Assaf Harel F'14

Assaf  Harel
Visiting Assistant Professor
Anthropology
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2014
Doctoral Candidate
Anthropology
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
“The Eternal Nation Does Not Fear a Long Road”: Theological Conceptions of Time among Jewish Settlers

This is an ethnography of Jewish settlers in Israel/Palestine. Studies of religiously motivated settlers in the occupied territories indicate the intricate ties between settlement practices and a Jewish theology about the advent of redemption. This messianic theology binds future redemption with the maintenance of a physical union between Jews and the “Land of Israel.” However, among settlers themselves, the dominance of this messianic theology has been undermined by postmodernity and most notably by a series of Israeli territorial withdrawals that have contradicted the promise of redemption. This project examines how central theological conceptions of time among different groups of religious settlers relate to settlement practices in the occupied territories. Thus, this project reveals the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be as much about time as it is about space.