Christians and the Middle East Conflict deals with the relationship of Christians and Christian theology to the various conflicts in the Middle East, a topic that is often sensationalized but still insufficiently understood. Political developments over the last two decades, however, have prompted observers to rediscover and examine the central role religious motivations play in shaping public discourses.
This book proceeds on the assumption that neither a focus on the eschatological nor a narrow understanding of the plight of Christians in the Middle East is sufficient. Instead, it is necessary to understand Christians in context and to explore the ways that Christian theology applies through the actions of Christians who have lived and continue to live through conflict in the region either as native inhabitants or interested foreign observers. This volume addresses issues of concern to Christians from a theological perspective, from the perspective of Christian responses to conflict throughout history, and in reflection on the contemporary realities of Christians in the Middle East.
The essays in this volume combine contextual political and theological reflections written by both scholars and Christian activists and will be of interest to students and scholars of Politics, Religion and Middle East Studies.
The past decade has seen increasing interest in the links between religion and politics, and this edited volume seeks to take religion seriously as a motivator of action. Few studies have attempted to bring together the multi-disciplinary work in this burgeoning field of study and this work takes a global perspective, using a variety of contexts including East-West relations to analyze the following key themes:
the constructive and destructive hermeneutics of religious stories
the relevance and importance of religion as a dominant political narrative
the rise of new stories among groups as agents of change
the way that religious narratives help to define and constrain the Other
the manipulation of religious stories for political benefit
This work argues that it is insufficient to judge the relationship of religion and politics through mere institutional or quantitative lenses, and this collection proves that while this promise of the narrative part of the social imaginary has been recognized in political theory to a certain extent, its influence in the realm of empirical political science has yet to be fully considered.
Combining the work of a wide range of experts, this collection will be of great interests to scholars of politics, philosophy, religious studies, and the literary influence of religion.