The IAS is pleased to welcome Dr Stacey Gutkowski from King’s College London to give this lecture. This talk draws on her fieldwork with young Jewish Israelis who self-identify as hiloni, practitioners of a “secular” lifestyle who may or may not believe in a higher power. Unpacking the adage, “there are no atheists in foxholes”, it analyses the narratives of hiloni individuals who have first-hand experience of violence attributable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She will contextualise these narratives in relation to their explicitly Jewish, implicitly Jewish and non-Jewish existential, ontological and ethical beliefs as well as the political landscape. The talk will reflect on the ambiguities of using “belief” as a rubric for understanding the Jewish Israeli case as well as methodological issues raised by using memory to study “unbelief”.
Delivered at University College London, Institute of Advanced Studies, 7 December 2016