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Biblical interpretation and Middle East policy : the promised land, America, and Israel, 1917-2002 /
Irvine H. Anderson.
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2005.
description
x, 187 p.
ISBN
0813027985 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2005.
isbn
0813027985 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5335450
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-12-01:
Anderson, a specialist in US diplomatic history focusing on the Middle East, has written a very useful introduction to the history of US-Israeli relations. Although much of what is written can be found in other scholarly tomes, his book adds the provocative argument that fundamentalist Christianity, both in Great Britain and the US, helped create a cultural climate that favored a restoration of the Jews to their homeland in Palestine. Anderson provides short but effective chapters on Armageddon theology and the biblical passages that supported a Jewish return to Zion. He elucidates his thesis in a discussion of the Christian Zionist movement in England that fostered popular support for the Balfour Declaration (1917). Turning to the US, Anderson notes the importance of the Sunday school movement, television evangelism, and novels such as the Left Behind series in promoting a favorable cultural disposition toward the Jewish state. His discussions of the Bible's influence on Truman's decision to recognize Israel in 1948 despite opposition from both the state and defense departments and of Christian influence on Congressional support for the Jewish state advance understanding of the relationship between the two nations. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. J. Fischel emeritus, Millersville University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2005
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
"[An] important and timely topic: the influence of Biblical imagery and Christian messianic hopes on the shaping of British and American policy in the Middle East. . . . Anderson is a careful and judicious historian who presents a balanced and well-nuanced account."--Yaakov Ariel, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Irvine Anderson's provocative argument--that fundamentalist interpretations of the Christian Bible have helped create a cultural predisposition that favors returning the Jewish people to the "promised land"--offers an important perspective on British and American foreign policy toward Israel. He asserts that stories about promises of land to the Hebrew people and the "Second Coming of Christ" have made it easier for Zionist and pro-Israel lobbies to be effective in both countries. Starting with analysis of Armageddon theology and the Biblical passages on which these ideas have been based, Anderson shows how they have been disseminated throughout popular culture from the 19th century onward, through Sunday School teaching, novels, and TV evangelism. He then examines the origins of the Balfour Declaration, the travails of the British Mandate in the 1930s, and Truman's decision to hurriedly recognize the newly proclaimed State of Israel--emphasizing the president's Baptist background and intimate knowledge of the Bible. Anderson also discusses the assumption that developed after World War II that Israel was a strategic ally in a dangerous part of the world and he shows that at the time no real countervailing force existed. Among the electorate in both Great Britain and the United States, there was little general knowledge of Islam, Arabs, or the Middle East and limited understanding of the importance of healthy relations with friendly oil-producing states. Adding new information to our understanding of pro-Israel organizations, Anderson illustrates the linkages that developed in the last part of the 20th century between pro-Israel lobbies and the religious right. While acknowledging that this alliance is not the only reason that the American government supports the return of Jews to Palestine, he shows that the influence of conservative teachings and beliefs on policy is and has been profound. This controversial book presents a comprehensive and persuasive discussion of the impact of Christian Zionism in the 20th century. It will be important to historians, sociologists, political scientists, and others interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Main Description
Irvine Anderson's provocative argument--that fundamentalist interpretations of the Christian Bible have helped create a cultural predisposition that favors returning the Jewish people to the "promised land"--offers an important perspective on British and American foreign policy toward Israel. He asserts that stories about promises of land to the Hebrew people and the "Second Coming of Christ" have made it easier for Zionist and pro-Israel lobbies to be effective in both countries. Starting with analysis of Armageddon theology and the Biblical passages on which these ideas have been based, Anderson shows how they have been disseminated throughout popular culture from the 19th century onward, through Sunday School teaching, novels, and TV evangelism. He then examines the origins of the Balfour Declaration, the travails of the British Mandate in the 1930s, and Truman's decision to hurriedly recognize the newly proclaimed State of Israel--emphasizing the president's Baptist background and intimate knowledge of the Bible. Anderson also discusses the assumption that developed after World War II that Israel was a strategic ally in a dangerous part of the world and he shows that at the time no real countervailing force existed. Among the electorate in both Great Britain and the United States, there was little general knowledge of Islam, Arabs, or the Middle East and limited understanding of the importance of healthy relations with friendly oil-producing states. Adding new information to our understanding of pro-Israel organizations, Anderson illustrates the linkages that developed in the last part of the 20th century between pro-Israel lobbies and the religious right. While acknowledging that this alliance is not the only reason that the American government supports the return of Jews to Palestine, he shows that the influence of conservative teachings and beliefs on policy is and has been profound. This controversial book presents a comprehensive and persuasive discussion of the impact of Christian Zionism in the 20th century. It will be important to historians, sociologists, political scientists, and others interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Unpaid Annotation
Irvine Anderson's provocative argument--"that fundamentalist interpretations of the Christian Bible have helped create a cultural predisposition that favors returning the Jewish people to the "promised land"--"offers and important perspective on British and American foreign policy toward Israel. Staring with analysis of Armageddon theology and the biblical passages on which these ideas have been based, Anderson shows how they have been disseminated throughout popular culture from the 19th century onward, through Sunday School teaching, novels, and TV evangelism, He then examines the origins of the Balfour Declaration, the travails of the British Mandate in the 1930s, and Truman's decision the hurriedly recognize the newly proclaimed State of Israel--"emphasizing the president's Baptist background and intimate knowledge of the Bible. Anderson also discusses the assumption that developed after World War. It that Israel was a strategic ally in a dangerous part of the world War II that Israel was a strategic ally in a dangerous part of the world and he shows that at the time no real countervailing force existed. Adding new information to our understanding of pro-Israel organizations, Anderson illustrates the linkages that developed in the last part of the 20th century between pro-Israel lobbies and the religious that the American government supports the return of Jews to Palestine, he shows that the influence of conservative teachings and beliefs on policy is and has been profound.
Table of Contents
Prologue : a synopsis of the studyp. 1
Biblical criticism and the rise of fundamentalismp. 7
The promised land and armageddon theologyp. 52
The Balfour declaration and the Palestine mandatep. 53
Truman, the Bible, Israel, oil, and the Soviet Unionp. 75
Christian influence and congressional support of Israelp. 102
Epilogue : the al-Aqsa Intifada, September 11, and the dynamics of policyp. 130
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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