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Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem's Sacred Esplanade (Jamal and Rania Daniel Series in Contemporary History, Politics, Culture, and Religion of the Levant) Hardcover – 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Jamal and Rania Daniel Series in Contemporary History, Politics, Culture, and Religion of the Levant
  • Hardcover: 412 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292722729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292722729
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

What this book calls Jerusalem’s sacred esplanade is also known as the Temple Mount (by Jews and Christians) and the Noble Sanctuary (by Muslims.) It has been a sacred site for more than 3,000 years and the source of bloodshed and tears as it was won and lost. Often, its history is told from the point of view of one side or the other, but here, rather remarkably, the three voices come together in one volume. Scholars from all three religions, under the auspices of an Israeli, a Palestinian, and a Dominican institution, write about the history and archaeology of the esplanade in 11 articles and 5 thematic essays that consider the artistic history of the site as well as offering three more personal views on its significance. Executed with care and respect, this volume will be of great interest to the lay audience. The many black-and-white and color photographs (along with maps) will immediately draw in readers, who will come away with an understanding of both the passions that this sacred space arouses and its importance to the Holy Land—and the world—today. --Ilene Cooper

About the Author

OLEG GRABAR is Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Grabar’s books include Epic Images and Contemporary History: The Illustrations of the Great Mongol Shahnama; The Mediation of Ornament; The Shape of the Holy: Early Islamic Jerusalem; Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Post-Classical World; The Art and Architecture of Islam 650–1250; Mostly Miniatures; and eighty-three articles gathered in four volumes under the title Constructing the Study of Islamic Art.

BENJAMIN Z. KEDAR is Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harold Kluender on January 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was recommended by our tour guide in Israel and we found it to be excellent. Takes an unbiased view of all religions that consider Jerusalem and the Sacred Esplanade (Temple mount area) as essential to there religion. That being Jews, Muslims and Christians.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hans-Peter Muller on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Oleg Grabar, who has deceased last year, has co-edited with Benjamin Z. Kedar of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Where Heaven and Earth Meets: Jerusalem's Sacred Esplanade (Yad Ben-Zvi Press, Jerusalem and the University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas 2009) which assembles an impressive panel of Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars who present many unknown facts in three thousand years' history and stunningly illuminate the unique historical, religious, spiritual, cultural, and political importance of this true interface between, focus of, the three monotheistic, revealed, religions (the not less-charged significance for Christians is derived from Jesus' relation with and acts in Herod's Temple). The for Jews significant Western Wall of the Esplanade is not forgotten in the account.

Due to the unsolved political situation of Israel occupying East Jerusalem, al-Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary, is seriously endangered. But there is hope. Grabar, in a personal statement, concludes:

"There are legal and technical mechanisms for the preservation of what is deemed beautiful and historically significant, but the implementation of these mechanisms requires decisions about governance and responsibility which cannot be exclusively in the hands of political and religious authorities. Alternate possibilities, through UNESCO for instance, have failed so far. But, if one mediates on the eschatological component of the Haram as the space where Go[o]d will be made prevail and man will be judged, one can perhaps imagine that a space shaped by the Antique world long gone and constantly enhanced by the living culture of Islam could become a place for reconciliation and mutual understanding rather than of strife and contest. Hope springs eternal."
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