Title: Where God Was Born
Publication Info: HarperAudio (2005)
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, 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.