Engberg, “Walking on the Pages of the Word of God”

Engberg, Aron. 2016. Walking on the Pages of the Word of God: Self, Land, and Text among Evangelical Volunteers in Jerusalem. Doctoral Dissertation, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies. Lund, Sweden: Lund University. 

Excerpt: During the last 30 years, the Evangelical relationship with the State of Israel has drawn much academic and popular attention, particularly from historical, theological, and political perspectives. This dissertation engages with this literature but also complements it with an ethnographic account of the discursive practices of Evangelical Zionists through which, it is suggested, much of the religious significance of the contemporary state is being produced. The study is based on ethnographic fieldwork among Evangelical volunteer workers in Jerusalem, focusing on their stories about themselves, the land, and the biblical text.

Durbin, ” ‘I am an Israeli'”

Durbin, Sean. 2013. “I am an Israeli”: Christian Zionism as American redemption. Culture and Religion 14(2).

Abstract: This article argues that discourse used to define and understand Israel by prominent American Christian Zionists is a discourse of national idealisation. Drawing on Durkheim’s (2008) notion of symbols as sources of social solidarity, I argue that this imagined Israel reflects conservative social and military values that are shared among Christian Zionists and their supporters – values which many in this broad category see the United States failing to uphold. Following this, I show how one of America’s most prominent pastors – John Hagee – and his organisation – Christians United for Israel – have taken on the role of a contemporary Jeremiah, criticising the American government for not adequately supporting Israel. This article concludes by considering how Christian Zionists are calling America to renew and align itself with God by ‘blessing’ Israel, and acting like Israel.