Saving The Holy Sepulchre: How Rival Christians Came Together To Rescue Their Holiest Shrine

Hardcover | February 15, 2008

byRaymond Cohen

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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the mother of all the churches, erected on the spot where Jesus Christ was crucified and rose from the dead and where every Christian was born. In 1927, Jerusalem was struck by a powerful earthquake, and for decades this venerable structure stood perilouslyclose to collapse. In Saving the Holy Sepulchre, Raymond Cohen tells the engaging story of how three major Christian traditions--Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Orthodox --each with jealously guarded claims to the church, struggled to restore one of the great shrines of civilization. It almost didnthappen. For centuries the communities had lived together in an atmosphere of tension and mistrust based on differences of theology, language, and culture--differences so sharp that fistfights were not uncommon. And the project of restoration became embroiled in interchurch disputes and great powerpolitics. Cohen shows how the repair of the dilapidated basilica was the result of unprecedented cooperation among the three churches. It was tortuous at times--one French monk involved in the restoration exclaimed: "I can't take any more of it. Latins--Armenians--Greeks--it is too much. I am bentover double." But thanks to the dedicated efforts of a cast of kings, popes, patriarchs, governors, monks, and architects, the deadlock was eventually broken on the eve of Pope Paul VIs historic pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1964. Today, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in better shape than it has been for five hundred years. Light and space have returned to its ancient halls, and its walls and pillars stand sound and true. Saving the Holy Sepulchre is the riveting story of how Christians put aside centuries ofdivision to make this dream a reality.

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The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the mother of all the churches, erected on the spot where Jesus Christ was crucified and rose from the dead and where every Christian was born. In 1927, Jerusalem was struck by a powerful earthquake, and for decades this venerable structure stood perilouslyclose to collapse. In Saving the Holy S...

Raymond Cohen is Chaim Weizmann Professor of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A graduate of Oxford University, he has been a visiting professor at Georgetown University, and a research fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Watson Institute at Brown University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.2 × 6.2 × 1.1 inPublished:February 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195189663

ISBN - 13:9780195189667

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"...meticulous, evenhanded account Cohen's chronological approach and strong writing maintain suspense in spite of the outcome promised in the book's title. His tale offers hope that ancient sites can be preserved in spite of seemingly impossible odds." --Publisher's Weekly