Decolonizing Holy Land Tourism

Session: Spring
Type: Intensive, Online, Synchronous
Units: 3
Academic Year: 2019 - 2020
Approval Required: No

What does it mean, as a religious leader, to visit the Holy Land in these times? Is pilgrimage possible in the midst of occupation and colonization? How is bearing witness to injustice a political tool in liberation movements, and what more is required of us? How does travel to the Holy Land require of us responsivity to the moral and political crisis on the ground? How can witness be a tool in the fight against ongoing systemic injustice without tokenizing individuals or exploiting suffering? How can we challenge the white/western saviour complex in the way we travel? How can we move from charity to solidarity? How can we move from religious tourism to pilgrimage? How do we, as people of faith, put faith into action?

Reviving Pilgrimage: Decolonizing Religious Tourism to the Holy Land is a semester-long online synchronous course, involving eight preparatory classes on Zoom, a 10-day trip to Israel/Palestine over Reading Week, and six Zoom reflection & action sessions following return from the trip. The trip is a required part of the course.

For more information about logistics and funding options, please reach out to instructor Faryn Borella at We need at least six people registered for the course and trip by the beginning of General Registration in order to move forward, so registration for this course will continue rolling by faculty consent following the completion of Early Registration. The intended audience for this course is all those training to be religious leaders in communities of practice, across areas of specialty and degree programs.

This course relates to SKSM Thresholds #1,#2, #5, #6 and #7. This course relates to UU MFC Competencies #4 and #7. Course available for 3-4.5 units.

[Faculty Consent required; 20 max enrollment; Interview required]