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Jerusalem in Memory and Eschatology: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Visions of the Past and Future of Jerusalem. An Academic Roundtable May 25-28, 2020

This conference explores how Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions of the religiously remembered past and the religiously anticipated future have shaped understandings of Jerusalem within each tradition. The conference is a joint project of the Swedish Theological Institute, the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations, and the Department of Religious and Theological Studies at Merrimack College.

Call for Papers

The recognition of Jerusalem as a holy city within a holy land both unites and divides Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. Each tradition shares with the other a reverence for the same ancient city, but this shared site of veneration also leads to multiple forms of tension and violence. Thus, the sacredness of Jerusalem serves as a source of both commonality and conflict between these three traditions. A similar dynamic is visible in the emphasis that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions place on the religiously envisioned past and future. In common between these three religions is an orientation toward collectively remembered sacred histories, and also toward religious visions of a redemptive future. This shared orientation toward the past and the future, as envisioned within each religious tradition, also serves to both unite and divide.

This conference invites selected scholars to gather in Jerusalem to reflect on these related paradigms. It explores how Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions of the religiously remembered past and the religiously anticipated future have shaped understandings of Jerusalem within each tradition. This conference also aims to apply these reflections to an analysis of current views of Jerusalem within diverse religious traditions, through an investigation of how these sacred histories and eschatologies shape the way that Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities understand the significance of the complex and conflicted city of Jerusalem today.

We invite scholars to submit paper proposals on any aspect of this theme. Various methodologies are welcome, including historical, anthropological, theological, and sociological approaches to the study of religion. Preference will be given to papers that exhibit a scholarly expertise in the historical-critical study of Jewish, Christian, or Muslim theological traditions, with attention to related issues in interreligious relations.

Proposals should include an abstract of approximately 300 words, and the professional position held by the author. Please submit the proposals by email, in attachment in Word or PDF, to both Dr. Emma Polyakov and Dr. Maria Leppäkari. Proposals are due by January 6, 2020.

Conference Details

This conference will be held in an academic roundtable format, to foster an environment conducive to substantive and in-depth discussion of the papers. During the four days of the conference, participants will present papers and engage in discussion, with time set aside to visit Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sacred sites in Jerusalem. The Swedish Theological Institute, located in the historic and beautiful Beit Tabor house in West Jerusalem, serves as the conference venue. For authors of the selected paper proposals, accommodation and the conference fee will covered by the generous support of the Swedish Theological Institute.

Following the conference, revised versions of the conference papers will be reviewed for inclusion in an edited volume.

This conference is a joint project of the Swedish Theological Institute, the Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations, and the Department of Religious and Theological Studies at Merrimack College.

Conference Director

Dr. Emma Polyakov

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Merrimack College

Director of the Swedish Theological Institute

Rev. Dr. Maria Leppäkari

Swedish Theological Institute

Center for Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations

Department of Religious and Theological Studies at Merrimack College