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Karen Armstrong shows how Jerusalem has become that defining place for adherents of the three religions of Abraham. In her view, the city has been not only a symbol of God on earth, but is also a deeply rooted part of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim identity. She traces Jerusalem's physical history and spiritual meaning from its beginnings during the third millennium BC to its politically troubled and violent present. She explores the underlying currents that have played a part in Jerusalem's long and turbulent past, and she considers as well its archaeology and ever-changing topography. Throughout, she helps us understand the profound mythic sources of Jerusalem's holiness, its continuing power to arouse passions, and why the primal ideal of sacred space is once again a vital issue in Middle Eastern politics.