Governing the sacred: Political toleration in five contested sacred sites

Yuval Jobani, Nahshon Perez

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Contested sacred sites pose a difficult challenge in the field of toleration. Holy sites are often at the center of intense contestation between different groups regarding a wide variety of issues, including ownership, access, usage rights, permissible religious conduct, and many other aspects. As such, they are often the source of immense levels of violence, and intractable, long-standing conflicts. Governing the Sacred profiles five central contested sacred sites which exemplify the immense difficulties associated with such sites: Devils Tower National Monument (Wyoming, U.S.), Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi (Uttar-Pradesh, India), the Western Wall (Jerusalem), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem), and the Temple Mount/Haram esh-Sharif (Jerusalem). The study of these sites enables the construction of a critical typology of five corresponding models or ways of governing the sacred.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages217
ISBN (Electronic)0190932392, 0190932414, 9780190932411
ISBN (Print)9780190932381
StatePublished - 2020


  • sacred sites
  • toleration
  • status quo
  • Conflict
  • Devils Tower National Monument/Bear Lodge
  • Babri Masjid/Ram Janmabhoomi
  • Western Wall
  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Temple Mount/Haram esh-Sharif,
  • religion–state relations

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Religion and politics -- Case studies
  • Religion and state -- Case studies


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