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Welcome Gathering:

We have planned a welcome gathering and dinner for all participants on 8 July at 6:00 PM at the Manor House in Yarnton. There, you'll meet the other participants and also learn more about our schedule and program.


Lecture-discussions and seminars will meet Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesdays are reserved for optional meetings, trips, and group discussion with visiting faculty, or may be designated for private research and reading in the University libraries. On a typical Monday, we will meet in the afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00, followed by a short break, and then reconvene until 3:30 PM. On Fridays, we will meet in the morning from 9:30-10:15, followed by a short break, with discussion continuing from 10:30 to noon. Tuesday and Thursday meetings will be held from 9:30-11:30 and 1:00-3:00.
Please note that our program calendar overlaps with some sessions scheduled at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, which meets from 7-10 July 2008 (see If you plan to attend the Congress, or to deliver a paper, please be sure to arrange your schedule so that you will be available for our formal meetings beginning on the morning of 10 July.

Preliminary Detailed Schedule and Reading List

9 July – 12 August 2008

Recommended Readings to be completed in advance of the institute:

M. Avi-Yonah (ed.), A History of Israel and the Holy Land (2001)
R.L. Wilken, The Land Called Holy: Palestine in Christian History and Thought (1992)
L.I. Levine (ed.), Jerusalem: Its Sanctity and Centrality in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (1999)
F.E. Peters, Jerusalem: The Holy City in the Eyes of Chroniclers, Visitors, Pilgrims, and Prophets from the Days of Abraham to the Beginnings of Modern Times (1985)
N. Rosovsky (ed.), City of the Great King: Jerusalem from David to the Present (1996)

Tuesday, 8 July: Participants' arrival; evening social gathering

Wednesday, 9 July: Orientation to the Institute, Oxford, Bodleian Library
INTRODUCTORY SESSIONS (Resnick, Cohen, Tsafrir)

Thursday, 10 July:
Session #1 (Irven Resnick and Jeremy Cohen): Theoretical Considerations
Readings: M. Eliade, "The Symbolism of the 'Centre,'" in Images and Symbols (1969), 27-56; J.Z. Smith, Map Is Not Territory (1978), pp. 104-128.
Session #2 (Yoram Tsafrir): An Archaeologist's Overview: The Historical Geography, Demography, and Archaeology of the Holy Land
Readings: M. Avi-Yonah (ed.), A History of Israel and the Holy Land (2001), pp. 114-193.

Friday, 11 July:
Session #3 (Yoram Tsafrir): An Archaeologist's Overview: Settlement, Architecture, Material Culture, and Art
Readings: M. Avi-Yonah (ed.), A History of Israel and the Holy Land (2001), pp. 194-271.

Monday, 14 July:
Session #4 (Martin Goodman): The Holy Land in the Hebrew Bible
The Holy Land in the Hebrew Bible: history, character, function
A. Primary texts: Exodus chs. 3:5-18; 15:13-17; Leviticus 23:10-21; Deuteronomy 12:1-32, 26:1-11,18-19; Zechariah 2:16 (Heb.= 2:12 English); Psalm 78:52-55.
B. Secondary readings: R.L. Wilken, The Land Called Holy (1992), pp. 1-18; S.D. Kunin, God's Place in the World: Sacred space and sacred place in Judaism (1998), pp. 11-45; R.P. Gordon, Holy Land, Holy City: Sacred Geography and the Interpretation of the Bible (2004), pp. 1-34.

Tuesday, 15 July:
Session #5 (Martin Goodman): The Holy Land in late Second Temple Times
The holiness of space in ancient Judaism and its implications in the lives of Jews of the Land of Israel and the Diaspora in the late Second Temple period, as reflected in selections from 'intertestamental' literature.
A. Primary texts: Jubilees 8:10-10:34; Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.55-9, 120-23; Letter of Aristeas 83-120.
B. Secondary readings: W.D. Davies, The Territorial Dimension of Judaism (1982); P.S.Alexander, 'Early Jewish Geography' in The Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992), vol.2, pp.977-86; Wilken, The Land Called Holy, pp. 20-45; P.S. Alexander, "Jerusalem as the Omphalos of the World: On the history of a Geographical Concept," in L.I. Levine (ed.), Jerusalem: Its Sanctity and Centrality in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (1999), pp.104-119.; S. Safrai and M. Stern (eds.), The Jewish People in the First Century, Vol.2 (1976), pp.793-833, 865-907.

Session #6 (Martin Goodman): The Holy Land in Rabbinic Judaism
Rabbinic notions of the world as divided into degrees of sanctity, in which the Holy Land is seen as holier than the rest of the world but some areas within the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem, are viewed as holier still.
A. Primary texts: Mishnah Kelim 1:6-9
B. Secondary readings: E.E. Urbach, The Sages (1975), pp. 27-65; Alexander, 'Early Jewish Geography', pp. 986-8; I.M. Gafni, Land, Centre and Diaspora: Jewish Constructs in Late Antiquity (1997), pp. 58-78; Kunin, God's Place, pp. 46-63; Gordon, Holy Land , Holy City, pp. 63-80.

Thursday, 17 July
Session #7 (Martin Goodman): Land-linked Rituals and National Boundaries
Applications of religious laws pertaining only to the Land of Israel (e.g. first fruits, tithes, and the sabbatical year), for delineating national boundaries for the land, and for attitudes enshrined in such behaviour.
A. Primary texts: Mishnah Bikkurim 3:1-8; Mishnah Shebiith 6: 1-6; Tosefta Shebiith 4:11; Rehov inscription.
B. Secondary readings: E. Meyers and J.F. Strange, Archaeology, the Rabbis, and Early Christianity (1981), pp. 140-173; J.Wilkinson, 'Jewish Holy places and the Origins of Christian pilgrimage,' in R. Ousterhout (ed.), The Blessings of Pilgrimage (1990), pp. 41-53; Gafni, Land, Centre and Diaspora, pp. 79-95.

Session #8 (Georgia Frank): Christian ideas of "holy land" before Constantine Epistle to Diognetus
Secondary readings: R.L. Wilken, The Land Called Holy: Palestine in Christian History and Thought (1992), pp. 46-81. Rowan Greer, "Alien Citizens: A Marvellous Paradox," in Religious Interpretations of the City, ed. Peter S. Hawkins. Atlanta: Scholars, 1986. Pp. 39-56. S. Elm. "Perceptions of Jerusalem Pilgrimage as Reflected in Two Early Sources on Female Pilgrimage (3rd and 4th centuries, A.D." Studia Patristica 20 (1987): 219-23.

Friday, 18 July:
Session #9 (Georgia Frank): Making a Christian Holy Land
Selections from the Bordeaux Pilgim, (Itinerarium Burdigalense), in: John Wilkinson, trans., Egeria's Travels to the Holy Land. rev. ed. Jerusalem: Ariel. Warminster, UK: Aris & Phillips, 1981. Pp. 153-63.
Eusebius, Life of Constantine, 1.22-48, 3.25-47
Gregory of Nyssa, Letter on Pilgrimage
both available online:
Secondary readings: Wilken, The Land Called Holy, pp. 82-125; A. Jacobs, Remains of the Jews: the Holy Land and Christian Empire in Late Antiquity (2004), pp. 139-199; G. Frank, The Memory of the Eyes: Pilgrims to Living Saints in Christian Late Antiquity (2000), pp. 1-35, 102-33. P. W. L. Walker. Holy City, Holy Places? Christian Attitudes to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the Fourth Century. Oxford: Clarendon, 1990. Pp. 35-50.
Elsner, Jas´. "The Itinerarium Burdigalense: Politics and Salvation in the Geography of Constantine's Empire." Journal of Roman Studies 90 (2000): 181-95.

Monday, 21 July:
Session #10 (Georgia Frank): Religious Culture in the Byzantine Holy Land
Cyril of Jerusalem, Catecheses (selections) Translated by Leo P. McCauley, and Anthony A. Stephenson, The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem. 2 vols. Fathers of the Church. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1969, 1970.
Egeria on Jerusalem Liturgy:

Cyril of Scythopolis, The Life of Euthymius, the Life of Sabas (trans. R.M. Price, Lives of the Monks of Palestine (1991), pp. 1-223, selections.
Secondary readings: Wilken, The Land Called Holy, pp. 149-72. C. Jones et al., eds. The Study of Liturgy, (London: SPCK / New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 91-95, 129-44.

Tuesday, 22 July:
Session #11 (Georgia Frank): Maps, Miniatures, and Materiality of the Holy Land
Primary Sources:
Madaba Mosaic
Jerusalem 3000
Secondary Readings: Gary Vikan, Byzantine Pilgrimage Art (1982); Daniel K. Connolly, "Imagined Pilgrimage in the Itinerary Maps of Matthew Paris," Art Bulletin 81 (1999) 612-22. Jonathan Sumption, The Age of Pilgrimage. London: Faber and Faber, 1975, pp. 21-68.

Session #12 (Suleiman Mourad): The Holy Land in the Qur'an and Career of Muhammad
Primary sources: Ibn Ishāq, The Life of Muhammad (trans. by A. Guillaume, 1967), pp. 181-187; Al-Tabarī, The History of al-Tabarī (1985-1999), 6:78-80 & 7:24-25; Qur'ān, selections.
Secondary readings: H. Busse, "Jerusalem in the Story of Muhammad's Night Journey and Ascension," Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 14 (1991), 1–40; F.M. Donner, "From Believers to Muslims: Confessional Self-identity in the Early Islamic Community," Al-Abhath 50-51 (2002-2003), 9-53; J. van Ess, "Vision and Ascension: Sūrat al-Najm and Its Relationship with Muhammad's Mi'rāj," Journal of Qur'anic Studies 1.1 (1999), 47-62.

Thursday, 24 July:
Sessions #13-#14 (Suleiman Mourad): Discourses on Sacredness of the Holy Land & Jerusalem in the Qur'an and Islamic Tradition:
Primary Sources: Qur'an, selections; Ibn Ishāq, The Life of Muhammad, translated by A. Guillaume (Lahore: Oxford University Press, 1967), 181-187; al-Tabarī, The History of al-Tabarī (Albany: SUNY Press, 1985-1999), 6:77-80, 7:24-25, and 12:189-197; al-Tha'labī, 'Arā'is al-Majālis fī Qisas al-Anbiyā, or Lives of the Prophets as Recounted by Abū Ishāq Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Tha'labī, Translated by William M. Brinner (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 513-519.
Secondary Sources: S. D. Goitein, "The Sanctity of Jerusalem and Palestine in Early Islam," Studies in Islamic History and Institutions (Leiden: Brill, 1966), 135-148; Heribert Busse, "'Omar's Image as the Conqueror of Jerusalem." Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 8 (1986), 149–168; Paul Cobb, "Virtual Sacrality: Making Muslim Syria Sacred before the Crusades," Medieval Encounters 8.1 (2002), 35-55; Suleiman A. Mourad, "The Symbolism of Jerusalem in Early Islam," in Jerusalem: Idea and Reality , eds. Tamar Mayer and Suleiman A. Mourad (London & New York: Routledge, 2008), 86-102; Suleiman A. Mourad, "A Muslim Definition of the Boundaries of the Holy Land (al-ard al-muqaddasa)," Handout.
Recommended Reading:
Jerusalem: Idea and Reality, eds. Tamar Mayer and Suleiman A. Mourad (London and New York: Routledge, 2008) ISBN: 978-0-415-42129-4

Friday, 25 July:
Session #15 (Suleiman Mourad): Muslim Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Primary Sources: Naser-e Khosraw, Book of Travels, translated by W. M. Thackston (New York: Bibliotheca Persica, 1986), 14-38; Josef W. Meri, A Lonely Wayfarer's Guide to Pilgrimage: 'Ali ibn Abi Bakr al-Harawi's Kitab al-Isharat ila ma'rifat al-Ziyarat (Princeton: Darwin press, 2005), 20-86 (20 pages of actual text).
Secondary Sources: Amikam Elad, Medieval Jerusalem and Islamic Worship (Leiden: Brill, 1995), 51-77, and 164-173; Charles D. Matthews, "A Muslim Iconoclast (Ibn Taymīyyeh) on the "Merits" of Jerusalem and Palestine, Journal of the American Oriental Society 56 (1936), 1-6.
THEMES AND CASE STUDIES (Cohen, Limor, Asbridge, Hillenbrand)

Monday, 28 July:
Session #16 (Jeremy Cohen): The Land and Its Influence over Jews in the Diaspora
Primary sources: Ahimaaz ben Paltiel, The Chronicle of Ahimaaz, tr. Marcus Salzman (1966), pp. 60-102.
Secondary readings: D. Golinken, "Jerusalem in Jewish law and custom: a preliminary typology," Judaism 46,2 (1997) 169-179; R. Bonfil, "Can Medieval Storytelling Help Understanding Midrash? The Story of Paltiel: A Preliminary Study on History and Midrash," in The Midrashic Imagination: Jewish Exegesis, Thought, and History, ed. M. Fishbane (1993), pp. 228-254.

Tuesday, 29 July:
Session #17 (Jeremy Cohen): The Philosopher-Poet in Exile
Primary sources: Judah Halevi, Kuzari 2.14-24 (trans. N.D. Korobkin, 1998) pp. 1-15, 64-81; A. Rosenfeld, ed., Tisha B'Av Compendium (1983), pp. 152-153.
Secondary readings: A.S. Halkin (ed.), Zion in Jewish Literature, pp. 65-82, 83-102; R. Brann, "Judah Halevi," in The Literature of Al-Andalus, ed. M.R. Menocal et al. (2000), pp. 265-281.
Session #18 (Jeremy Cohen): Jewish Responses to the Crusades
Primary sources: S. Eidelberg (ed.), The Jews and the Crusaders (1977), pp. 21-49, 121-122.
Secondary readings: A.S. Abulafia, "Invectives against Christianity in the Hebrew Chronicles of the First Crusade," in P.W. Edbury (ed.), Crusade and Settlement (1985), pp. 66-72; I.G. Marcus, "From Politics to Martyrdom: Shifting Paradigms in the Hebrew Narratives of the 1096 Crusade Riots," in J. Cohen (ed.), Essential Papers on Judaism and Christianity in Conflict (1991), pp. 469-483; J. Cohen, Sanctifying the Name of God: Jewish Martyrs and Jewish Memories of the First Crusade (2004), pp. 15-69.

Thursday, 31 July:
Session #19 (Ora Limor): How On Earth Can Places Become Holy? The Mount of Olives as a Case Study
Primary sources: J. Wilkinson (ed.), Egeria's Travels (1999), pp. 91-93, 106-108, 143-147, 155-163, 174-178—selections.
Secondary readings: M.Halbwachs, On Collective Memory (1992), pp. 191–235; R.A. Markus, "How on Earth Could Places Become Holy? Origins of the Christian Idea of Holy Places," Journal of Early Christian Studies 2:3 (1994), 257-271; F. Cardman, "The Rhetoric of Holy Places: Palestine in the Fourth Century," Studia Patristica 17 (1982), 18-25; O. Limor, "The Place of the End of Days: Eschatological Geography in Jerusalem," Jewish Art 23-24 (1997/98), 13-24.
Session #20 (Ora Limor): Latin Pilgrimage Literature: The Genre and its Characteristics
Primary sources: J. Wilkinson (ed.), Jerusalem Pilgrims before the Crusades (2002), pp. 79-91, 107-109, 111, 117-121, 131-132, 138-142, 168-170, 175-177, 187-188, 205-206, 241-247, 261-269; J. Wilkinson (ed.), Jerusalem Pilgrimage 1099–1185 (1988), pp. 99-106, 120-121, 126-135, 244-252, 270-273, 282-283, 288-289, 299, 305-306—selections.
Secondary readings: D.R. Howard, Writers and Pilgrims: Medieval Pilgrimage, Narratives and Their Posterity (1980), pp. 11-54; M.B. Campbell, The Witness and the Other World: Exotic European Travel Writing, 400–600 (1988), pp. 33-45; B. Leyerle, "Landscape as Cartography in Early Christian Pilgrimage Narratives", Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 64 (1996), 119-143; D.R. French, "Mapping Sacred Centers: Pilgrimage and the Creation of Christian Topographies in Roman Palestine," Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum Ergänzungsband, 20, 2 (1995), 792–797.

Friday, 1 August:
Session #21 (Ora Limor): Sharing Sacred Space: Holy Land Geography among Jews, Christians and Muslims
Primary sources: E. Hoade (ed.), Western Pilgrims (1970), pp. 65-68, 81-85; Niccolò da Poggibonsi, A Voyage Beyond the Seas (1346-1350) (1945), pp. 9-12, 23-25, 32-45.
Secondary readings: B. Z. Kedar, "Convergences of Oriental Christian, Muslim, and Frankish Worshippers: The Case of Saydnaya", in Y. Hen (ed.), De Sion exibit lex et verbum domini de Hierusalem: Essays on Medieval Law, Liturgy and Literature in Honour of Amnon Linder, (2001), pp. 59-69; O. Limor, "Christian Sacred Space and the Jew," in J. Cohen (ed.), From Witness to Witchcraft: Jews and Judaism in Medieval Christian Thought (1996), pp. 55–77; E. Reiner, "A Jewish Response to the Crusades: The Dispute over Sacred Places in the Holy Land," in A. Haverkamp (ed.), Juden und Christen zur Zeit der Kreuzzüge (1999), pp. 209–231; H. Lazarus-Yafeh, "Jerusalem and Mecca," in L.I. Levine (ed.), Jerusalem. Its Sanctity and Centrality to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, (1999), pp. 287-299.

Monday, 4 August:
Session #22 (Ora Limor): The Geography of the Virgin
Readings: S.J. Shoemaker, "'Let Us Go and Burn Her Body': The Image of the Jews in the Early Dormition Traditions," Church History 68 (1999), 775-823; N. Baynes, "The Finding of the Virgin's Robe," Annuaire de l'Institute de Philologie et d'Histoire orientales et slaves 9 (1949), pp. 87-95 (= Byzantine Studies and Other Essays, 1955, pp. 240-247); A. Elad, Medieval Jerusalem and Islamic Worship (1999), pp. 138-141.

Tuesday, 5 August:
Session # 23 (Thomas Asbridge): The Crusader Conquest of the Holy Land: Historiography of the First Crusade
Primary sources: E. Peters (ed.), The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Materials (1998), selections.
Secondary readings: T.S. Asbridge, The First Crusade: A New History (2004), pp. 1-82; J.S.C. Riley-Smith, The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (1986), pp. 91-119; C.J., The Invention of the Crusades (1998), pp. 30-98.
Session #24 (Thomas Asbridge): Life in the Crusader Kingdom: Tolerance and Intolerance
Readings: T.S. Asbridge, "The 'Crusader' Community at Antioch: The Impact of Interaction with Byzantium and Islam', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th series, vol. 9, (1999), 305-325; B.Z. Kedar, "The Subjected Muslims of the Frankish Levant," in J.M. Powell (ed.), Muslims under Latin Rule (1990), pp. 135-174; H.E. Mayer, "Latins, Muslims and Greeks in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem," History, 63 (1978), 175-192; D. Talmon-Heller, 'Arabic sources on Muslim villagers under Frankish rule', in A. Murray (ed.), From Clermont to Jerusalem. The Crusades and Crusader Society, 1095-1500 (1998), pp. 103-117.

Thursday, 7 August:
Session #25 (Thomas Asbridge): Crusader Warfare in the Holy Land
Primary sources: Amboise, The History of the Holy War: Amboise's Estoire de la Guerre Sainte, (ed. M. Ailes and M. Barber, 2003), selections; Baha al-Din Ibn Shaddad, The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin, trans. D.S. Richards (2001), selections.
Secondary readings: M.C. Lyons and D.E.P. Jackson, Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War (1979), pp. 267-330.
Session #26 (Carole Hillenbrand): Muslim Jihad before the Crusades: Theory and Practice
Primary sources: Qur'an, Suras 9, 2:186-93, 47:4-5.
Secondary readings: R. Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam (1996), pp. 9-27; P.M. Holt, Age of the Crusades (1986), pp. 9-16; C. Hillenbrand, The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives (1999), pp. 33-50.

Friday, 8 August:
Session #27 (Carole Hillenbrand): The Muslim World on the Eve of the Crusades, Jihad and the Struggle for Jerusalem
Primary sources: F. Gabrieli, Arab Historians of the Crusades (1969), pp. 267-283; Ibn al-Furat, Tarikh al-duwal wa'l- muluk, trans. U. and M.C. Lyons, Ayyubids, Mamlukes and Crusaders (1971), selections.
Secondary readings: I. Hasson, "Muslim literature in praise of Jerusalem: Fada'il Bayt al-Maqdis", The Jerusalem Cathedra (1981), pp. 168-84; E. Sivan, "The Beginnings of the Fada'il al-Quds literature," Israel Oriental Studies, 1 (1971), 263-72; C.D. Matthews, "A Muslim Iconoclast (Ibn Taimiyya) on the 'Merits' of Jerusalem and Palestine," Journal of the American Oriental Society 56 (1936), 1-21; Holt, Age of the Crusades, pp. 60-66, 90-106.

Monday, 11 August:
Session #28 (Carole Hillenbrand): Muslim Views of Christian Holy War
Primary sources: Gabrieli, Arab Historians, pp. 83-84,138-139,148-151; Ibn al-Qalanisi, Dhayl tārīkh Dimishq, trans. H.A.R. Gibb as The Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades (1967), selections.
Secondary readings: R. Irwin, "Islam and the Crusades 1096-1699," in J. Riley-Smith (ed.), The Oxford History of the Crusades (1995), pp. 217-59; Hillenbrand, Crusades, pp. 282-328.

Tuesday, 12 August:
Session #29 (Irven Resnick): Assessing the "Holy Land": The Concept, Its Implications, and Applications for the Curriculum and the Classroom