UNH Center for the Humanities

UNH Religious Studies Program


Israeli Religious Scholar Speaks on Holy Wars at UNH

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

January 22, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- Ithamar Gruenwald, an Israeli scholar of religious history at Tel Aviv University, will share his thoughts on "How Holy Are Holy Wars?: From the Bible to the Present Day" at the University of New Hampshire's Memorial Union Building on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The lecture is presented by the Religious Studies Program and the Center for Humanities at UNH.

Gruenwald, an authority on Jewish apocalyptic and mystical writings, will discuss the biblical background of the messianic movements and notions of apocalyptic holy war that arose in early Judaism. He also will address what lies behind the contemporary Jewish and Christian movements -- in Israel and elsewhere -- to clear the Islamic monuments off the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to make way for the Messiah and/or a new Jewish temple.

The Temple Mount, also known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims, is the issue that ended the latest peace talks. The land in Jerusalem contains the ruins of Judaism's holiest temple, on top of which stands the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque, Islam's third-holiest site. Several Orthodox Jewish sects, aided by some American Fundamentalist Christian groups, have sought to remove the Islamic shrines by force of violence in order to install a new Jewish temple. They believe this would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.

For more information on the lecture, call David Frankfurter, director of UNH's Religious Studies Program, at 862-3015.

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