Paul Ariese is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (University of Amsterdam). The topic of his research is the intertwining of religious and heritage practices at the synagogues of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam. The question is what religious meanings, sensations and experiences are evoked in people today by the Portuguese Synagogue (both a heritage site and place of worship) and the musealised space of the Great Synagogue. This empirical research explores how Sephardic and Ashkenazic source communities, heritage professionals and museum audiences interpret, shape and use these spaces. The case study provides insight into the interaction between religion and heritage, paving a path to reposition Jewish religious heritage in the increasingly secular and pluriform Dutch society. The research is supervised by Prof.dr. Emile Schrijver and Prof.dr. Hester Dibbits.
Ariese is a senior lecturer in the international Master’s programme Applied Museum and Heritage Studies and the Bachelor’s programme Cultural Heritage at the Reinwardt Academy (Amsterdam University of the Arts), where he lectures on heritage and religion, among other subjects. He is a graduate of the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies (MA with distinction) and also trained as an architectural and graphic designer.