2002 Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land - Study Guide Part 1, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

David K. Shipler
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The final chapter of Part 1 is entitled, "Religious Absolutism: Isaac and Ishmael." Shipler opens it with an interview with Rabbi David Hartman, a Jerusalem philosopher. Hartman begins frankly: "Biblical people are extremists." The Torah does not permit pluralism. Religion, he admits, is naturally reactionary, and the past can be bent to serve any purpose. Therefore, it can become a force of evil.

Shipler develops Hartman's theme. The Arab-Israeli dispute is secular, but fundamentalism in Judaism and Islam fan the flames. Shipler interviews Bernard Lewis, a renowned Jewish scholar of Islam and Muslim culture, who states that politics and religion are one in Islam, unlike Christianity, where God and Caesar each enjoy its own sphere. Judaism after the Biblical period never had an opportunity to work out a system of its own; it is experimenting now, in the State of Israel. Only a small percentage of...

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This section contains 1,152 words
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Buy the 2002 Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land Study Guide
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