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International Law and ReligionHistorical and Contemporary Perspectives$
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Martti Koskenniemi, Mónica García-Salmones Rovira, and Paolo Amorosa

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805878.001.0001

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‘If I forget thee, O Jerusalem’

‘If I forget thee, O Jerusalem’

Religion, International Law, and Jerusalem

Chapter:
(p.269) 12 ‘If I forget thee, O Jerusalem’
Source:
International Law and Religion
Author(s):

Reut Yael Paz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198805878.003.0013

The holiness of Jerusalem—the house of the one God—is central to the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and, because of this, also to global politics and international law. But Jerusalem is also where twentieth-century international law—as a civilizing, Western, and modern project intended as a counterpoise to the extremities of religious differences and passions—repeatedly fails. There is one interesting exception. During the Berlin Congress of 1878, Western European imperial powers integrated an Eastern status quo regime first legalized by the Ottoman firmans (decrees) that had governed—and still govern—the city’s holy places since the sixteenth century. This chapter examines the complex relationship between monotheism, international law, and Jerusalem by unpacking one article—Article LXII of the Berlin Treaty (1878)—that incorporated the custom of ‘Status Quo’ formulated by Jerusalem’s Ottoman, Oriental, and Muslim rulers into the predominantly Christian European Law of Nations.

Keywords:   Jerusalem, Berlin Treaty (1878), Status Quo, Tanzimat, Orientalism, Crimean War, Christian missionarism, the Concert of Europe

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