Andrew Lawler in conversation with Jacob Wright - Under Jerusalem

Andrew Lawler in conversation with Jacob Wright - Under Jerusalem

Tuesday, Oct 03, 2023 7:00 PM

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307

A spellbinding history of the hidden world below the Holy City—a saga of biblical treasures, intrepid explorers, and political upheaval

"A sweeping tale of archaeological exploits and their cultural and political consequences told with a historian's penchant for detail and a journalist's flair for narration." —Washington Post

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and A Cappella Books welcome author Andrew Lawler in honor of the paperback release of his acclaimed book, "Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World's Most Contested City." The author will appear in conversation with Emory theology professor Jacob Wright, author of the forthcoming book, "Why the Bible Began."

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the venue. Masks are optional.

About the Book

In 1863, a French senator arrived in Jerusalem hoping to unearth relics dating to biblical times. Digging deep underground, he discovered an ancient grave that, he claimed, belonged to an Old Testament queen. News of his find ricocheted around the world, evoking awe and envy alike, and inspiring others to explore Jerusalem's storied past.

In the century and a half since the Frenchman broke ground, Jerusalem has drawn a global cast of fortune seekers and missionaries, archaeologists and zealots, all of them eager to extract the biblical past from beneath the city's streets and shrines. Their efforts have had profound effects, not only on our understanding of Jerusalem's history, but on its hotly disputed present. The quest to retrieve ancient Jewish heritage has sparked bloody riots and thwarted international peace agreements. It has served as a cudgel, a way to stake a claim to the most contested city on the planet. Today, the earth below Jerusalem remains a battleground in the struggle to control the city above.

"Under Jerusalem" takes readers into the tombs, tunnels, and trenches of the Holy City. It brings to life the indelible characters who have investigated this subterranean landscape. With clarity and verve, acclaimed journalist Andrew Lawler reveals how their pursuit has not only defined the conflict over modern Jerusalem, but could provide a map for two peoples and three faiths to peacefully coexist.

About the Author

Andrew Lawler is the author of the bestselling "The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke" and the acclaimed "Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization." His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, and Smithsonian. He is a contributing writer for Science and a contributing editor for Archaeology. Lawler's work has appeared several times in "The Best of Science and Nature Writing."

About the Conversation Partner

Dr. Jacob L. Wright is a professor of Hebrew Bible / Old Testament at Emory University, which boasts one of the world's leading doctoral programs in biblical studies. Before coming to Emory, he taught at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

As an American with a European education, he is widely known for his ability to blend a wide range of historical, religious, and geographical perspectives on the Bible. His writing and teaching are thoroughly interdisciplinary, demonstrating how the ideas of the Bible and other ancient writings bear directly on central problems that face our societies in modern times. He brings to his work first-hand acquaintance with archeological finds and primary sources from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. As a testimony to his distinctive interdisciplinary approach to biblical studies, he recently received a full Faculty Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which had not been awarded in biblical studies for many years prior.

Jacob Wright writes on an array of topics, ranging from social life in ancient Israel (feasting, war commemoration, urbicide, etc.) to the formation of biblical writings. His first book, "Rebuilding Identity: The Nehemiah Memoir and Its Earliest Readers"(De Gruyter), won the prestigious Templeton Award for first books in religion. His current research treats a wide range of phenomena related to war and society in ancient Israel.