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Jerusalem: A Brief History



Jerusalem: A Brief History

Michael Zank

ISBN: 978-1-118-53332-1 July 2018 Wiley-Blackwell 272 Pages

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Provides a short, accessible, and lively introduction to Jerusalem

Jerusalem - A Brief History shows how Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptures confer providential meaning to the fate of the city and how modern Jerusalem is haunted by waves of biblical fantasy aiming at mutually exclusive status-quo rectification. It presents the major epochs of the history of Jerusalem’s urban transformation, inviting readers to imagine Jerusalem as a city that is not just sacred to the many groups of people who hold it dear, but as a united, unharmed place that is, in this sense, holy.

Jerusalem - A Brief History starts in modern Jerusalem—giving readers a look at the city as it exists today. It goes on to tell of its emergence as a holy city in three different ways, focusing each time on another aspect of the biblical past. Next, it discusses the transformation of Jerusalem from a formerly Jewish temple city, condemned to oblivion by its Roman destroyers, into an imperially sponsored Christian theme park, and the afterlife of that same city under later Byzantine and Muslim rulers. Lastly, the book returns to present day Jerusalem to examine the development of the modern city under the Ottomans and the British, the history of division and reunification, and the ongoing jostling over access to, and sovereignty over, Jerusalem’s contested holy places.

  • Offers a unique integration of approaches, including urban history, the rhetoric of power, the history of art and architecture, biblical hermeneutics, and modern Middle Eastern Studies
  • Places great emphasis on how Jerusalem is a real city where different people live and coexist
  • Examines the urban transformation that has taken place since late Ottoman times
  • Utilizes numerous line drawings to demonstrate how its monumental buildings, created to illustrate an alliance of divine and human power, are in fact quite ephemeral, transient, and fragile

Jerusalem - A Brief History is a comprehensive and thoughtful introduction to the Holy City that will appeal to any student of religion and/or history.

About this Book vii

Acknowledgments xiii

Maps xvi

Part I Introducing Jerusalem 1

1 Location, Recent History, Demography 3

2 Cities Within 14

3 Communities and Meanings 24

Part II Biblical City 35

4 “Holy City”: A Clarification of Terms 37

5 The Making of a Memorable Place 47

6 Kings, Priests, and the Politics of “One God Alone” 59

7 Kinship, Covenant, and Sectarian Divide 70

8 City and Scenario 82

Part III Imperial City 93

9 Constantine’s Hagiapolis Hierousalem 95

10 Pax Christiana sive Islamica 103

11 Arab Conquest 114

12 City of the Holy House (Madinat Bayt al‐Maqdis) 122

13 The Kingdom of Jerusalem: Of Warlords, Popes, and Preachers of Jihad 135

Part IV Modern City 147

14 Ottoman Kudus 149

15 Ethnic Separation, Partition, and Division 160

16 Unholy City 169

Jerusalem: A Timeline 184

References 214

Index 232