In this Global Engagement Seminar, students will explore the relationship between Jerusalem’s religious history, urban development, and contemporary political, social and cultural diversity and divisions. What is the relationship between sacred religious space and sacred political space? Is holiness only a religious category, or also a political one? What role does Jerusalem play in the national narratives of Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims? We are visiting Jerusalem at a key moment in the history of the Middle East. The revolutions of the Arab Spring have introduced a new dynamic in the region, and Jerusalem remains one of the most disputed, contentious issues in the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians. Our hope is that our 3 1/2 weeks of seminar discussions and site visits, followed by two months of student internships with local institutions and organizations will provide Smith students with a more nuanced, sensitive, and intellectually cohesive understanding of this city that has been at the heart of monotheistic traditions for 3,000 years.
Prof. Justin Cammy, Jewish Studies, Comparative Literature, and Middle Eastern Studies
Prof. Suleiman Mourad, Religion, Medieval Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies
Prof. Donna Robinson Divine, Government and Middle Eastern Studies