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Where God Was Born [Bargain Price] [Paperback]

Bruce Feiler
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 13, 2005 0060826142 1

Where God Was Born combines the adventure of a wartime chronicle, the excitement of an archaeological detective story, and the insight of personal spiritual exploration. Taking readers to biblical sites not seen by Westerners for decades, Bruce Feiler's journey uncovers little-known details about the common roots of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and affirms the importance of the Bible in today's world.

In his intimate, accessible style, Feiler invites readers on a never-in-a-lifetime experience:

  • Israel Feiler takes a perilous helicopter dive over Jerusalem, treks through secret underground tunnels, and locates the spot where David toppled Goliath.

  • Iraq After being airlifted into Baghdad, Feiler visits the Garden of Eden and the birthplace of Abraham.

  • Iran Feiler explores the home of the Bible's first messiah and uncovers the secret burial place of Queen Esther.

Where God Was Born is a daring quest that offers a rare, universal vision of God that can inspire different faiths to an allegiance of hope.

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Where God Was Born + Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses (P.S.) + Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths (P.S.)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Bruce Feiler's latest book combines now familiar elements into his own peculiar, delightful alchemy. Any particular page may be found effortlessly weaving together strands of theology, biblical exegesis, physical exploration, history and personal reflection as Feiler continues his journey of discovery, looking at the common roots of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The Middle East has become a more dangerous place since the writing of his first book in this vein, Walking the Bible. But Feiler is impelled to answer his continued call, even when a flak jacket is necessary. He explores tunnels under Jerusalem. Goes to where David may have slain Goliath. Even looks for the Garden of Eden in Iraq while acknowledging that "the garden would never be found." It is this externalization of searches typically only made in the heart that fascinates us and brings power to Feiler's narrative. In one of the more compelling sections of the book, a meditation on Jonah, Feiler makes a persuasive argument that "God cares only that you conduct yourself in a moral way… And what might come across as preaching in another context is instead organic; Feiler's ideas seem to grow as much out of his travel and present-day experience as they do from Scripture and history. Of particular interest is his writing on King Cyrus II. He travels to Persepolis, in modern-day Iran, and finds an ancient precedent for religious tolerance in this king who helped the Jews build the Second Temple. Feiler provokes us to reflect that if the Bible itself can sing the praises of a king who accepted the various religions of those he ruled, perhaps there is hope we can find room for more tolerance in our own time. Highly recommended.--Ed Dobeas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The third of Feiler's books on the Bible and the Middle East, this is another absorbing blend of travelogue, history, Bible commentary, memoir, current events and passionate preaching. In Walking the Bible (2001), Feiler surveyed the Torah. This sequel picks up with Joshua, first of the prophetic books, and follows Israel's story through the Hebrew scriptures: from the invasion of Canaan through the reigns of David and Solomon to the Babylonian captivity and the Diaspora. What differentiates Feiler from most other Bible commentators is that he actually visits the places he describes, despite Palestinian suicide bombers, Iraqi insurgents, Iranian fundamentalists and his very worried family back home. Readers will almost effortlessly learn a lot about antiquity—thanks again to his travel companion, archeologist Avner Goren—and also about recent history, today's headlines and Feiler's own spiritual journey. Enlarging on his vision of unity in Abraham (2002), he contends that the Bible's moral vision transcends land, power and nationality. "The only force strong enough to take on religious extremism," he concludes, "is religious moderation." For Feiler, now ready to affirm his Jewishness, this means "willingly asserting your faith in public, not with raging fire but with a single, quiet flame."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: WmMorrow; 1 edition (September 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060826142
  • ASIN: B0085SCOV2
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

BRUCE FEILER is one of America's most popular voices on family, faith, and survival. He writes the "This Life" column about contemporary families for the Sunday New York Times and is the author of five consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including WALKING THE BIBLE and THE COUNCIL OF DADS. He is the writer/presenter of the PBS series "Walking the Bible" and the forthcoming "Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler." His latest book, THE SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES, is a bold playbook for families today. It collects best practices for modern-day parents from some of the country's most creative minds, including tops designers in Silicon Valley, elite peace negotiators, the creators of Modern Family and the Green Berets.

His most recent bestseller, THE COUNCIL OF DADS, is the international sensation that describes how faced with one of life's greatest challenges, he asked six friends to form a support group for his young daughters. The book was profiled in PEOPLE Magazine, USA Today, Time, and the Washington Post, and was the subject of a one-hour documentary on CNN hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Bruce was named "Father of the Year" by the National Fatherhood Initiative.

Since 2001, Bruce has been one of the country's preeminent thinkers, writers, and speakers about the role of religion in contemporary life. WALKING THE BIBLE describes his perilous, 10,000-mile journey retracing the Five Books of Moses through the desert. The book was hailed as an "instant classic" by the Washington Post and "thoughtful, informed, and perceptive" by The New York Times. It spent more than a year and a half on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into fifteen languages, and is the subject of a children's book, a photography book, and a miniseries on PBS.

ABRAHAM recounts his personal search for the shared ancestor of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. "Exquisitely written," wrote the Boston Globe, "100 percent engaging." The book was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, debuted in the top 5 of the New York Times bestseller list, and inspired thousands of grassroots interfaith discussions around the world.

WHERE GOD WAS BORN describes his year-long trek visiting biblical sites through the front lines of Israel, Iraq, and Iran. "Bruce Feiler is a real-life Indiana Jones," wrote the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. AMERICA'S PROPHET is the groundbreaking story of the influence of Moses on American history. Both were Top 10 bestsellers.

Bruce Feiler has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Gourmet, where he won three James Beard Awards. He is also a frequent contributor to NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox News. A former circus clown, he has been the subject of Jay Leno joke and a JEOPARDY! question, and his face appears on a postage stamp in the Grenadines.

A native of Savannah, Georgia, Bruce lives in Brooklyn with wife, Linda Rottenberg, and their identical twin daughters.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Journey Continues November 7, 2005
Bruce Feiler's Where God Was Born takes us on a journey that is both physical and spiritual. Physically, we follow Feiler as he explores Israel in search of Biblical locations, map in one hand, Bible in the other. Spiritually, we accompany Feiler as he tries to rediscover the spiritual peace he found after his first book, Walking the Bible.

From the outset, we encounter an Israel that is very diferent from the one we see in Feiler's other books. His group is beset with obstacles thrown up by the Israeli Army in the name of 'security.' He encounters victims of suicide bombings first hand. He is watched by armed gunmen (Israeli and Palestinian) everywhere he goes.

The journey starts with the seath of Moses and the conquest of Canaan. We see Joshua's battles from the perspective of Yoram Yair -- one of the most decorated generals in Israel's history. He gives us a valuable perspective, especially on the battle of Jericho. We then follow the life of David, from shepherd to hero to renegade, revolutionary, possibly even terrorist, to (finally) king of a unified nation. We wade through the tunnels under Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of Biblical archaeologists like Edward Robinson, Charles Warren, even Montague Parker and Father Hughes Vincent. We encounter the vertical shaft that David allegedly used to invade the city of Jerusalem, and find ourselves wondering exdactly how he did it. We see David's failings and shortcomings, and find ourselves relieved that he was, after all, human.

Feiler then turns from the political center of the nation to it's spritual center -- the Temple Mount.

"What if we try to circumnavigate the Temple Mount?"

"It can't be done. It's too dangerous"

"So where do we start?
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Bruce Feiler, author of several books on the similar theme, has produced this as a sort of travelogue and personal reflection, drawing on common historical roots of the three major religions out of the Middle East - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Feiler retraces biblical stories with insight from the conditions of the land today; for example, he parallels the stories of David and Goliath or the establishment of David's throne in a land where the presence of barbed wire and water shortages are still common features.

Jerusalem is, for Feiler, a physical example of some of the relationships he hopes his reflection will foster. 'Modern Jerusalem is built in concentric circles,' he writes. 'At the heart is the Old City, a three-thousand-year-old walled enclave that is less than one square mile. It contains many of the city's most sacred sites: the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.' This kind of close proximity in the midst of ongoing trouble is indicative of the political and social situation; there is division but also a sharing, not only of heritage, but of space. Some elements (the Dome of the Rock on top of the Temple Mount) are literally built on top of each other.

Feiler looks at different interpretations of people from the biblical past. For example, he highlights Yael Lotan, a British-born Israeli intellectual who expresses support for Palestinian causes, and has an intriguing interpretation of the David and Bathsheba story. 'I'm inclined to believe Bathsheba engineered the whole story,' Lotan states, going on to say, 'In matters of women and children, David can be very naïve.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where God Was Born - a most interesting journey March 29, 2006
I just finished this book and couldn't put it down! I found Feiler's narrative to be concise, insightful and easy to read. I could feel myself in his shoes as his journeys took him into some of today's most dangerous regions, steeped in religious history and dogma. His guides and encounters along the way only added to the narrative quality. I came away with not only a new appreciation for the religious history of the Middle East but a greater appreciation for what life must be life for those trying to live their religious lives in areas of the world still persecuting religious differences. I also came away with a better appreciation for the religious freedoms we enjoy in the US and how indeed the founders of this nation were well-educated in these same religious traditions and the need for tolerance.
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise this welcome perspective on religion September 16, 2005
Feiler is passionate about his own beliefs in his own religion, but never used that as an excuse to beat other readers into following his perspective in this latest work.

I admire his articulate and sophisticated critique of religion and the state. Because it is so easy for anybody to become wrapped up in religious extremism while practicing their own perspective, Feiler's work needs to be studied by people of all perspectives seeking a balanced--and thus peaceful alternative to both history and current events.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb tour guide with sermons of biblical locations September 17, 2005
As he did with the prequel WALKING THE BIBLE: A JOURNEY BY LAND THROUGH THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES, Bruce Feiler combines a tour guide of biblical locations with intriguing annotations and "sermons" lifted from ancient times but also includes modern events. WHERE GOD WAS BORN: A JOURNEY BY LAND TO THE ROOTS OF RELIGION starts with Joshua and continues on through to the Babylonian captivity and the Diaspora written by a fine author who describes what he observes first hand. Well written with incredible insight somewhat thanks to archeological companion Avner Goren, readers will appreciate this fabulous journey that goes way beyond just Israel's' borders as the author finds greatness in the non-Jewish Semite cultures of the region as much as he embraces being a Jew. Because he and Mr. Goren are not armchair travelers, but instead visit the locales described, this superb reference work and his previous excellent nonfictions are inspirational for us religious moderates who believe in tolerance for all; suicidal extremists or intelligent designers who share in common their faith is the divine one need to pass as these groups will reinterpret the simple underlying moral message of Mr. Feiler's strong belief in the words of the bible.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible
I found this book extremely interesting and am anxious to read further books by Bruce Feiler. I listened to his interview with Rabbi Mark Golub on the Shalom TV channel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Iris D. Walsh
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best
Have read a number of his books, "Abraham" being the best, but this one seems a bit thrown together. Also, as a book on CD, Feiler is not the best reader. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ed HikerTraveler
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read!
I have several of his books. This is another one of his books making me want to visit the Mideast and travel the Bible...
Published 5 months ago by Dale Waldvogel
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed
I was very disappointed in this book. The author understands little of the Old and New Testament. He often makes erroneous comments about Bible characters and events. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected
Bruce's "travel log" is both physical and spiritual. Be prepared to question your own beliefs and expand your faith. He opened my eyes to new depths of God's power and grace. Read more
Published 10 months ago by William130
5.0 out of 5 stars travel....adventure....history....all in one
This book wonderfully blends the adventure of travel with roots of biblical history. You will feel that you are indeed along for the trip as the author wings his way into risky... Read more
Published 14 months ago by E. Easton
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing look at a central region in history
"In the Middle East, what you believe can still get you killed"

It is an amazing book both in Feiler's writing style, but also in the information he presented in an... Read more
Published 14 months ago by TravellingCari
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and Thought Provoking
This book is very readable while raising some very complex questions about the Bible, the Holy Land and their place in present day Judaism.
Published 14 months ago by MARI ZIMMERMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Where God Was Born
Another winner!!! Read it many years ago & still have it to pass to my family. It is worth reading to comprehend some of the problems affecting humanity.
Published 17 months ago by Vilma Zabaleta
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for serious thought.
Anyone who is interested in completely understanding how the religious current events today can effect how we successfully proceed from here on, needs to read "Where God Was... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Wayne Olson
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