In 1996 Jerusalem celebrated 3000 years since the biblical conquest by King David. That very celebration serves as a political statement, marking the city as historically Jewish. The city cannot escape fiercely argued claims to primacy argued in religious, political or historical terms, not only between Israeli-Jew and Palestinian-Arab, but between Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions, and between secular and orthodox Jews. This scholarly volume contains 18 studies, edited by Nitza Rosovsky, which approach the city from many different angles: through religious spirituality, folk songs, literature, art, architecture and politics. Rosovsky contributes a fine introduction and two of the studies, including a fascinating account of the perceptions of 19th century travelers including Mark Twain
, Benjamin Disraeli
and Herman Melville
From Publishers Weekly
In the opening essay of this vibrant mosaic for readers of all faiths, archeologist Magen Broshi shows that Jerusalem, for most of its history, has been a multinational, multiethnic and multireligious city. Joseph Dan, professor of Kabbalah at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, examines the city's significance in Jewish spirituality as the embodiment of a vision of individual and national redemption and of the reign of justice. For Muslim and Christian Palestinians, Jerusalem has long been regarded as the hub of Palestine and as a pluralist city in which communities could coexist with mutual tolerance, maintains Muhammad Muslih, a political scientist at C.W. Post College in New York City. Other essays explore the Holy City in Christian and Islamic thought, its architecture and sacred sites, annual Christian pilgrimages, the battle within the Zionist movement between secularists and religious believers and depictions of the city in Jewish folk art, maps and modern Hebrew literature. Rosovsky is former curator at Harvard's Semitic Museum. Illustrations.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.