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Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Conflict and Cooperation Paperback – March 11, 2008
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This book succeeds best as an objective account of the turbulent history of the Abrahamic religions over the past 1,400 years. It examines the potent effects of religion on the social, political, and economic fabric of the times as a succession of influential patriarchs or local, self-appointed charismatic leaders adjusted belief systems and popular perceptions to accommodate their agendas within and among the three religions. Hardly surprising, in this age of 'future shock' propelled by technological advances in communications and the management of information, we are witnessing these same machinations in overdrive today.
This is a well-researched book with generous notes and bibliography. The author ostensibly has no axe to grind, which frees this book from the usual polemics found in many books on religion. Although it's not written in a strictly chronological manner, the book maintains historical continuity.
If you are first a thinker then a believer, in search of the lessons of the past to better understand the present, "Peace be Upon You" is a recommended read.
a) By and large, it's not the religions differences between those faiths that have caused the strife which ignites periodically between them.
b) Strife between these religious groups have been the exception rather than the rule. For most of history, these groups have managed to coexist and cooperate.
Karabell exposes his thesis without preaching, while unfurling a detailed historic tapestry, weaving historical characters to general ethnological descriptions. It is a well balanced, well written book, which leads you to a "cautiously optimistic" conclusion, while leaving the reader plenty of space for his/her own reflection.
An advocate of "Peace" seems to be challenged by some based on the rhetoric espoused by the "hardliners" in today's world.
Although the book reflects on the halcyon days of yore and pictures a tranquil and cooperative environment, it does not delineate any solutions to present day dilemma. Islam is the only major religion which has not reformed as other religions have. Islam's presence is felt globally.
It reveals what many Americans do not know about the origins of Islam and its religious dogmas. This book is historical in its format and should be read to gain a perspective on the ingrained hostilities and what precipitated the sectarian religious divide and perceived perceptions. This is a treasure trove of history. This book should be on high schools reading lists. Great read!
Bruce E. McLeod, Jr.
25 March 2015
Las Vegas, Nevada
In the introduction, Karabell states that "... the pages that follow present stories of both conflict and corporation." As a survey, it is necessary to focus only on the highlights of the era. The issue becomes deciding which events merit representing that era and here seeps the narrator's bias. Karabell's bias minimizes the role of religious doctrine as a driver for violence, and this view may be regarded as understating the rational for conflict in some eras.
The work explores primarily Muslim societies for examples of co-existence. This may be due to its scope. Examples are non-Muslim societies, where religious tolerance was the norm, are not given much exposure. Hence, the Norman king Roger II is not given a lot of exposure.
Civil society is composed of non-governmental organizations. These organizations have molded their respective society's outlook and in turn shaped official policies. In understanding religious tolerance, this aspect needs to be more fully explored. While there are some examples (such as the Order of Cluny), the influence of the Ottoman guilds or contemporary NGOs (such as AKDN) is not thoroughly explored.
Peace Be Upon You seems to have two objectives.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Does not tell the whole story, no one book can. The most important message of the book is that historians put too much stress on periods of conflict and tend to ignore or at least... Read morePublished 8 days ago by J. Streit
This book is quite timely and provides a casual reader with the proper perspective to understand current events.
It has a good mix of history and opinion
Balanced and unbiased, thorough, comprehensive and well written.Published 16 months ago by Gary Hoffman
Maybe its where I'm at right now, but I couldn't finish the book.(Sorry)Published 18 months ago by marlen black
Great historical perspective. Helps to understand the relationships between the three major religions. Needs to be updated. Read morePublished 19 months ago by James Graham