A unique educational experience with expert teachers and lecturers, sharing ideas, encountering sacred texts, practicing the spiritual life, experiencing bibliodrama, visiting holy sites and more.

"Memory in the Religious Life"

Week 1, August 5th - 10th

Memory plays a key part in the religious life and in the creation of religious identity but the meaning of “memory” is different in each of the six religious traditions we will examine. By analysing the similarities and differences in the way that memory is understood and used, we will come to appreciate its significance as well as the challenges that come from conflicting memories.

Week 2, August 12th - 16th

Painful memories can impede our relationships. Conflicting memories are often the source of ongoing disagreement between religious communities.We will look for ways of healing memory and finding common ground to move forward despite our differences, indeed, honouring each other’s sacred memories.

You may download/view the program in PDF format by clicking here.

Day 1
05 Aug 2018

Welcome & Intros

Explaining the choice and significance of the topic.  Participants’ introduction – each shares a significant memory along their spiritual path.
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Peta Jones Pellach

Brief introduction to Sikhism

Memory in Sikhism – taped interview.
Rahuldeep Gill

Text-study (chevruta) – the Ardas

Video – Sikhs’ recitation of the Ardas. Questions and discussion.
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Peta Jones Pellach
Day 2
06 Aug 2018

Prayers / Meditations

(outside, on Mt Zion)

Guru Nanak

Bibliodrama – a unique methodology to study sacred stories and enter into the lives of holy people
Peta Jones Pellach

Memory in Hinduism

taped interview
Dr Anantanand Rambachan

Text study (chevruta)

Hindu sacred sources on Memory

Guided text study

Hindu sacred sources on Memory
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein

Live discussion

(via Skype or Zoom) with Hindu and Sikh religious leaders
Day 3
07 Aug 2018

Prayers / Meditations

(outside, on Mt Zion)

Gather at Ecce Homo

Discussion and texts – especially the centrality of Al-Aqsa
Qadi Muhammad Abu Obied

Return to Mt Zion

Memory in Islam – taped interview.

Al-Ghazali: “Restoring the lost memory of tradition”

Bibliodrama – a unique methodology to study sacred stories and enter into the lives of holy people
Day 4
08 Aug 2018

Meeting at Ecce Homo

Walking meditation along via Dolorosa – stop at Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Memory in Christianity

Taped interview followed by discussion on interview and on texts
Prof David Ford


Representatives of different Christian churches – where our memories differ and where they are the same.

Meeting with Syriac religious leader

How memory is crafted and held in the local Christian community

Evening prayers

with Syriac community
Day 5
09 Aug 2018

Prayers / Meditations

(outside, on Mt Zion)

Guided text study

The Haggadah as a text on Jewish Memory

Guest lecture

Jewish Memory of God

Walk to the Kotel

Lecture / teaching – the Kotel in Jewish memory
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Day 6
10 Aug 2018

Memory in Buddhism

Taped interview, followed by texts study.

Memory in Buddhism

Text study (cont). Feedback.

Shabbat as memory

Text study and discussion as intro to dinners
Day 7
12 Aug 2018

Prayers / Meditations

(at Dormition)

Discussion on differences between Buddhism and the other traditions

How can Buddhism help us reframe some of our key questions?


Difficult Memories and the Theory of Purifying Memory
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein

Case Study 1

How collective memories cause conflict – the case of Bosnia (and the hope for healing) by Skype

Case Study 2

How collective memories cause conflict – the case of India by Skype
Day 8
13 Aug 2018

Memory in civil religion

Mt Herzl as a sacred site
Peta Jones Pellach

Yad Vashem

the site
Peta Jones Pellach

Confronting difficult memories

What we make of what we have seen? Discussion

Memorialisation and remembering

The purpose of Yad Vashem
Day 9
14 Aug 2018

Text study

Narratives of Jerusalem in Poetry
Peta Jones Pellach

How collective memories cause conflict

The case of the Temple Mount (excerpts from taped presentation)

The Temple Mount

Are our different memories reconcilable?

Case Study: Rav Kook

Remembering Righteous People / Saints / Tsaddikim
Day 10
15 Aug 2018

Walk around MT Zion

Led by Muslim scholar

Text study Mt Zion

From 3 traditions (Dajani heritage, Dormition, Kever David)


The “truth” about Mt Zion Mt Zion as shared sacred space
Doron Bar


Reviewing the significance of what we have learnt about Mt Zion – memories can be constructed
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein

Peace-Makers and Memory-Healers in Jerusalem

An encounter with some of the key players in interreligious dialogue and peace-building.
Dr Debbie Weissman
Dr. Miriam Feldmann Kaye
Yehuda Stolov

Lecture (continues)

Synthesis of our learning
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein
Day 11
16 Aug 2018

Summary / Discussion

Memory is malleable: Constructing, healing and purifying memory. HOPE for Jerusalem.
Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein