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Jerusalem: How Did It Get to Be the Holy City?
Zank’s class ponders centuries of conflict, zeal, and spin
By Susan Seligson
From accounts carved in stone thousands of years ago to today’s New York Times, Jerusalem has always been headline-worthy. It is a beautiful, vibrant, modern metropolis where every ancient byway tells a story of faith, siege, prosperity, and grief. To study Jerusalem—its tumultuous history, dramatic architecture, politics, power struggles, commerce, and shifting population –is to gain an invaluable understanding of three of the world’s major religions and the global impact and legacy of their long long-simmering conflicts and periodic alliances. In the College of Arts & Science summer course Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and the Imagination, taught by Michael Zank, a CAS professor of religion and director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, students from diverse backgrounds gather around a table for two and a half hours twice a week to discuss and debate everything from the city’s urban landscape and development to the biases reflected in Jerusalem-related mass communication, scholarship, and religious texts. Read more