JWST 3150 - Jerusalem: The Holy City in History, Legend, and Religious Thought Course uri icon



  • The history of Jerusalem and the stories that have given it prominence in the religious imagination continue to shape much of the world in which we live. In this class, we will survey approximately three millennia of the history of the city. We will ask methodological question, such as: What does it mean for a place to be conceived of as holy? How does this perceived holiness come about? What happens when holy places are destroyed and rebuilt? We will examine the biblical stories about Jerusalem not only as important sources themselves, but also for how they shape later religious traditions, specifically Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As such, we will address what it means for the same place to be perceived as 'holy' by differing, and often competing, groups. These contestations regarding Jerusalem will, then, allow us to engage issues of religious diversity and conflict both historically and in the present.


  • Boyd, Samuel L  
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024