to the apocalyptic imagination that the annihilation of earth is God’s purposeful plan.
(2) Recognize God’s Oneness as a principle of unity, also known as love.
(3) Celebrate revelation, not salvation, the total opposite of what Christianity teaches.
(4) Know nothing about coercion.
(5) Accept elements beyond the transcendent, namely elements of the secular realm like science, the arts, and the psychoanalytic.

Carroll could have added a 6th element of good religion: “The single most compelling test facing the three monotheistic religions today is how they define the place of women.” Anglicans and some Protestant denominations are getting there, but not the Catholic Church and most certainly not Islam.

I interpret his concluding chapter as the next iteration in religion’s self-criticism, an ancient tradition of Judaism, but seemingly not of Christianity and certainly not of Islam.

When one considers the timespan covered by his book, self-criticism has moved at a glacial pace and does not bode well for Carroll’s attempt at reformation. The thermometer’s quicksilver keeps climbing as the Jerusalem fever becomes ever more feverish. Religion and violence keep advancing each other.

I wish James Carroll had remained a Roman Catholic Priest to take his Church to the holy sacrament of confession in order to acknowledge its sins in readiness for a new start. That would take the courage of a Martin Luther before the Diet at Worms in 1521: “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

Carroll’s theses are deceptively simple in their summary format, but potential faith busters when one looks at the implications.

For example, thesis (1) - A good religion celebrates life, not death, which is contrary to the apocalyptic prophesies that the annihilation of earth is God’s purposeful plan.

Did James Carroll really mean to rid the Old and New Testaments of all prophesies about the End Times and the conditions that must be met to get to the Day of Judgment? In Carroll’s words: “Catholics see Jews returning to Jerusalem only at the end of the world, while Protestants see it happen before the end, as a causal instrument of that climax.”

There are billions of Bibles out there, which continue to denigrate Jews, blame them for not accepting Jesus as the savior, blame them for the death of Jesus, and equate them to Satan in the Gospels. If the bedrock opposition by the conservative Roman Curia to the liberal teachings of Vatican II, now 50 years ago, is any indication, thesis (1) won’t have a chance. And never mind the Nostra aetate; its wording leaks like a sieve.

So both Abrahamic religions are likely to stay the way they were written and believed in thousands of years ago and meant for people who lived then under unbearable suffering. None of the prophecies have come true: Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, the Book of Revelation, and even Jesus the son of God were all wrong!! So now we conjure up the reasons why and have developed the technologies to make the End Times happen. Jerusalem fever on steroids.

Write another book, James Carroll. Write a book about the “Kingdom of Conscience”.
You cite the Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel as saying “God is greater than religion.” Replace the word “God” with the word “Conscience” and mankind might have a chance. Conscience is greater than the sacred and the secular.

Jean Monnet, the father of Europe, made a speech in the Royal Albert Hall more than half a century ago. He said: "Human nature does not change, but when nations and men accept the same rules and the same institutions to make sure they are applied, their behaviour towards each other changes. This is the process of civilisation itself."

To me, advancing mankind’s collective conscience is a much nobler goal than mere reformation of religion. At least there is a chance for global civilizations free of violence to emerge. And isn’t that what Jesus was really all about? He abhorred violence. Alas, we are tens of thousands of years behind the power curve.

If you write such a book, consult the new generation of neuroscientists trying to unravel our neural networks and how our brains actually work. Consider epigenetics and Ockham’s razor. The truth might set us free.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning. Wise revelation, faithful student of history, articulate and empowering. 4 April 2015
By Ann K. Werner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second of James Carroll's works that I've been honored to read. Oh, they are not for the faint of heart, for sure. But, wow, I feel so much wiser, better informed, and grounded in my beliefs. I'll admit that it's a tough read, but deeply satisfying and so worth the time and effort.
If it weren't for my Kindle it would have taken me much longer. I remain grateful for the dictionary and the highlighting tools. Even so, I can't be sure I've done justice to his ideas by the ones I've singled out to revisit. Sometimes I just had to bookmark whole sections to go back to.
I had asked a Muslim friend to read it too and discuss it with me. How I'd love to have a multicultural, mixed religious group with whom to share reflections.
Thank you, James Carroll. What a gift this is. How very gifted you are. I couldn't say this to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I MUST say it to you. I've bookmarked your website, too.
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time 1 May 2017
By Michael Beer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful and enlightening book. Gives great insight about the history.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biography of a very famous city 17 April 2014
By gungadin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
fascinating work on this most famous city; the author knows his material and shows it from the city's early emergence to its present
status. Regardless of one's faith or lack of it, the book is worth reading to better understand its prominence today.
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