James Carroll / Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Presented by Berkeley Arts & Letters
James Carroll's urgent, masterly Jerusalem, Jerusalem uncovers the ways in which the ancient city became an incendiary fantasy of a city, unlike any other.
In Carroll's provocative reading of the deep past, the Bible's brutality responded to the violence that threatened Jerusalem from the start. Centuries later, the mounting European fixation on a heavenly Jerusalem sparked both anti-Semitism and racist colonial contempt. The holy wars of the Knights Templar burned apocalyptic mayhem into the Western mind. Carroll's brilliant and original leap is to show how, as Christopher Columbus carried his own Jerusalem-centric worldview to the West, America too was powerfully shaped by the dream of the City on a Hill -- from Governor Winthrop to Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson to Ronald Reagan. The nuclear brinksmanship of the 1973 Yom Kippur War helps prove his point: religion and violence fuel each other, with Jerusalem the ground zero of the heat.
"James Carroll's Jerusalem, Jerusalem should be required reading for all: it is a lucid, calm, deeply compelling history of the literal and symbolic significance of that city, at the heart and origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. From Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac through Spinoza and Adolph Eichmann and Billy Graham, Carroll marshals an extraordinary range of sources to illuminate the interwoven violence and redemption that define Jerusalem in the world entire, up to this day." Claire Messud
"James Carroll gives us a gripping account of how Jerusalem has fired the spiritual imagination of the West from Biblical times to the present not only as a fiercely contested place, but also a locus of millennial hopes and apocalyptic expectations. But this book is also something more a deeply personal meditation on the religious impulse itself, and its dark double, sacred violence. More than a rebuke to jihadists and religious extremists, this book challenges secularists who believe that, for modern Western societies, wars of religion are a thing of the past. When it comes to war, Carroll shows us, the line between the sacred and the secular is less sturdy than we think." Michael Sandel
To the standard set by Constantine's Sword, Jerusalem, Jerusalem is again a "rare book that combines searing passion . . . with a subject that has affected all our lives" (Chicago Tribune).
James Carroll was raised in Washington, D.C., and ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1969. He served as a chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974, then left the priesthood to become a writer. His books include Constantine's Sword, An American Requiem, and House of War. A distinguished scholar- in-residence at Suffolk University, he is a columnist for the Boston Globe and a regular contributor to the Daily Beast. Visit his website here.
7:30 PM / First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way at Dana / Berkeley
Tickets at the door $15.
First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|