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Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel

To most evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, loyalty to Israel is a second patriotism, nurtured by the conviction that Israel's restoration is a part of God's plan for history. Mainstream Protestantism, however, champions Palestinian nationalism and, drawing on the rhetoric of the Middle East Council of Churches, does not hesitate to portray Israel as an oppressor. Paul Merkley argues that Christian attitudes towards Israel reflect fundamental theological attitudes that must be studied against the long historical background of Christian attitudes towards Judaism and Islam. He draws on a wide range of research and literature published by Christian organizations and on interviews with key figures within the government of Israel, spokespeople for the Palestine Authority, and leaders of all the major pro and anti-Zionist Christian organizations to demonstrate that Christian attitudes towards Israel remain remarkably polarized.
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An in-depth look at the increasingly polarized attitudes of Christians towards Israel.

About the Author

Paul Charles Merkley is professor emeritus, history, Carleton University, and the author of The Politics of Christian Zionism, 1891-1948.


"One cannot read this superb book and fail to be impressed with the volatile mix of theology, politics, and antisemitism in the range of Christian attitudes displayed unfortunately even today toward Israel." Choice "Most helpful in debunking a wide range of stereotypes about evangelical Christians. It also provides an often incisive critique of the presumptions of liberal Protestantism." First Things "Marshals its arguments with a wealth of well-researched and lucidly presented material that includes interesting analyses of the influence of the Eastern Churches on contemporary Protestantism, the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church, and the relationship between Christian anti-Zionism and contemporary Islam." University of Toronto Quarterly

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