Re/Construction of Christian sacred Pilgrimage sites in Israel:
A comparative analysis of “Qasr el Yahud” and “the Yardenit”
My research examines how “sacred” pilgrimage sites are created and reconstructed in Israel today. To answer this question, I focus on two specific case studies: “Qasr el Yahud” and “the Yardenit”. While these two adjacent baptism sites are considered holy to Christians, they are managed, developed and regulated by members of another religion - Israeli Jews. More specifically, my research aims to answer the following questions: how current sacred sites are reconstructed? What is the role of actors in these places and how they integrate “sacred” and “profane experiences", such as: tourism, religion and economies? And finally, what are the tensions and political conflicts that characterize these two sites?
I believe my research can contribute to the study of the process through which places are becoming sacred and to a better understanding of the establishment of sacred sites in general and, specifically, in the Israeli context, including the political aspects involved.