Jewish Atheists in Foxholes? Phenomenologies of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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


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