Atalia Omer

Atalia Omer
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Associate Professor
  • Residential Fellow (2011-2012)
  • “The Rhetoric of ‘No-Place’: Symbolic Diasporas and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict As a Trope”

Atalia Omer is Assistant Professor of Religion, Conflict, and Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies and serves as a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include the theoretical study of the interrelation between religion and nationalism; religion, nationalism, and peacebuilding; the role of national, religious, and ethnic diasporas in the dynamics of conflict transformation and peace; multiculturalism as a framework for conflict transformation and as a theory of justice; the role of subaltern narratives in reimagining questions of peace and justice; intra-group dialogue and the contestation of citizenship in ethno-religious national contexts; and the symbolic appropriation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in other zones of conflict.

Professor Omer is the author of When Peace is Not Enough: How the Israeli Peace Camp Thinks about Religion, Nationalism, and Justice (University of Chicago Press), a work that examines how the Israeli peace camp addresses interrelationships between religion, ethnicity, and nationality and how it interprets justice vis-à-vis the Palestinian conflict. Professor Omer is also the author of Religious Nationalism Handbook (ABC-CLIO), and co-editor (with Scott Appleby and David Little) of the Oxford Handbook of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding (Oxford University Press). She has published articles in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, The Journal of Political Theology, and in The Study of Nationalism and Ethnicity. Her current book project, Rethinking “Home” Abroad: Religion and the Reinterpretation of National Boundaries in the Diasporas, explores why divergences in conceptions of national identity between “homeland” and “diasporas” could facilitate the proliferation of loci of analysis and foci of peacebuilding efforts which are yet under-explored both in Peace Studies and specific scholarship addressing the relations between diasporas and conflict. Her numerous awards and fellowships include a doctoral fellowship at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University (2002-2004), a Harvard University Merit Fellowship (2006), serving as a Graduate Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University (2006-2008), and a Charlotte W. Newcombe’s Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2007).


  • When Peace Is Not Enough: How the Israeli Peace Camp Thinks about Religion, Nationalism, and Justice

    The University of Chicago Press, 2013

    Atalia Omer

    Omer Peace Crop

    The state of Israel is often spoken of as a haven for the Jewish people, a place rooted in the story of a nation dispersed, wandering the earth in search of their homeland. Born in adversity but purportedly nurtured by liberal ideals, Israel has never known peace, experiencing instead a state of constant war that has divided its population along the stark and seemingly unbreachable lines of dissent around the relationship between unrestricted citizenship and Jewish identity.

    By focusing on the perceptions and histories of Israel’s most marginalized stakeholders—Palestinian Israelis, Arab Jews, and non-Israeli Jews—Atalia Omer cuts to the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict, demonstrating how these voices provide urgently needed resources for conflict analysis and peacebuilding. Navigating a complex set of arguments about ethnicity, boundaries, and peace, and offering a different approach to the renegotiation and reimagination of national identity and citizenship, Omer pushes the conversation beyond the bounds of the single narrative and toward a new and dynamic concept of justice—one that offers the prospect of building a lasting peace.

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