War on Sacred Grounds By Ron E. Hassner (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009. hbk. 222 pages)
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Holy places have frequently been the focus of religious and political conflict.
Ron E. Hassner analyzes the causes, the course, and the outcomes of
such conflicts. His prologue, “A Terrifying and Fascinating Mystery,” is
an account of his visit to Jerusalem’s Old City, which the three revealed
faiths share. The reader is made acquainted with the city’s human and linguistic
diversity, the narrow alleys, the smells of the bazaar, the monumental
buildings, the security checks, and the risks and hardships that visitors
The first of the book’s nine chapters is an introduction. The remaining
eight are divided into two parts: part 1 is “Understanding Conflicts
over Sacred Spaces,” while part 2 deals with “Managing Conflicts over Sacred
Spaces.” Each part consists of four chapters. Photographs are mostly
placed between the chapters. The book ends with acknowledgments, followed
by notes with references and clarifications, and an index of terms,
people, and places ...