Naming the Sacred: Jerusalem and Religious Toponomastic in History, Theology and Politics

October 17 Tuesday


October 17 - 18, 2017, 9:00 - 18:45


Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Ha-Rosmarin St 1, Jerusalem



Together with the Elijah Interfaith Institute and Unitwin – The UNESCO Chairs on Interreligious and Multicultural Dialogue, KAS Israel will be hosting the conference “Naming the Sacred" on October 17 and 18, 2017.

Also available in Deutsch

As places of holiness associated with a religious tradition change hands, they often get renamed. Naming and renaming of holy places is a strategy for preserving memory or telling a different story in line with the interests of a new ruling power. The question of naming can become a powerful instrument in political processes and often holds the key to either creating a problem or resolving it. Recent UNESCO discussions of Jerusalem brought to the fore how central the concern for naming is and how through the choice of naming, one takes a particular political stance, remembering one tradition and ignoring another.

The conference "Naming the Sacred: Jerusalem and Religious Toponomastic in History, Theology and Politics" will explore the phenomenon of naming broadly. It will consider ancient policies in various locations as well as more recent policies of Soviet and British times. It will seek to contextualize the UNESCO resolution within a broader matrix of naming strategies. By adopting a comparative perspective, it seeks to problematize recent political moves. In so doing, it seeks to recommend alternative strategies for upholding the memories of multiple communities. This is a precondition for advancing political and peacemaking processes.

  • Please see program and lunch registration under "On Topic".

Contact person

Katharina Even

Project Manager

Katharina Even
Phone +972 2 5671830
Fax +972 2 5671831
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Français