David Freidenreich, Colby College

Tuesday, May 6 / 9:30 am / Lovejoy 119 (an open session of “Jews, Judaism, and the Modern World”)

also: Wednesday, April 30 / 7:00 pm / Congregation Beth El, Bangor

and: Wednesday, May 7 / 7:00 pm / Congregation Beth El, Bangor: “Judaism in Secular Israeli Culture”

Perspectives on Israel events

The conflict over Israel/Palestine was not originally religious in nature.  As recently as 50 years ago, the major players on both sides were all secular and justified their competing territorial claims within the framework of nationalism.  Today, however, the loudest voices among Israelis and Palestinians alike express their claims in religious terms.  Why did religion play a marginal role during the initial phases of this conflict?  What changed?  What does this transformation mean for the future of the conflict and the prospects for its resolution?