Tracing the Jerusalem Code: The Significance of Jerusalem in Western Christianity

jerusalemklippet

An international conference organised by colleagues in Oslo, including network member Kristin B. Aavitsland:

Tracing the Jerusalem Code: The Significance of Jerusalem in Western Christianity

Oslo, MF School of Theology, Gydas vei 4, 0302 Oslo

December 9-11 2015

Throughout the entire Christian history, the idea of Jerusalem, earthly and celestial, has been formative to the Christian Church and produced a fundamental structure of literary and visual religious language. In Western Christianity, this topos has been so influential that it may be described as a code to Christian culture. A new research project hosted by MF Norwegian School of Theology aims to explore the structuring significance of Jerusalem in Scandinavian history. Through a creative, interdisciplinary and cross-­‐period investigation of literal and visual sources and with the changing idea of Jerusalem as a lens, we want to develop new theoretical perspectives on the history of Christianity in Scandinavia. In order to posit the Scandinavian case, we have invited international scholars to a broader exploration of the formative impact of Jerusalem on identity constructions and legitimation strategies in diverse religious and political traditions.

Register for the conference by contacting Joar.Haga[at]mf.no

The registration fee includes conference materials, coffee, tea and snacks.

Price including all meals: NOK 2000,-

Price without meals: NOK 300,-

Download the conference programme.

Visit the research network homepage.

Book Launch: Jerusalem In World War I, by Roberto Mazza

Readers in Jerusalem might be interested in attending a talk by our member Roberto Mazza at the Kenyon Institute on 28 October 2015.

Roberto will discuss his book Jerusalem in World War I: the Palestine Diary of a European Consul with noted scholar Salim Tamari, to mark its publication in paperback.

If Jerusalem is less convenient, you can view an earlier talk about the book by Roberto on Youtube.

Jerusalem in World War I presents the diaries of a young diplomat, Antonio de la Cierva y Lewita, better known as Conde de Ballobar, who was sent to Jerusalem to take charge of the city’s Spanish consulate after the break out of World War I. Ballobar recorded the events he witnessed and described his experiences and opinions in a unique document that has become an invaluable resource for historians. His diary provides an unparalleled insight into late Ottoman Jerusalem – and the upheavals of wartime life in the city – and includes a detailed account of the battle amongst the local churches over control of the city’s holy places. Also touching upon the spread of Zionism and the establishment of British rule, Ballobar writes as a privileged observer of an exceptionally complex historical period.

Roberto Mazza earned his PhD from SOAS in 2007, and he has been recently appointed Lecturer in History at the University of Limerick (Ireland). His other publications include Jerusalem from the Ottomans to the British (2009) and a chapter on the Nebi Musa Riots in Urban Violence in the Middle East: Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State (2015, U. Freitag, N Fuccaro and C Ghrawi, Eds.).

Salim Tamari is a sociologist senior fellow at Institute for Palestine Studies and former director of the IPS-affiliated Institute of Jerusalem Studies. He is editor of Jerusalem Quarterly and Hawliyyat al Quds, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  Recent publications include: Year of the Locust: Palestine and Syria during WWI (2010); Ihsan’s War: The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Soldier (2008); and The Mountain Against the Sea (2008).

The launch will take place at the Kenyon Institute, 15 Mount of Olives Road, Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem (Next to the Gallery Cafe), on 28th Oct. 2015, 6.30pm.

A flyer can be downloaded here, and further information is available on the website of the Council for British Research in the Levant.

Dr Anna Bernard, ‘Resources for International Solidarity’, University of York, 25 February

Our very own co-investigator Dr Anna Bernard will be speaking at the University of York on Wednesday 25th February, on the topic of ‘Resources for International Solidarity: Palestine and South Africa on Camera’.

Anna is now based at King’s College London, but was previously a member of York’s Department of English and Related Literature, and we’re very pleased to welcome her back.

The talk is being hosted by York’s ‘Resistant Resources’ research strand, which developed from the Postcolonial Studies Association Postgraduate Conference held at York in July 2014.

Anna’s talk takes place in the Bowland Auditorium at 6pm. Attendance is free and all are welcome.

Her abstract is below:

Resources for International Solidarity: Palestine and South Africa on Camera

This paper compares the consciousness-raising strategies of anti-apartheid and Palestine solidarity documentaries released in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, including Some of the Palestinians (1976), You Have Struck a Rock! (1981), Occupied Palestine (1981), Who Are the Palestinians? (1983), and Witness to Apartheid (1986). These films emerge at a crucial juncture in the general shift, from the 1970s onward, from third-worldist and liberationist ideas of solidarity to civil society and humanitarian approaches. I argue that these films respond to the organizational needs of their particular moment by negotiating between these conflicting notions of what it means to be in solidarity, a strategy that remains in evidence in contemporary forms of international solidarity activism. They thus have important resonances with, and lessons for, cultural activism in our present moment.

If you’re unable to travel to York, Anna will be speaking on related themes at the University of Edinburgh Department of Islamic and Middle East Studies on Monday 2nd March, as part of their Lectures on Palestine 2015. The abstract for that talk can be found here.

Thanks to our network member Sarah Irving, who is part of a team curating the lectures, for this info.

Conference Announcement: The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem, 20-21 March, York

vtj Conference Poster-page-001A conference announcement from colleagues at York:

Registration is now open for the ERC-funded ‘The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem’ conference, to be held in York from 20th-21st March 2015.

Further details can be found on the project homepage.

Registration takes place via York’s Online Store, following the History of Art tab.

The poster can be downloaded here, and the programme is available here. These, along with details of keynote lectures, can also be downloaded from the conference website.

Dana Hercbergs on the ‘Davidization of Jerusalem’

Tower of David, Jerusalem. Shared from Wikipedia under a Creative Commons Licence.

Dana Hercbergs, who spoke at our November 2014 conference Remembering Jerusalem, has written a piece based on her paper for +972 Magazine.

The article discusses the recent proliferation of images of the Tower of David as a symbol of Jerusalem.

The Tower, Dana writes, has appeared on everything from phone books to votive candles, to real estate adverts. It has reached such a level of popularity that it now seems to be replacing landmarks such as the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall.

But why is this the case? Dana’s piece puts forward a number of possibilities, ranging from the increased visibility of settlers in the occupied City of David, to the potential of the Tower to replace the Dome of the Rock/Western Wall image with one which is on the surface (but barely, in reality) less politically charged.

You can read Dana’s article here.

Remembering Jerusalem: A Thank You

6155915890_3c19ae9f8e_zThank you to everyone who joined us at Remembering Jerusalem: Imagination, Memory, and the City, whether speaking or presenting. We are grateful to all of you for engaging with the cross-period, interdisciplinary spirit of the network so enthusiastically in your papers and discussions, and hope that you found the conference as useful and enjoyable an experience as we did.

We want to extend particular gratitude to our keynote speakers, Prof Anthony Bale, Prof Nabil Matar, and Prof Eyal Weizman, for delivering such rich and wide-ranging lectures. Their talks introduced themes that resonated through our conversations over the two days, and provided wonderful examples of the kinds of comparative scholarship that we hope to encourage as a network.

We are also grateful to Ilana Tahan and her fellow curators at the British Library, for sharing with us a number of fascinating items from the Library’s collection relating to Jerusalem, and to Cathy Collins of the Endangered Archives Programme, for telling us about the Programme’s important preservation and digitisation projects in Israel/Palestine and the wider Middle East.

One of the aims of the network is simply to draw together scholars working across disciplines and periods in relation to the rich history, culture, and politics of Jerusalem. With this in mind, if you would like to add a brief description of your research to the project pages at jerusalems.wordpress.com, please do feel free to send this on.

We are also developing a couple of ideas in relation to publication, and would particularly appreciate your feedback on the question of which papers and panels you found most stimulating, and the ways in which cross-period scholarship in particular might offer a challenge to existing scholarly fields. Is the act of talking across periods already an exciting development, or do we need to think about what a genuinely inter- or intra-period study might look like (which might perhaps resist straightforward chronology)?

Beyond these specific developments, we would be delighted to hear from you with any suggestions for future collaborations or ways to move the network forward. Our AHRC funding concludes next year, and one of the questions we are currently considering is whether it would be a good idea to pursue further, larger research grants. If you are interested in being part of these discussions, please do get in contact either with individual project members, or with the group as a whole.