I’ve written a couple of pieces that reflect on over a decade of teaching Jerusalem in a college level classroom. The challenge I describe in these pieces is how to grasp Jerusalem as an actual city, as a “polyvalent” symbol, i.e., a symbol with many meanings, and the interactions between symbolic imagination and political/urban reality.
The first piece appeared in a pedagogical journal called Transformations. The second piece originated as a lecture to a conference on “Jerusalem across the disciplines,” held in 2004 in Tempe, Arizona. The edited version here posted appeared in a volume of essays, based on that conference.
Reflections on teaching Jerusalem (“Holy City: Jerusalem in Time, Space, and the Imagination” in Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy, XIX/1, 2008: 40-67)
Zank – Jerusalem in Religious Studies (preliminary version of an essay now available in print as “Jerusalem in Religious Studies: The City and Scripture” in Jerusalem: Conflict and Cooperation in a Contested City, edited by Miriam Elman and Madeleine Adelman, Syracuse/NY: Syracuse University Press, 2014, pp. 114-142.