Posts Tagged ‘Christian Zionism’

Durbin, “‘I will bless those who bless you'”

October 2, 2013

Durbin, Sean.  2013.  “I will bless those who bless you:” Christian Zionism, Fetishism, and Unleashing the Blessings of God.  Journal of Contemporary Religion 28(3): 507-521.

Abstract: This article focuses on the concept of ‘blessing’ Israel that has become common among contemporary American Christian Zionists. After introducing a theological scheme that has dominated discussions of contemporary Christian Zionism, the article critically examines one of the emerging narratives concerning the (re)discovery of Christian Zionists’ Jewish roots and the way the Jewish contribution to Christianity is framed. Following this, the article considers the way Israel and Jews are understood to hold a distinct place in the network of world redemption and how contemporary Israel acts as a marker—what is referred to as a ‘signifier of stability’—that helps Christian Zionists locate God’s ongoing work in the world. Finally, the article discusses how Christian Zionists ‘bless’ Israel in practical ways as a form of submission to God, a reminder of their relationship with God, and a way to locate themselves in the redemptive process.

Shapiro, ‘Thank you Israel, for supporting America’

November 13, 2012

Shapiro, Faydra L.  ‘Thank you Israel, for supporting America’: the transnational flow of Christian Zionist resources.  Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.

Abstract: This article seeks to understand what it means when, in 2006, a noted British pastor and Bible teacher stood up in front of 8000 evangelical Zionists from all over the world at the convention centre in Jerusalem and addressed the audience with the following counter-intuitive words: ‘Thank you Israel, for supporting America!’ Evangelical Christianity has complex relations and ambivalent relations to the nation state and globalisation. Supernaturally speaking, Israel is the only nation state in the world that matters. Contemporary Israel becomes a kind of litmus test, both for manifesting the truth of the word of God and for manifesting the individual’s or the nation’s commitment to realising God’s will in this world. For Christian Zionism, this transnational flow of resources into and out of Israel ultimately redeem locality, offering ‘the nations’ a place in the story, and the opportunity to serve as vehicles for God’s will.

Durbin, “For Such a Time as This”

August 29, 2012

Durbin, Sean. 2012. “For Such a Time as This”: Reading (and Becoming) Esther with Christians United for Israel.

Abstract: A great deal of work on contemporary Christian Zionism focuses on the apocalyptic eschatology of premillennial dispensationalism, critiquing it from an idealistic perspective that posits a direct line of causality from “belief” to action. Such critiques frequently assert that since Christian Zionists are biblical literalists, they read apocalyptic texts such as Revelation and Ezekiel with the goal of making the events they find predicted in these books come about in the world. This article takes a different approach. Although many Christian Zionists can be considered “literalists,” they read themselves into the text typologically. Special attention is paid to the book of Esther which is shown not to function primarily in a prophetic or apocalyptic role, but as a tool to help Christian Zionists understand political action, construct identity, and strengthen faith.

Shapiro, “The Messiah and Rabbi Jesus: Policing the Jewish–Christian border in Christian Zionism”

December 8, 2011

Abstract: For all their ostensible difference and separateness, Judaism and Christianity have a long history of mutual engagement and profound entanglement. I take Daniel Boyarin’s assertion that ‘…the borders between Christianity and Judaism are as constructed and imposed, as artificial and political as any of the borders of the earth’ (2004, 1) as my starting point. But what Boyarin sees as an ongoing process of differentiation between Judaism and Christianity and distinct identity-building in late antiquity, I look for still today in Christian Zionism. The busy border crossing continues to separate people and ideas at the same time as it serves as the meeting place between them, the uncomfortable place where Judaism and Christianity rub up against each other. This paper examines some constructions of the Jewish–Christian border by way of two case studies of prominent religious leaders, each firmly at home in their respective communities, Jewish and Christian, who ventured out to the borderland of Christian Zionism. This is the story of what happened when they returned home to find themselves examined by those who monitor the Jewish–Christian border, and deemed to be over the limit with intoxicants brought over from the ‘other side’.

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