‘Studied Empathy’ for Muslims, Christians, and Jews Is Essential to Understanding Middle East Conflict

In Jerusalem: The Biography, author Simon Sebag Montefiore asserts that the history of Jerusalem is "the story of the world" -- with so many illustrious characters in world history playing important roles there. At more than 600 pages, the book is a bit intimidating at first, but it is so well-written it doesn't bog down.  Montefiore, a historian,... Continue Reading →

Holy Places in Jerusalem Still Inspire, Despite Long, Terrible Conflicts

Left: Lucia touching the slab believed to be the spot Jesus was laid on after he was removed from the cross. Center: Visitors praying at the altar. Right: Jim touching the spot where Jesus was believed to have been anointed for burial. Slide Show of Church of Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem As our Muslim guide led... Continue Reading →

A Religious Theme Park? Via Dolorosa

On my first trip to Jerusalem, I was happy not to be jostling and elbowing among the masses on pilgrimage. Instead, I wanted to step back and observe the city's fascinating culture, sociology, and history from outside the perspective of my own sect. And yet my attempt at observational objectivity was punctured the moment I... Continue Reading →

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