“In Dubious Battle on the Plains of Heav'n”: The Politics of Possession in Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre

  title={“In Dubious Battle on the Plains of Heav'n”: The Politics of Possession in Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre},
  author={Glenn Bowman},
  journal={History and Anthropology},
  pages={371 - 399}
  • Glenn Bowman
  • Published 23 August 2011
  • Sociology
  • History and Anthropology
Debates about the “divisibility” or “sharing” of religious sites continue to engage historians, political scientists and anthropologists. This paper assesses the issue of agency in two of the more salient critiques of religious coexistence before approaching the Holy Sepulchre, or Anastasis, as a site for investigating the way various constituencies, most significantly visiting pilgrims and resident monks, have dealt with issues of “sharing”. It contends that inter-communal antagonisms there… 
Appropriating Jerusalem through Sacred Places: Disputed Land and Female Rituals at the Tombs of Mary and Rachel
Due to deep-seated political tensions and intermittent violence between various streams of the city’s three major religions, Jerusalem’s sacred landscape is in the midst of significant change. One of
Shared Shrines and the Discourse of Clashing Civilisations
Since I began, in the early 1980s, to research Muslim-Christian cohabitation of religious sites, I have been convinced of the political importance of making practices of intercommunal ‘sharing’
Nazareth Village and the Creation of the Holy Land in Israel-Palestine
This article makes useful for the study of Christianity Talal Asad’s concept of Islam as a discursive tradition. It investigates how a particular theological position and practice, or “orthodoxy,”
Introduction: Contested Narratives of Storied Places—the Holy Lands
n ABSTRACT: The articles in this special section on pilgrimage and the Holy Lands provide a wide range of perspectives on the practice, representation, and production of sacred space as expressions
'This is our little hajj': Muslim holy sites and reappropriation of the sacred landscape in contemporary Bosnia
Bosnian Muslims’ understandings of Islam and relationships with the sacred landscape have undergone significant transformations since the dissolution of socialist Yugoslavia. I explore these
Sharing and Exclusion: the Case of Rachel's Tomb
Glenn Bowman In the opening decades of the last century, in the latter days of Ottoman rule over Greater Syria as well as in the early days of the British Mandate for Palestine, inter-communal
Palestinian Evangelicals – A Theologically Engaged Anthropological Approach
  • Lena Rose
  • Philosophy, Political Science
  • 2019
ABSTRACT Christian theologians have grappled for centuries with the fact that they are not Jews, yet embedded in Jewish history. Situated in the context of a Jewish-centric State that has been
Strategies of dealing with the other
  • Glenn Bowman
  • Political Science
    HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory
  • 2021
The specific character of Ortiz’s theory of transculturation is dependent on the Cuban context in which, and for which, it was elaborated. This article, opening with a sketch of Ortiz’s place of
Border Crossing and Symbiotic Relationships between Christians in Jerusalem
Based on ethnographic work carried out in Jerusalem's Old City over a period of fifteen months, this article outlines the historical background necessary to understand the development of the
Between Traditions: The Franciscans of Mount Sion and their rituals (1330-1517)
This dissertation examines the role of rituals in the first two centuries of Franciscan presence in Jerusalem. In this period, Jerusalem was an Islamic city, part of the Mamluk Empire. The friars’


Christian ideology and the image of a holy land: the place of Jerusalem pilgrimage in the various Christianities
The great majority of the world's holy cities and sacred shrines attract pilgrims from culturally circumscribed catchment areas, and thus host pilgrims united by strong degrees of cultural
On the Settlement of Disputes About the Christian Holy Places
Disputes about the Christian Holy Places have played a major part in the history of the Middle East and indeed of Europe for many centuries. The main issues of these conflicts are still unsolved, and
Nationalizing The Sacred: Shrines And Shifting Identities In The Israeli-Occupied Territories
This article approaches transformations of social identity in situations of nationalist conflict through an examination of Christian and Muslim Palestinian interpretations of, and practices at, two
Orthodox-Muslim Interactions at 'Mixed Shrines' in Macedonia
In his profoundly influential 'The Clash of Civilizations?' Samuel Huntington asserts that 'Islam has bloody borders' (Huntington 1993: 35). Throughout all but the first three centuries of its
The Byzantine Mosque at Trilye: A Processual Analysis of Dominance, Sharing, Transformation and Tolerance
This paper analyses the history and current utilization of an edifice in Northwestern Anatolia that was constructed in the eighth century as a Byzantine church, converted into a mosque in the
The concept of the “status quo”1 was introduced in 1852, when the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Mejid, in a futile attempt to avoid a war, issued a decree freezing the rights of worship and possession of the
The Barbarian Plain: Saint Sergius between Rome and Iran
During the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. there arose on the Euphrates frontier, between the empires of Rome and Iran, a city girded with glittering gypsum walls. Within these walls stood a great
A Sacred Space for a Holy Icon: The Shrine of Our Lady of Saydnaya
In fourteenth-century Florence, only a small percentage of the people had the heart (and the money) to embark on a voyage to the Holy Land for the remission of one’s own sins. Those who stayed at
The Cult of Saints among Muslims and Jews in Medieval Syria
relics tries new within and way medieval religiosity.This eleven on set of the characteristic traits and diverse functions of holy men; fashioning of saints out of a small minority of holy men and a
The Christian Churches of Jerusalem in the Post-Oslo Period
This article surveys the main trends in the relations of Jerusalem9s historic churches with Israel and the Palestinians since the 1967 occupation and especially since Oslo. It examines the shift from