Bible and Gun: Militarism in Jerusalem's Holy Places
Pullan, Wendy Ann
Space and Polity
Taylor & Francis
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Pullan, W. A. (2013). Bible and Gun: Militarism in Jerusalem's Holy Places. Space and Polity, 17 335-356. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562576.2013.853490
Violence is a regular occurrence at many of Jerusalem’s holy sites. Ongoing civilian clashes play a role, but official modes of control through the Israeli army (IDF) and Border Police, as well as more informal private security operations are often involved. Such militarisation may keep violent upheavals in check, but it is carried out within the framework of a long and harsh occupation. The two sites considered here—the Western Wall in the Old City and Rachel’s Tomb on the border of Jerusalem and Bethlehem—each have a history of war and are fixtures of the occupation. This study explores the mechanisms that embed religious and militaristic meanings at each site. In so doing, certain questions are addressed. Firstly, how are the sites being constructed and used as popular and dramatic settings for certain constituents to promote religious militarism/militarised religion in Jerusalem? In which ways do these characteristics act to intertwine with the religious and militaristic aspects of the sites, making them more extreme but also, in some circles, more attractive? And finally, how do these sites contribute to the character of Jerusalem, both in their own construction and image but also in the roles they play within the wider urban topography?
The research for this article forms part of the ESRC Large Grant project, ‘Conflict in Cities and the Contested State’, undertaken 2007-13 (RES-060-25- 0015 ) and the ESRC-funded ‘Conflict in Cities: Architecture and Urban Order in Divided Jerusalem’, 2005-7 (RES-228-25-0056). Historical research on the Western Wall and Rachel’s Tomb was begun in the early 1990s. I am grateful to Lefkos Kyriacou for drawing the maps for this article and for comments by the anonymous reviewers.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13562576.2013.853490
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/254782