Where God Was Born: A Journey By Land to the Roots of Religion

by Bruce S. Feiler

Book, 2005



Call number

710 FEI



New York : William Morrow, c2005.


"At a time when America debates its values and the world braces for religious war, Feiler travels ten thousand miles through the heart of the Middle East and examines the question: Is religion tearing us apart, or can it bring us together? Taking readers to sites not seen by Westerners for decades, Feiler's journey uncovers little-known details about the common roots of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and affirms the importance of the Bible in today's world. In Israel, he treks through secret underground tunnels and locates the spot where David toppled Goliath. In Iraq, he visits the Garden of Eden and the birthplace of Abraham, and makes a life-threatening trip to the rivers of Babylon. In Iran, he explores the home of the Bible's first messiah and uncovers the secret burial place of Queen Esther. Feiler's bold realization is that the Bible argues for interfaith harmony.--From publisher description.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member justine
Compelling and inspiring, a real accompaniment to Walking the Bible.
LibraryThing member robertg69
some obvious editorial errors but earnest and biblically informed (or so it seems to me).
LibraryThing member MusicMom41
Continuing the “saga” he started in Walking the Bible, Bruce sets out to explore the Fertile Crescent and nearby areas, especially Iran, to work out what the second half of the Hebrew Bible discussed—the rise of monotheism and the development of Judaism. He also continues to try to discover
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ways that the 3 Abrahamic Faiths can learn to live together. This book is a wonderful mix of ancient history and current events that sometimes threatened to overwhelm me (I’m must do something about my lack of geographic and political knowledge) but kept me enthralled, educated me in many areas, and gave me much food for thought about my own faith beliefs and how I live them out. The chapters about Iraq and Iran were particularly meaningful to me because until I read this I knew virtually nothing about these areas except what I’ve been reading in the headlines. One thing that struck me—and Bruce points this out near the end of the book—the Biblical stories about these areas tell of many, almost constant wars as the Jews were moving into and living in the Promised Land as they came up against societies who did not share the value system they felt they were getting from God; it seems that in these 20th and 21st Century times once again there seems to be almost constant conflict brought about by differing views about God and how we should serve Him. Is it a vain hope that we can ever get along? According to Bruce the only thing that can save our religions is religion—the moderates need to be more proactive and not allow the fundamentalists destroy any possibility of being able to accommodate each other and learn from each other. Although he puts it differently, Bruce seems to believe as I do that no one religion or faith has a “lock” on The Truth—we all have aspects of Truth but not a final answer. We need each other to come closer to knowing what God would have us all do.
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LibraryThing member Othemts
Feiler's book is a unique combination of travelogue, history, theology, and personal growth. Feiler documents his journeys to Israel, Iraq, and Iran to visit the sites of places mentioned in the Hebrew scriptures. There's a lot of interesting discussion of the Israelites and the connection to land,
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but how the religion was born only once they were taken from the land. There are also hints that the Babylonian captivity was not as bad as depicted in the bible. Feiler also has an interesting take on David, the flawed hero, who spent many years as a bandit and even collaborated with the enemies of Israel. Perhaps the most remarkable part of the book is when he worships with a Jewish community in Iran who have a surprising amount of religious freedom, something Feiler traces back to the Persian king Cyrus who liberated the Israelites from captivity. He also traces Zoroastrian influences to the Abrahamic religions to this period. In the end, Feiler finds in the Bible a blueprint for religious tolerance and understanding that could be followed today.
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LibraryThing member MrDickie
I bought used copies of this book twice. I forgot which books by Bruce Feiler I'd read. It didn't matter. I couldn't remember a word from the book and I assume that I enjoyed the book both times. For several years I've only been keeping a record of books read during the year. I used to maintain a
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catalog of all of the books in my library.
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Original publication date



0060574879 / 9780060574871
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