Read e-book online A Brief History of the Middle East: From Abraham to Arafat PDF

By Christopher Catherwood

ISBN-10: 0786717009

ISBN-13: 9780786717002

In The short background of the center East writer Christopher Catherwood makes an attempt to teach how our whole international is eventually formed via occasions that experience opened up or have their foundation within the center East. Catherwood insists that, until we enable lack of knowledge to blind us—which to a undeniable quantity it already has—the heart East mustn't ever be considered as ''some unusual position over there.'' 3 of the world's significant geared up religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—all stem from the world, as do defining civilizations from old Egypt to Babylonia. Catherwood examines this storied zone in the course of the lens of the current through asking those questions. How did the Palestinian factor come up? Why does Osama bin weighted down harp at the glories of Moorish Spain? Why did Islamic extremism emerge as an alternative choice to Arab socialist nationalism for thus many? ultra-modern headlines have transparent ancient reasons, and The short historical past of the center East will deliver that idea into concentration.

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B y the time of Jesus the Pharisees were very proud of their extensive religious knowledge but, as the New Testament argues, they had perhaps become almost too proud of it, and become sadly enmeshed in the letter rather than the spirit of the law. Finally there were small, often remote, groups such as the Essenes, who lived separate from the rest of society in special communities, rather like the monks in Christian and Buddhist traditions. The Essenes were ascetics, who rejected the Hasmonean monarchy, and have become famous today because of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the twentieth century, which has preserved their teaching.

He is the founding Patriarch for the Jews, and an early prophet or forerunner of Muhammad himself for the Muslims. Jews claim descent from his son Isaac, and Arabs from his other son Ishmael. On the other hand, the peace lovers in the three great modern monotheistic faiths see him not as a source of strife but as a focus of reconciliation and unity. We have a new expression to cover Judaism, Christianity and Islam — the 'Abrahamic faiths'. This term, used even more after September 1 1 , 2001, is designed to foster unity between the three faiths, and to remind us what we have in common.

Hornung, Hollis points out,'skirts a definitive statement' on whether the worship of the Aten was the first monotheistic faith or not. If experts disagree, it is difficult to know how best to interpret the evidence. Many, such as the psychologist Sigmund Freud, have linked Jewish monotheism to the influence Akhenaten had on Moses, but without any tangible evidence, this is impossible to prove. It has even been suggested that he was the first atheist! His subjects were not allowed to worship other gods, which might point to monotheism, but that is the only tantalizing clue that we have.

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A Brief History of the Middle East: From Abraham to Arafat by Christopher Catherwood

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