The stories of the Holy City

With Nazmi Al-Jubeh, Thorvald Steen, Eivor Oftestad and Ragnhild Zorgati

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Nazmi Al-Jubeh is an historian and archeologist at Birzeit University, and well known for his expertise on Jerusalem’s holy sites. How is the city’s history and archeology used in a polemical and political context? Could it be said that archeology is part of an ideological battle over how to write the story about Jerusalem?

Beyond the real city, Jerusalem is also a mythical place. The holy sites have been subject to both geopolitical and religious dreams and desires, and the place has inspired generations of writers and artists. The city has made its mark in Norwegian and Western cultural history, in psalms and the Bible as well as in the works of Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott and the Swedish Nobel Prize laureate Selma Lagerlöf. Her two-volume work Jerusalem depicts the religious reverie and conviction that lead 37 people from the small town Nås in Dalarna to emigrate to Palestine in 1896 to await the second coming of Jesus. How have Norway and the West influenced the history of Jerusalem, and vice versa?

The event will begin with an introduction by Nazmi Al-Jubeh, followed by a conversation, in Norwegian, between author theologist and Church historian Eivor Oftestad, and associate professor of history of religion, Ragnhild Zorgati, who are part of the interdiciplinary research project Tracing the Jerusalem Code: Christian Cultures in Scandinavia. They are joined by writer Thorvald Steen, who has engaged with these questiones in much of his writing, such as his novels Camel Clouds and Lionheart. The conversation will be led by executive director at the House of Literature, Andreas Wiese.

English With Nazmi Al-Jubeh, Thorvald Steen, Eivor Oftestad and Ragnhild Zorgati Wergeland Litteraturhuset Saladindagene 2017

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