Sacred Space in Israel and Palestine: Religion and Politics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sacred Space in Israel and Palestine

Religion and Politics, 1st Edition

Edited by Marshall J. Breger, Yitzhak Reiter, Leonard Hammer


340 pages

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Religion and religious nationalism have long played a central role in many ethnic and national conflicts, and the importance of religion to national identity means that territorial disputes can often focus on the contestation of holy places and sacred territory. Looking at the case of Israel and Palestine, this book highlights the nexus between religion and politics through the process of classifying holy places, giving them meaning and interpreting their standing in religious and civil law, within governmental policy, and within international and local communities.

Written by a team of renowned scholars from within and outside the region, this book follows on from Holy Places in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Confrontation and Co-existence to provide an insightful look into the politics of religion and space. Examining Jerusalem’s holy basin from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, it provides unique insights into the way Jewish, Christian and Muslim authorities, scholars and jurists regard sacred space and the processes, grass roots and official, by which spaces become holy in the eyes of particular communities. Filling an important gap in the literature on Middle East peacemaking, the book will be of interest to scholars and students of the Middle East conflict, conflict resolution, political science, urban studies and history of religion.

Table of Contents

Introduction Marshall Breger, Yitzhak Reiter and Leonard Hammer Part I: Designating and Grading Holy Places 1. "How Awesome is this Place": Holy Places in Jewish Law Aviad HaCohen 2. Holy Places and Sacred Spaces: Canonical Issues Kurt Martens 3. The Protection of Heritage and Holy Sites in International Law: A Palestinian Perspective Anwar Abu Eisheh 4. From Unknown Saint to State Site: The Jewish Dimension in the Sanctification Process of Tombs in the State of Israel Avi Sasson 5. The Renewal of the Pilgrimage to Nabi Musa Yifrach Zilberman 6. The Zamzam Well Ritual in Islam and its Jerusalem Connection Ahmad Ghabin Part II: Interpreting Religious Law in Light of Political Needs 7. The Place of Religious Aspirations for Sovreignty over the Temple Mount in Religious-Zionist Rulings Eliav Taub and Aviad Hollander 8. The Battle for the Muslim Cemeteries in Israel Sheikh Ahmad Natour Part III: The Role of Religious Leaders in Addressing Issues Pertaining to Holy Sites 9. Nationalising and Denationalising the Sacred: Shrines and Shifting Identities in the Israeli-Occupied Territories Glen Bowman 10. Political Holiness: Negotiating Holy Places in Eretz Israel/Palestine, 1937-2003 Lior Lehrs 11. Search for Common Ground: The Importance of Interfaith Cooperation for the Protection of Jerusalem’s Holy Sites Sharon Rosen 12. Christian Palestinian Communities in Israel: Tensions between Laity, Clergy, and State Merav Mack

About the Editors

Marshall J. Breger is Professor at the Catholic University of America.

Yitzhak Reiter is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science of Ashkelon Academic College, Israel.

Leonard Hammer lectures in Israel and abroad.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics

This series is concerned with recent political developments in the region. It will have a range of different approaches and include both single authored monographs and edited volumes covering issues such as international relations, foreign intervention, security, political Islam, democracy, ideology and public policy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / Israel
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies