Jerusalem: Idea and Reality
Tamar Mayer, Suleiman Ali Mourad
Routledge, 2008 - History - 332 pages
Jerusalem, the holy city of three faiths, has been the focus of competing historical, religious, and political narratives from Biblical chronicles to today's headlines. With an aura that transcends the boundaries of time and place, the city itself embodies different levels of reality – indeed, different realities altogether – for both observers and inhabitants. There is the real Jerusalem, a place of ancient streets and monuments, temples and coffee-houses, religious discourse and political argument. But there is also the imaginary and utopian city that exists in the minds of believers, political strategists, and artists. The study of this multifaceted city poses complex questions that range over several fields of inquiry.
The multidisciplinary studies in Jerusalem offer insights into this complexity. Chapters by leading scholars examine the significant issues that relate to the perception, representation, and status of the city at the historical, religious, social, artistic, and political levels. Together they provide an essential resource for anyone interested in the paradoxes that Jerusalem offers.