The promised land: a critical investigation of Evangelical Christian Zionism in Britain and the United States of America since 1800.

Sizer, Stephen R. (2002) The promised land: a critical investigation of Evangelical Christian Zionism in Britain and the United States of America since 1800. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

Christian Zionism is a complex, controversial and deeply influential movement. In particular, it impacts US foreign policy in the Middle East as well as strengthens the Israeli right-wing. The influence of evangelicals upon the development of Zionism has, however, been consistently underestimated. An exhaustive survey of published works also confirms the relatively undeveloped nature of research in this field. Consequently the assumption, made by advocates as well as critics, that Christian Zionism is synonymous with Evangelicalism has remained largely uncontested. This thesis challenges this assumption through an examination of the historical roots, theological basis and political ramifications of the movement. Chapter 2 traces its historical development since 1800 and transition from British sectarianism to mainstream American Evangelicalism. Chapter 3 assesses seven basic theological tenets that distinguish the various strands within the Christian Zionist movement: an ultra-literal and futurist hermeneutic; a belief that the Jews remain God's chosen people; Restorationism and the return of the Jews to Palestine; the justification of Eretz Israel; the centrality of Jerusalem as the Jewish capital; the expectation that the Temple will be rebuilt; and a pessimistic apocalyptic eschatology. Chapter 4 focuses on the political consequences of this theology and the way in which Christian Zionists bolster the pro-Israeli lobby; facilitate aliyah; sustain the West Bank settlements; lobby for international recognition for Jerusalem; promote the rebuilding of the temple; and oppose a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A literature analysis of primary historical and contemporary sources as well as interviews together with unpublished correspondence have been used to identify the dominant themes which both define as well as distinguish variant forms of contemporary Christian Zionism. Published findings arising from this thesis have already contributed to the international debate on the significance of Christian Zionism. It is hoped that this thesis will stimulate further research and form the basis for constructive dialogue between proponents and critics in the future.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted to Middlesex University and Oak Hill Theological College in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:School of Media and Performing Arts > Media & Performing Arts
ID Code:6403
Deposited On:17 Aug 2010 12:44
Last Modified:18 Jul 2014 14:21

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