chapter  8
Conclusion: remaking Jerusalem
Pages 10

The new religious sites, especially in the context of the Holy Basin, have refigured sacred Jerusalem. The invention and production of holy sites, topographies and practices are sufficiently prolific and wide ranging to resemble those of earlier periods of religious growth and change: Second Temple, Early Christian, Early Muslim, Crusader, Mamluk. It is a phenomenon that began in 1967, approached at full pitch after the First Intifada and Oslo and remains extremely potent and fluid today. Unlike at other times of abrupt military conquest and new political hegemony, transformation in the city today is continuously embattled, most obviously owing to a long and harsh occupation and a large sector of resistant population but also because the city and its religious conflicts are subject to the wider pressures of Westernstyle modernity. The expectations of secularism form a constant backdrop, even as the city becomes more overtly devoted to its various religious beliefs and practices. In keeping with fundamentalism and revisionist religion in many parts of the world, there are certain modernising factors in Jerusalem that are compatible with the religious fervour.