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18:45 - 19:45 21 November 2012

Mental health specialists and inter-faith relationships: the unholy union between religion and therapy in contemporary Israel


Chadwick Lecture Theatre | Chadwick Building (link Map)
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free of charge
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Dr Yohai Hakak, Senior Lecturer, School of Health Sciences and Social Work

Interfaith marriage is not prohibited by law in Israel, but the fact the religious courts have a monopoly on arranging marriages practically prevents such a possibility. Despite this barrier recent years have witnessed what seems an increase in the number of inter-faith (Jewish-Muslim) couples. In response, religious activists created a moral panic and devised a variety of means which they try to prevent such unions. This lecture will especially focus on the use religious organisations, as well as state owned public organisations, are making of the psychological discourse to legitimise their interventions and actions regarding these ‘problematic relationships’. This psychological address mainly aims at Jewish women who choose Arab (Muslim) men as their partners. I will examine the ‘diagnoses’ of these women as well as the treatment offered to them. This case will provide an opportunity to examine possible links between the psychological and religious discourses in contemporary Israel.


Sara Ben-Isaac
020 7679 3520 | s.benisaac@ucl.ac.uk


Institute of Jewish Studies

Hebrew script