Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Berkeley political scientist Ron E.Hassner for a discussion of his book, War on Sacred Grounds. Hassner discusses the challenges facing international relations scholars and policy makers as they address political conflict in which religion plays a central role. He emphasizes understanding religion on its own terms in order to move toward rationally addressing the religious processes at work in conflict situations. Hassner defines the essential features of sacred places and describes the factors making holy places so contentious an issue in many parts of the world. He then focuses on two case studies where political leaders worked with religious leaders to resolve conflict:the Israeli solution for access to the Temple Mount after the 1967 War and the Saudi solution to the seizure of Mecca by radical extremists in 1979. Hassner concludes with advice for students as they prepare for a future world in which religious conflict will be a continuing reality.
Religion and Politics
Ron E. Hassner
Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California Berkeley