On Shifting Ground

Drawing on the studies of religion and politics, Ron Hassner will offer insight into the often-violent dynamics that come into play at the places where religion and politics collide. He contends that sacred sites are particularly prone to conflict because they provide valuable resources for both religious and political actors yet cannot be divided. And due to their spiritual and cultural importance, holy places can therefore create the potential for military, theological, or political clashes, not only between competing religious groups but also between religious groups and secular actors. In his new book, War on Sacred Grounds, Ron Hassner investigates the causes and properties of conflicts over sites that are both venerated and contested, and proposes potential means for managing these disputes. He will discuss the failures to reach a settlement at Temple Mount/Haram el-Sharif that led to the clashes of 2000, and the competing claims of Hindus and Muslims at Ayodhya, which resulted in the destruction of the mosque there in 1992. He will also address more successful compromises in Jerusalem in 1967 and Mecca in 1979.

Direct download: 05-27-10_Ron_Hassner.mp3
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