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Inhabiting the Land
Inhabiting the Land
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What does it mean to inhabit the land of Palestine and Israel justly? How should Christians understand the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Alain Epp Weaver examines answers to these questions, paying particular attention to the theologies of sumud, or steadfastness, advanced by Palestinian Christian theologians, while also presenting other Christian, Jewish, and Muslim responses. Contextualizing these theologies within Palestinian and Israeli Jewish histories, Epp Weaver introduces readers to the intertwined histories of Zionism (as a movement to establish a Jewish state and renew Jewish life in the biblical land of Israel) and Palestinian nationalism. He also situates Palestinian Christian theologies within broader Christian conversations about election, God's enduring covenant with the Jewish people, and Zionism. In the face of a politics of separation and dispossession, Epp Weaver contends, Palestinian Christian theologies testify to the possibility of a shared polity and geography for Palestinians and Israeli Jews not defined by walls, militarized fences, checkpoints, and roadblocks, but rather by mutuality and reconciliation. ""This is a first-class primer for anyone who wants to understand what is happening in Israel and Palestine, and what has brought the situation to this point. More than this, Alain Epp Weaver offers an astute and clearly presented discussion that will be useful in classrooms and to anyone committed to peace with justice for all the peoples living in the land."" --Melanie A Duguid-May, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School ""The thoughtful and compassionate introductory do's and don'ts for discussing the conflict alone are worth the price of admission, but there is much more here for those who want to hear from an often-unheard voice. Jews and Christians engaged in interfaith dialogue should pay special attention."" --Sam Brody, University of Kansas ""Like an expert tour guide, Alain Epp Weaver's brilliant book provides a clear map through the complex and fraught histories, politics, and theologies of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In both accessible and nuanced prose, Epp Weaver introduces readers to the deep Jewish and Palestinian connection to the Land, the emergence of Zionism and Christian Zionism, Palestinian movements, and the perspectives and resilience of Palestinian Christians. His proposal for bi-nationalism and a shared non-possessive mutual belonging is more honest, hopeful, and prophetic than the continued binaries of two-states or competing nationalisms. Read this book "" --Joshua Ralston, University of Edinburgh ""Building on a hopeful and prophetic vision of peaceful transformation of conflict, Epp Weaver offers readers a thoughtful theological reflection on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. . . . I will recommend this as one of the essential books that travelers to the Holy Land ought to read."" --Gordon Matties, Canadian Mennonite University ""Inhabiting the Land gives critical attention to the theologies that shape and are shaped by the situation in Palestine-Israel. Epp Weaver has written an introduction that helpfully outlines how these theologies do not sit in isolation, but emerge from the histories of Palestine-Israel and Christian attempts to understand Zionism, the modern State of Israel, and the catastrophe of Palestinian dispossession. Whether you are new to the conversation or not, this is an important read."" --Timothy Seidel, Eastern Mennonite University Alain Epp Weaver (PhD in Theology, University of Chicago) directs strategic planning for Mennonite Central Committee. He previously worked in Palestine for over a decade and is the author and editor of several books, including Mapping Exile and Return: Palestinian Dispossession and a Political Theology for a Shared Future (2014).