In this Smith College Global Engagement Seminar, students 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? 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 to the region, and the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is at a standstill. Jerusalem – as it has for several thousand years – remains a source of inspiration and heated dispute. Our hope is that the seminar and internship will provide Smith students with a more nuanced, sensitive, and intellectually coherent understanding of this city that has been at the heart of monotheistic traditions for several thousand years years.
Students enrolled in this seminar will be blogging about their experiences regularly as a way to make sense of their experiences. We invite guests to follow along with us on our adventures, but only students and faculty may post to the blog as it is part of our course requirements.
Prof. Justin Cammy
Prof. Donna Robinson Divine