Professor Shifra Sagy with Professor Martin Leiner (Jena University, Germany) and Professor Mohammed Daoud Dajani (Wasatia, East Jerusalem). Project supported by the DFG. (900,000 Euro).
The project title “Hearts of Flesh – Not Stone” is a reference to an image in the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (36:26). The image, which is significant for Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures, gives insight into the central questions of this project which seeks to understand the movement of individuals and groups from lesser to greater willingness for reconciliation. Working in a transdisciplinary manner, we expect major results to impact understanding of reconciliation. The second major result impacts society; we want to deepen the understanding on how encounter groups can lead to greater willingness to reconcile.
The project analyses individuals and groups experiencing the “suffering of the other” as a means for understanding how and why groups may become more or less open to reconciliation. This single question forms the focus of the project, which is addressed via three theoretical/methodological approaches: encountering the suffering of the other (ESO) “experientially,” analyzing the ESO through social psychological experimentation, and conceptual analysis of the ESO through theological, sociological, and political disciplines.The team at Ben Gurion University of the Negev is focusing on the experiental encounter.