oa Journal for Semitics - Jerusalem, "As Englishmen suppose" : imperialism and the reconstitution of sacred space

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1013-8471



This article considers the imperial power struggle for the city of Jerusalem as political/religious time/space construct in colonial discourse. Particular attention is paid to William Blake's verse, Jerusalem, set to music by William Parry in 1916, soon after to become known as a second anthem of Great Britain. The British Empire was in decline and in dire need of reconfirmation. Jerusalem represents both the new order and a return to the establishment after the war. Christian Britain was to be identified as the successor state to ancient Israel. Jerusalem yet again fill the role of divine assurance of enduring rule, "as Englishmen suppose."

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