In Righteous Gentiles: Religion, Identity, and Myth in John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, Sean Durbin offers a critical analysis of America’s largest Pro-Israel organization, Christians United for Israel, along with its critics and collaborators. Although many observers focus Christian Zionism’s influence on American foreign policy, or whether or not Christian Zionism is ‘truly’ religious, Righteous Gentiles takes a different approach.
Through his creative and critical analysis of Christian Zionists’ rhetoric and mythmaking strategies, Durbin demonstrates how they represent their identities and political activities as authentically religious. At the same time, Durbin examines the role that Jews and the state of Israel have as vehicles or empty signifiers through which Christian Zionist truth claims are represented as manifestly real.
Sean Durbin, PhD (2014), Macquarie University, has taught at universities throughout Australia. He is editor of the journal Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, and has published numerous articles and book chapters on Christian Zionism.
"Durbin’s focus on identity, myth, and practice in Righteous Gentiles distinguishes him from the normal preoccupations of scholarship on Christian Zionism that are entrenched in apocalyptic explanations. (...) This is both refreshing and significant for the future of study and will likely redound in coming years into studies undertaken by historians as well (...) In reconceiving of Christian Zionism in terms of identity, myth, and practice, Durbin has demonstrated the significant gains of an analytical and theoretical approach that elides the question of motives to explore the rhetorical and identity strategies of Christian Zionists themselves."
- Daniel G. Hummel, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 87.3, 2019.
Series Editor Preface Acknowledgements Notes on Previously Published Material
1 Cultural and Theological Sources of American and Christian Affinity for Israel 2 “For Such a Time as This”: The Origins of Christians United for Israel as a Representation of Modern Mythmaking 3 Walking in the Mantle of Esther: Political Action as Religious Practice 4 David and Goliath, Isaac and Ishmael: Islam, Demonology, and the Eternal Enmity of God’s Enemies 5 Gideon in the Winepress: Internal Enemies and the Discursive Politics of Naming 6 “I am an Israeli”: Christian Zionism as American Redemption 7 Conclusion: “I Will Bless Those Who Bless You”: Philo-Semitism, Fetishism, and Unleashing the Blessings of God
Students and researchers in religious studies, political science, American Studies, biblical studies, and in the reception history of the Bible will find valuable material in this book.