Holy shrines (maqamat) in modern Palestine/Israel and the politics of memory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As the cradle of Judaism and Christianity and with Jerusalem as the third canonical Holy City in Islam, Palestine through the centuries has resonated in the minds of millions of believers as the “Holy Land.” Taking their inspiration from the Scriptures in which their faith is grounded and responding to the customs shaped by subsequent expressions of tradition, followers of all three religions naturally came to attribute holiness to the numerous shrines and other sacred places that dotted the country, whether they called it Terra Sancta, eretz ha-qodesh or al-ard al-muqaddasa. In his recent comprehensive study, Josef Meri describes how this “sacred topography” was constructed: Devotees created and sustained “sanctity” by building shrines, tombs, and other commemorative structures, writing about sacred [sites] and performing rituals. Sacred topography encompasses those distinguishing characteristics of a place that its inhabitants, writers and travelers identified as holy-monuments, such as tombs, sepulchers, mausoleums, houses, shrines, mosques, synagogues, and churches, as well as natural sites, such as mountains, wells, rivers, and caves.2.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHoly Places in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Subtitle of host publicationConfrontation and Co-existence
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781135268121
ISBN (Print)9780415549011
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2010 editorial selection and matter, Marshall J. Breger, Yitzhak Reiter, and Leonard Hammer.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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