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Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed…
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Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land (edição: 2008)

de Nina Burleigh (Autor)

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1248222,947 (3.24)12
In 2002, an ancient limestone box called the James Ossuary was trumpeted on front pages as the first material evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ. Today it is exhibit A in a forgery trial involving millions of dollars worth of high-end Biblical-era relics, which could lead to the incarceration of some very wealthy men and embarrass major international institutions, including the British Museum and Sotheby's. Set in Israel, with its 30,000 archaeological digs crammed with biblical-era artifacts, and full of colorful characters--scholars, evangelicals, detectives, and millionaire collectors--this book tells the story of what Israeli authorities have called "the fraud of the century." It takes readers into the murky world of Holy Land relic dealing, from the back alleys of Jerusalem's Old City to New York's Fifth Avenue, and reveals biblical archaeology as it is pulled apart by religious believers on one side and scientists on the other.--From publisher description.… (mais)
Membro:TJSbooks
Título:Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land
Autores:Nina Burleigh (Autor)
Informação:HarperCollins e-books (2009), 291 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Kindle

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Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land de Nina Burleigh

Adicionado recentemente porTJSbooks, wendat, SaintCeadda, Markober, jcourtney4, Den85, jscot
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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This is a slow burner. The biggest potential surprise in the book: is this a true icon? is answered on the first page and, it is only in the final chapter and the epilogue that one gets the point.

This is a pre-cursor to the Trump years. It is all about people with too much invested in the truth of the icon for fact to get in the way. With a religious icon, this does not simply include the purchaser and the vendor but, all the religious zealots for whom a solid item confirming the god's existence becomes more important than the faith based belief previously extolled. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Nov 29, 2020 |
re the ossuary fraud trial

backgound at http://jamesossuarytrial.blogspot.com/
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
If you've read Brother of Jesus, this is a good book to follow up with: balance to provide perspective on a hot Judeo Christian topic. Christians are distressingly gullible sometimes, so when we are presented with something that looks convincing we fall headlong into deception. And that is not to say that the James Ossuary is a forgery, though Burleigh, for all her "journalistic objectivity" certainly convinced me that she believes it is. Unholy Business is a call to caution and, through a back door, faith. If our faith can be bolstered by things, it can also be shaken by them. There is nothing wrong with allowing our understanding to be enlightened by objects of associative value, but to give them power over our belief is a major mistake. Burleigh tells how the contraversy over Golan's artifacts became religious battles over religious territory and face saving nightmares.

I love the cautionary quote given by one archaeologist. The science of archeaology has a soft underbelly of subjectivity, and there is no ultimate scientific proof that an object is or is not authentic. In an age where scientific proof and legal proof are already finding their mutual footing, Burleigh brings two other kinds of proof into the mix, investigative, journalistic proof and spiritual truth. It is safe to say that none of the purveyors of these various faces of truth are without prejudice or agenda. Yet, as represented here, their convergence is less satisfying than each has the capacity to be on its own.

I feel safe in saying that there is hope in this kind of interdisciplinary investigation, but only when they are actually pursued in an effort of inquiry rather than defensiveness. Each representative has a tree to plant and is in search of fertilizer. Our goal can be, in the spirit of Stephen Hawkins, to find the unifying theme, the One truth that all can go to for validation. It is only as we shy away from our security blankets that we can reach for security in Him. ( )
  darlingtrk | Jun 13, 2009 |
I knew archaeological forgeries were a huge industry and an enormous problem. I think, after reading this book, I understand a little better the scope of things. It's not just people in a back room putting these things together, but well-connected business men who can afford the best workers and the best DEFENSE to cover up what they're doing! Burleigh's book focuses particularly on the James Ossuary and several inscriptions (I think the Jehoash inscription?) that were "found" around the same time, and she even managed to somehow catch a glimpse of what appeared to be a forgery manufacturing studio. Yikes.

The key element under discussion here - whether even the author realized it or not - is the issue of unprovenanced artifacts. Should they be studied and placed on display, or is it too risky? Do these items simply encourage illegal trade, site raiding, and forgeries? Some say yes, some say no. It's a tricky situation. Either way, the book was entertaining and certainly informative. Worth the time if this is an area of interest to you. ( )
  dk_phoenix | May 6, 2009 |
While you think an archeologist or a religious historian should have written this book, it wasn't. Burleigh who is a reporter wrote it. And the book reads like a compilation of her notes. The author also seemed too be trying to write two different types of books at the same time. She would have done herself a favor by breaking out the two separate subjects, performed more research and written two.

The books should have been broken into one on the theft and selling of minor antiquities in Israel and the Palestinian areas, which is a thriving business. The street vendors sell them, but you will not know if you are buying a genuine artifact, which is quite possible, or a replica that is almost prefect down to ever detail.

And the second book, the reason most people I am sure will buy it, covers the three recently exposed forgeries of the James Ossuary, the Jehoash Tablet, and an ornamental pomegranate thought to come from that same temple. In each case, the forgery technique was the same. Legitimate but unimportant artifacts from the proper era had inscriptions added that made them historically significant and those inscriptions were then altered to look ancient. These subjects are covered in the last part of the book.

If you are truly interested in the subject of these artifacts, this is not the book for you. But if you are a tourist or plan to be one, and think you will be able to buy an artifact as a souvenir you should read this book; for she has filled this book on tour of ancient artifacts and their black-market fraud. The book at first glance has a good layout and the title does tell you what is covered.

Though I must admit I think she is honest in her writing for she lets us readers know what she has no background what so ever in religion. Yet she has taken it upon her self to assume too understand the complex dynamics that make up a city rich in history, culture and turmoil as Jerusalem.

She is woefully ignorant on the subject she is writing about and contradicts known proven findings archeology with generalized statements. Her writing leads me to the conclusion that she has decided that religion is basically superstition. And all that she is riding is based on the basic fundamental belief.

Another reviewer stated very accurately on Amazon my exact feelings on this book; "My initial annoyance and disappointment with "Unholy Business" was ultimately tempered when I realized that I was not reading a scholarly work on archaeology, history, linguistics or even criminal forensics, but a kind of breezy and highly personalized travelogue." It does not take long to reach this realization and it was a great disappointment to me. For this is a subject and area I am very interested in.

I think the two quotes at the front of her book summarize her feelings on this subject. The first is that we as civilization, civilized people deceive those who are to be deceived in order to make a living. And the other is that there are two kinds of people, "those who want to know and those who want to believe." One good thing, the book is a fast read. ( )
  hermit | Dec 26, 2008 |
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We are a civilized people, and of what use is civilization if it doesn't help us to deceive and to be deceived in order to make life more worth the living? — Emile Zola
There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe. — Friedrich Nietzsche via Joe Zias
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Cats of many colors prowl the sunken courtyard at the epigrapher's door on the edge of Jerusalem.
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Here [in Jerusalem's Old City], the death match between reason and superstition—monitored by laughing commerce—plays out in a city that for millennia has nurtured the great religions that shape the world in which we live. Here, devout practitioners are everywhere, scurrying hither and yon in black hats and flowing robes and tightly wound headscarves, holy books in hand, trailing prayer beads and crucifixes and shawl fringe, redolent of frankincense and myrrh, observing ancient purity laws, muttering prayers beneath their breaths, adhering to codes that date back a millennium or two or three. Each belongs to a specific group clinging to its own interpretation of God's law .... They exist on the precipice between godless modernity and submission to ancient supernatural instruction. They dare not look a different believer in the eye, for fear of meeting a challenge they cannot possibly walk away from.
Not far from where I waited for the detective, on the western side of the Old City walls, was the cliff overlooking the Valley of Hinnom, a place with a dark pagan history as the site of child sacrifice to the god Moloch. From the top of the cliff, parents once tossed children into a perpetually burning rubbish fire, to satisfy a god. And here, to end the practice, the ancient Jews first imagined a more just and moral deity, one who didn't need immolated infants, just undivided faith and obedience to purity laws. As the source of this primordial discernment between good and evil, Jerusalem itself also sometimes seems to be the source of all good and evil.
Israel is a small, relatively new, and profoundly challenged nation that has literally defined itself through its religious and cultural heritage. Archaeology in Israel has been called "a national hobby," and for some Israelis, it may even rise to the level of a solemn duty. The discovery that some of its citizens might have profited by exploiting and falsifying this heritage is deeply painful. For individuals to alter the national heritage for personal gain undermines much of what Israel has stood for in terms of national unity and a cohesive, binding ideology.
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In 2002, an ancient limestone box called the James Ossuary was trumpeted on front pages as the first material evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ. Today it is exhibit A in a forgery trial involving millions of dollars worth of high-end Biblical-era relics, which could lead to the incarceration of some very wealthy men and embarrass major international institutions, including the British Museum and Sotheby's. Set in Israel, with its 30,000 archaeological digs crammed with biblical-era artifacts, and full of colorful characters--scholars, evangelicals, detectives, and millionaire collectors--this book tells the story of what Israeli authorities have called "the fraud of the century." It takes readers into the murky world of Holy Land relic dealing, from the back alleys of Jerusalem's Old City to New York's Fifth Avenue, and reveals biblical archaeology as it is pulled apart by religious believers on one side and scientists on the other.--From publisher description.

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