Wednesday, October 19, 2011
JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM is read by Mel Foster, but rather than focusing on the city itself the book approaches the subject of religion's focus on violence from all angles in a comprehensive, analytical, and intriguing look at why blood-based sacrifices offered to God create meaning for believers, and how resistance to Roman violence influenced Biblical texts and formulated Jewish attitudes toward the world, (which in turn influences us as well). A perfect storm continues to brew around the Temple mount in Jerusalem, which is perceived by both Jews and Arabs as ground zero (despite our fixation on the less important one in New York City.) It is from this point that the world has turned since ancient times, and which also turned more recently to the brink of nuclear holocaust during the Nixon debacle. Will it happen again, (since Islam also views Jews the way Hitler did), once Iran gets the bomb? The author expresses a hope that believers of all monotheistic religions view "one God" not as a numeral 1 in opposition to perceived infidels, but as "God is one," meaning "in harmony with" rather than "at war with." Otherwise, says Carroll, the human race is "doomed."