Zionism and the Quest for Justice in the Holy Land

By Donald E. Wagner and Walter T. Davis (editors)

Essays on political Zionism and theological positions that support it, emphasising the need for a just and inclusive settlement in the Middle East.

ISBN: 9780718893651


A critical examination of political Zionism, a topic often considered taboo in the West, is long overdue. The discussion of Christian Zionism is usually confined to evangelical and fundamentalist settings. The present volume will break the silence currently reigning in many religious, political, and academic circles and, in so doing, will provoke and inspire a new, challenging conversation on theological and ethical issues arising from various aspects of Zionism – a conversation that is vital to the quest for a just peace in Israel and Palestine.

The eleven authors offer a rich diversity of religious faith, academic research, and practical experience, as they represent all three Abrahamic faiths and five different Christian traditions. Among the many themes that run through Zionism and the Quest for Justice in the Holy Land is the contrast between exclusivist narratives, both biblical and political, and the more inclusive narratives of the prophetic Scriptures, which provide the theological foundation and the moral imperative for human liberation. Readers will be drawn into a compelling, readable, and stimulating series of essays that tackle many of the complex issues that still confound clergy, politicians, diplomats, and academic experts.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 274

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Donald E. Wagner is the National Program Director of Friends of Sabeel: North America and former Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University.

Walter T. Davis is Co-Chair of the Education Committee of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Professor Emeritus of the Sociology of Religion at San Francisco Theological Seminary.


Foreword by Walter Brueggemann
Introduction: A Call for a New Conversation on Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel / Donald E. Wagner and Walter T. Davis

Introduction to Chapters One and Two / Walter T. Davis and Pauline Coffman

1. Political Zionism from Herzl (1890s) to Ben-Gurion (1960s) / Walter T. Davis and Pauline Coffman
2. From 1967 to the Present—The Triumph of Revisionist Zionism / Walter T. Davis and Pauline Coffman
3. Rising to the Challenge: A Jewish Theology of Liberation / Brant Rosen
4. Eastern Orthodox Perspectives on Zionism and Christian Zionism: Voices from the Ancient Church, from Modern America, and from the Middle East Today / Carole Monica Burnett
5. The Vatican, Zionism, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict / Rosemary and Herman Ruether
6. The Mainline Protestant Churches and the Holy Land / Donald E. Wagner
7. Evangelicals and Christian Zionism / Gary M. Burge
8. Zionism: A Different Memory / Mustafa Abu Sway
9. A Concluding Theological Postscript / Naim S. Ateek

Appendix One
Kairos Palestine: A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering
A Moment of Truth: A Word of Faith, Hope, and Love from the Heart of Palestinian Suffering

Appendix Two
After Zionism: Claiming the Heart of the Church / Mark Braverman



Endorsements and Reviews

Desmond Tutu says that silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the injustice. That’s why we need more and more Christians to raise their voices about the injustices taking place in Israel-Palestine. To raise their voices, they first need to raise their awareness, and this book is the best book I know of to help individuals and groups be educated and motivated for action.
Brian D. McLaren, author of Naked Spirituality

This important collection of essays is situated amid the most vexatious, dangerous geopolitical crisis in the world. The seemingly intractable conflict in the Holy Land that concerns the State of Israel, as well as the status and future of the Palestinians, turns out to be the pivot point for much of the violent anger that leads to destabilization and threatens all parties to the dispute. The focal point of the many different angles in this collection is insistently justice as a precondition of peace in the Holy Land. Thus all ‘peace negotiations’ are futile if a way is not found to assure justice of a political and economic variety.
Walter Brueggemann, author of The Prophetic Imagination

It is an angry book: horrified at what Israel has been doing, but also infuriated at other Christians’ unwillingness to censure it … It includes chapters representing a broad swath of theological opinion – including a liberal rabbi, a Palestinian Muslim, and Roman Catholic and Orthodox writers, as well as a succession of American Protestants.
William Whyte, in Church Times, 29th May 2015

[Christians] have ignored the suffering of the Palestinian people – and this volume is a powerful cry to stop. … The essays are very clearly written and an excellent introduction to the topic. … This book should be required reading for all who are concerned with the Middle East, and especially for those who … start with an instinctive sympathy for Israel. Collectively, the essays present a withering indictment of that State – not only of particular military actions or political decisions taken in its defense, but of its very foundations.
Peter Waddell, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 24, Issue 4