Minerva Humanities Center (Middle East)

At the Minerva Center in Tel-Aviv, the “Religious and Secular States” research team is taking up a variety of research topics that include exploration of the complex political deployments of secular and religious categories, and the uses of religiously embodied citizenship across multiple scales and locations in Israel and Palestine today, as well as the fraught relationship of religion and nation in the aftermath of Zionism. Organized around the intensive and ongoing sharing of research, the group will conduct monthly meetings at Minerva in which they read key texts on religion, secularism, and politics, while also presenting their scholarly findings.

On June 14, 2014, Minerva hosted a major public event as part of the RelSec program.  The translated title and program for the event is:

Jewish Democratic / Islamic Democratic: Religion and State in Contemporary Middle East

First Session
Anat Lapidot-Firilla, Van Leer Institute
Democracy with no Democrats? Citizenship and Identity in Turkey

Mohanad Mustafa, The College for Academic Studies in Or Yehuda
The Islamization of Democracy or the Democratization of Islam? Post-Revolutionary

Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Tel Aviv University
Jewish Democratic: Kitsch, Nonsense, and Citizenship

Second Session
Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben Gurion University in the Negev
The Rule and the Exception: Nationalism, Secularism, and the Question of Israel

RelSec is comprised of five partner sites situated in universities around the world. The participating centers conduct parallel research projects whose exact shape reflects the distinct missions of the centers and research profiles of the teams. All will include some combination of public presentations and events, faculty workshops, and/or curricular initiatives, such as the development of team-taught courses on secularism, religion, and political belonging.
Click on the icons below to link to each partner’s individual websites.