Presbyterian network opens new dialogue on Zionism
Press Release - January 13, 2014
The Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) is pleased to announce the publication of its newest educational resource, Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide. This Study Guide is a condensed and edited version of a longer book entitled Zionism and the Quest for Justice in the Holy Land which will be published in 2014 by Pickwick Publications, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Released to immediate critical acclaim, Zionism Unsettled is published to help bring about an end to the silence surrounding the impact of Zionism, and to encourage open discussions on the topic in church and society.
Rev. Cliff Kirkpatrick, Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Studies and Global Ministries at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and former Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) sees a need for a deeper understanding of Zionism. “I encourage pastors and congregations to take advantage of this new publication. Zionism Unsettled provides a valuable opportunity to explore the political ideology of Zionism. Our congregations need to understand not only the humanitarian crisis or the specific policies involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also to examine the basic framework that lies behind these policies and crises,” said Kirkpatrick.
Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, remarks “The urgency of the Palestinian plight in the face of Israeli intransigence indicates that intentional, concrete, and sustained public action is necessary to respond credibly to the crisis. Zionism Unsettled is a welcome study guide. It will prove an effective vehicle for helping to mobilize public opinion so that both attitudes and policies can be transformed in the face of an imperious and exploitative ideology.”
What role have Zionism and Christian Zionism played in shaping attitudes and driving historical developments in the Middle East and around the world? How do Christians, Jews, and Muslims understand the competing claims to the land of Palestine and Israel? What steps can be taken to bring peace, reconciliation, and justice to the homeland that Palestinians and Israelis share?
Zionism Unsettled embraces these critical issues fearlessly with inspiring scope. The booklet and DVD draw together compelling and diverse perspectives from Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Israel, Palestine, the US, and around the globe. By contrasting mainstream perceptions with important alternative perspectives frequently ignored in the media, Zionism Unsettled serves as a guide to deeper understanding.
Prof. Neve Gordon, Israeli political scientist and author of Israel’s Occupation speaks of the need for Zionism Unsettled, “In my work I am inspired by the great Jewish prophets' struggle for justice and freedom, while simultaneously I am often astounded how certain strains in Judaism and Christianity invoke the Bible in order to justify oppression and social wrongs in Israel/Palestine. Therefore I welcome the effort to emphasize a conception of Judaism and Christianity that espouses a universalistic ethics – whereby all humans are imago dei – and to use it to expose injustices carried out in my homeland.”
Dr. Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University in New York, notes “The denial of the rights of the Palestinians is largely driven by the exemption of Zionist ideology and its real-world implications from any serious scrutiny. Zionism Unsettled explains accurately and concisely why it is essential to look at the theological roots of Zionism, and how it has appealed to both Jews and Christians, in order to understand the true nature of the long ordeal suffered by the Palestinian people, as well as the real roots of so much of the strife in the Middle East.”
Zionism Unsettled, released today, consists of a 74-page illustrated booklet and an accompanying free DVD. A how-to guide for class leaders with focused discussion prompts makes this an ideal resource for multi-week exploratory educational programs in churches, synagogues, mosques and all classroom settings, faith-based or secular.
To order: http://store.pcusa.org/2646614001
(800) 524-2612 Item# 2646614001
In joyful obedience to the call of Christ, and in solidarity with churches and our other partners in the Middle East our network covenants to engage, consolidate, nourish, and channel the energy in the Presbyterian Church (USA) toward the goal of a just peace in Israel /Palestine by facilitating education, promoting partnerships, and coordinating advocacy. Our network speaks TO the Church not FOR the Church. The IPMN was mandated by the 216th General Assembly of the PC(USA) in 2004.
Click here for press release on PC(USA) website