Jerusalem: Three Religions, three families - Faith Matters
The Old City of Jerusalem covers less than one square kilometer and is home to Jews, Christians and Muslims. The political tensions dividing Israel and the Palestinians are felt acutely here. How do the Old City's residents deal with this stress? We put that question to three families and to three clerics representing the three 'world religions'.
An introduction to the teachings and history of Judaism from Harvard University.
Of the many ancient civilizations we are aware of, few are smaller than the ancient Kingdom of Israel. Small both in geographical area and population, it was barely noticed by the major civilizations of the time in Egypt, Mesopotamia and elsewhere, which either ignored or crushed it. Yet, several millennia later, Israel is the civilization we remember most acutely, which we know--or think we know--the most about, and which has even been revised after a manner. Alas, what we know--or think we know--about Israel comes partly from the Old Testament and partly from fragmentary and sometimes distorted bits of historical evidence. For these very reasons, because Ancient Israel means so much to us and because we actually know so little for sure, The A to Z of Ancient Israel is particularly important. It examines the usual sources in the Old Testament and surveys the findings of more recent archaeological research to help us determine just what happened and when, a far from simple task. It includes entries on most of the persons, places, and events which are generally considered, and shows more broadly what the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah were like and what role they played in the ancient world, but it also defines them as closely as possible according to the latest data. While the results may differ from traditional views, they are essential correctives.
This third edition of Historical Dictionary of Judaism covers the history of the Jewish religion, ranging from its biblical roots, through its formulation in the era of the Talmud, to the present day. This collection covers the development of Judaism in the medieval Christian and Islamic worlds, its varied responses to Enlightenment and modernity, the creation of new philosophies of Judaism in the wake of the Holocaust, and the establishment of the State of Israel, and contemporary issues such as feminism, secularism, and the ethics of war and medicine. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 800 cross-referenced entries on important personalities in Jewish religious history, including biblical personalities with an emphasis on how they are understood in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Judaism.
An introduction to Christian teachings and history, from Harvard University.
The early Christian Church was a chaos of contending beliefs. Some groups of Christians claimed that there was not one God but two or twelve or thirty. Some believed that the world had not been created by God but by a lesser, ignorant deity. Certain sects maintained that Jesus was human but not divine, while others said he was divine but not human. In Lost Christianities, Bart D. Ehrman offers a fascinating look at these early forms of Christianity and shows how they came to be suppressed, reformed, or forgotten. All of these groups insisted that they upheld the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and they all possessed writings that bore out their claims, books reputedly produced by Jesus's own followers. Modern archaeological work has recovered a number of key texts, and as Ehrman shows, these spectacular discoveries reveal religious diversity that says much about the ways in which history gets written by the winners. Ehrman's discussion ranges from considerations of various "lost scriptures"--including forged gospels supposedly written by Simon Peter, Jesus's closest disciple, and Judas Thomas, Jesus's alleged twin brother--to the disparate beliefs of such groups as the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, the anti-Jewish Marcionites, and various "Gnostic" sects. Ehrman examines in depth the battles that raged between "proto-orthodox Christians"--those who eventually compiled the canonical books of the New Testament and standardized Christian belief--and the groups they denounced as heretics and ultimately overcame. Scrupulously researched and lucidly written, Lost Christianities is an eye-opening account of politics, power, and the clash of ideas among Christians in the decades before one group came to see its views prevail.
An introductory guide to the important elements of the world's largest religion, including the Quran, the Pillars of Faith, and the life of Muhammad, as well as Islamic history, customs and rituals, and contributions to world culture. Essential Islam: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice is the ideal beginner's resource on the core elements of a faith that, like Christianity and Judaism, offers a guide to holy living and a path to salvation--one that like other world faiths has inspired peace and war, tolerance and brutality, enlightenment and abysmal ignorance. Essential Islam offers an insightful, objective look at Islam from its inception to the present day, including a discussion of Islamic beliefs about God, history, warfare, marriage, the afterlife, and the relationship between Islam and other faiths. It is a rich source for dispelling misconceptions--for example, only 10 percent of Muslims are Arabic, and only a quarter of those reside in the Middle East--and for understanding tensions between groups within and outside Islam. More importantly, it gives readers a portrait of Islam not as a religion of extremists, but as a dynamic living faith practiced by people of all kinds in virtually every corner of the world. * Introductory section provides extensive background and context * Frequent subheads maximize organization and ease of reading * Provides a helpful bibliography referencing print and online sources for further reading
Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies," Bernard Lewis has been for half a century one of the West's foremost scholars of Islamic history and culture, the author of over two dozen books, most notably The Arabs in History, The Emergence of ModernTurkey, The Political Language of Islam, and The Muslim Discovery of Europe. Eminent French historian Robert Mantran has written of Lewis's work: "How could one resist being attracted to the books of an author who opens for you the doors of an unknown or misunderstood universe, who leads you withinto its innermost domains: religion, ways of thinking, conceptions of power, culture--an author who upsets notions too often fixed, fallacious, or partisan."In Islam and the West, Bernard Lewis brings together in one volume eleven essays that indeed open doors to the innermost domains of Islam. Lewis ranges far and wide in these essays.