Prof. Rachel Feldman of Religious Studies: "The Third Temple Movement: Jewish Theocracy in Israel Today"
Professor Feldman will share some of her previous anthropological research on a theocratic biblical revival movement that has mainstreamed in Israel in recent years gaining support from both religious and secular politicians in the Knesset (parliament). For three years, Feldman conducted intensive ethnographic research with theocratic activists in Jerusalem; Jewish men and women who view the rebuilding of a temple on the Temple Mount/Haram ash-Sharif, the renewal of animal sacrifices (discontinued for thousands of years in Judaism), and the restoration of a Jewish monarchy, as the prophesized conclusion to Zionism. Feldman's previous publications on the topic examined why and how the Third Temple Movement, which first began as a marginal and violent initiative in the 1980s, managed to gain access to state resources, funding, and police protection since 2012. Theocratic activists, Feldman argues, have been successful precisely because they act as proxy-state actors and a supportive appendage to the liberal state.
Lunch will be provided.