Atalia Omer – Keough School


Areas of expertise: Religion, Nationalism and Peacebuilding; diasporas, conflict transformation and peace; multiculturalism, conflict transformation and justice; theories and methods in the study of religion

Atalia Omer is Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peace Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. She is a faculty member at Keough School’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Omer received his doctorate in religion, ethics, and politics (November 2008) from the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University. His research focuses on religion, violence and peacebuilding as well as the theories and methods of studying religion. She is a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow working on a book tentatively titled Tweet Prophets & The Harmony Business: Religion and the Violent Legacy of Peace.

Omer’s first book, When peace is not enough: how the Israeli peace camp thinks about religion, nationalism and justice (University of Chicago Press, 2015) examines how the Israeli peace camp approaches the relationship between religion, ethnicity and nationality, and how it interprets justice vis-à-vis the Palestinian conflict. This book examines “visions of peace” and “visions of citizenship” articulated by a wide range of groups, ranging from Zionists to non-Zionists and secularists with religious orientations.

Omer’s second solo book project, Days of Awe: reimagining Jewishness in solidarity with the Palestinians (University of Chicago Press, 2019) explores why the divergences in conceptions of national identity between “homeland” and “diasporas” could facilitate the proliferation of analytical loci and hotbeds of peacebuilding efforts that are still under-explored both in peace studies and specific research dealing with the relationship between diasporas and conflict.

As a local and distant movement, Jewish Solidarity with Palestine offers popular criticism and a transformative agenda for the local Judeo-American landscape, while also criticizing Israeli policies and Zionist interpretations of Jewish identity. This book examines this movement’s intentional participation in intra-traditional work that seeks to provincialize Zion with Jewish identity and in inter-traditional work that seeks to undo the intersections between Islamophobia in the United States and marginalization and silence. lives in Palestine..

Inter-traditional work is also seen as essential to the movement’s efforts to deconstruct the amalgamation between criticism of Israeli policies and anti-Semitism. Likewise, the movement participates in a broader intersectional solidarity analysis that links Palestinian struggles to other sites of injustice, both locally and globally, from Black Lives Matter to the protests against the wall between the United States and Mexico.

Omer has published articles in, among others, the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the Journal of religious ethics; Soundings: an interdisciplinary journal; the Journal of Political Theology, the Study of nationalism and ethnicity, the International Journal of Peace Studies, Critical Sociology, Critical Theory of Religion, The Journal of Faith and International Affairs, and Method and theory in the study of religion.

Omer received an Andrew Carnegie scholarship in 2017. She is also a Senior Fellow in the Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative of the Religious Literacy Program at Harvard Divinity School. She received a Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Studies Research Fellowship (Fall 2011), a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Thesis Fellowship (2007) and a Harvard University Merit Fellowship (2006). She was a doctoral candidate at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University (2002-2004) and a doctoral candidate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University (2006-2008).

Recent work

Maintenance: “A new generation of Jewish activists is transforming Judaism itself” (The nation)

Review: “An explosive number: on that of Atalia Omer”Days of fear (Los Angeles Book Review)

News: Atalia Omer receives the Andrew Carnegie scholarship


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