Sturm, Tristan and Seth Frantzman. 2014. Religious Geopolitics of Palestinian Christianity: Palestinian Christian Zionists, Palestinian Liberation Theologists, and American Missions to Palestine. Middle Eastern Studies. Early online publication.
Abstract: The introduction of Protestantism into the Middle East by American missionaries in the nineteenth century met with limited success while the responses and internalizations of local converts proved incredibly diverse. The two resultant theological descendants are Palestinian Christian Zionists and Palestinian Liberation Theologists. The article provides a short history of these two movements and highlights influential voices through interviews and media analysis. This article argues that hybrid religious identifications with nation and place has transcended, in some cases, political struggle for territory.
Gunner, Goran and Robert O. Smith, eds. 2014. Comprehending Christian Zionism: Perspectives in Comparison. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Publisher’s Description: The issue of Christian Zionism is one that is fiercely debated within theology, the church, politics, and society. Comprehending Christian Zionism brings together an international consortium of scholars and researchers to reflect on the network of issues and topics surrounding this critical subject. The volume provides a lens on the history of Zionism within Christian theology and offers a constructive, multidimensional path for assessment and introspection around the meaning of Zionism to Christian faith and practice.
1. Christian Zionism in Contemporary Perspective—Göran Gunner
2. Saying ‘Peace’ When There is No Peace—Elizabeth Phillips
3. “A fool for Christ”—Aron Engberg
4. Broadcasting Jesus’ Return—Matt Westbrook
5. Walking in the Mantle of Esther: “Political” Action as “Religious” Practice—Sean Durbin
6. Christian Zionism at Jerusalem Church in Copán Ruinas, Honduras, an “Out-of-the-Way” Place—William Girard
7. Christian Zionist Pilgrimage in the Twenty-First Century—Curtis Hutt
8. Living in the Hour of Restoration—Faydra L. Shapiro
9. Christian Zionism and Main Line Western Christian Churches—Rosemary Radford Ruether
10. Palestinian Christian Reflections on Christian Zionism—Mitri Raheb
11. From the Institutum Judaicum to the International Christian Embassy—Yaakov Ariel
12. Mischief Making in Palestine—Mae Elise Cannon
13. Israelis, Israelites, and God’s Hand in History—Timo R. Stewart
14. The Rise of Hitler, Zion, and the Tribulation—Gershon Greenberg
15. Inverting the Eagle to Embrace the Star of David—George Faithful
16. Conclusion—Robert O. Smith
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, 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, 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.