Sacred Sites in Contested Regions


Lior Chen

Lior Chen
Ph.D student in the department of Sociology and Anthropology

Lior Chen,  is a Ph.D student in the department of Sociology and Anthropology. Supervised by Prof. Tamar Elor and Dr. Nurit Stadler. His areas of interest include Anthropology of Religion, Structuring sacredness and  authenticity, and the political Aspects of pilgrimage sites.

His research examines how “sacred” pilgrimage sites are created and reconstructed in Israel today. To answer this question, he focuses 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, his 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?

He received his B.A. In Sociology and Anthropology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem (summa cum) in 2011.