Scroll down to see the books in this category.
These collections of books have been assembled from many sources of recommended reading on Israel/Palestine, including: the United Church of Christ (UCC) and UCC PIN, Sabeel, Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JFJFP) and others.
Presented in the following categories on individual pages:
• About/By Palestinian Christians
• Religion; The Bible; Christian Zionism
• Personal Histories: Memoirs, Autobiographies
• Political Analysis; Diplomatic History
• The Current Situation
• Activism; Resistance; Solidarity; Intersectional Justice
• Novels; Short Stories; Poetry
• Palestinians inside Israel
• Zionism; Jewish Identity
• Faith Relations; Anti-Semitism
• Visual Arts; Crafts (poetry moved to new list)
• Tourism; The Politics of Tourism
• Children’s Books
Please note: some books are listed in more than one category.
Please send us your suggestions for additions to these lists; contact us at [email protected].
The order of the books within each category is random and is not related to the importance of the work.
Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide
What role have Zionism and Christian Zionism played in shaping attitudes and driving historical developments in the Middle East and around the world? From IPMN of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), this booklet and companion video episodes draw together compelling and diverse viewpoints 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 is an invaluable guide to deeper understanding. Includes materials to order and some that can be downloaded online. See it at the website of IPMN .
There are accompanying video episodes for the study guide which are available for viewing and download on the IPMN Vimeo Channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/zuepisodes
Chosen? Reading the Bible Amid the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, by Walter Brueggemann
“The conflict is only ‘seemingly’ beyond solution, because all historical-political problems have solutions, if there is enough courage, honesty, and steadfastness.” In Chosen? Walter Brueggemann explores the situation in modern-day Israel that raises questions for many Christians who are easily confused when reading biblical accounts of God’s saving actions with the Israelites. Are modern Israeli citizens the descendants of the Israelites in the Bible whom God called chosen? Was the promise of land to Moses permanent and irrevocable? What about others living in the promised land? How should we read the Bible in light of the modern situation? Who are the Zionists, and what do they say?
In four chapters, Brueggemann addresses the main questions people have with regards to what the Bible has to say about this ongoing issue. A question-and-answer section with Walter Brueggemann, a glossary of terms, study guide, and guidelines for respectful dialogue are also included. The reader will get answers to their key questions about how to understand God’s promises to the biblical people often called Israel and the conflict between Israel and Palestine today.
“This important volume could be a “game changer” for pastors, congregational study, denominational policy, the academy, religious journals, and hopefully elected officials who continue to fail the Palestinians, Israelis, and their own constituents with decades of misguided Middle East policies.” ―Rev. Dr. Don Wagner, National Program Director, Friends of Sabeel-North America.
Jesus and the Land: The New Testament Challenge to “Holy Land” Theology, by Gary M. Burge
This accessible volume describes first-century Jewish and Christian beliefs about the land of Israel and offers a full survey of New Testament passages that directly address the question of land and faith. Respected New Testament scholar Gary M. Burge examines present-day tensions surrounding “territorial religion” in the modern Middle East, helping contemporary Christians develop a Christian theology of the land and assess Bible-based claims in discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.
Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians are not being told about Israel and the Palestinians, by Gary Burge
A personal exploration of feelings about the crisis in the Middle East and seeks answers to questions such as: How do I embrace my commitment to Judaism, to which I am bound by the Bible, when I sense in my deepest being a profound injustice afoot in Israel? How do I celebrate the birth of Israel when I also mourn the suffering of Arab Christians who are my brothers and sisters in Christ? This book lays out the critical biblical and political issues that affect a modern Christian’s perceptions of the Holy Land and its peoples. In this revised and updated edition, Burge further explores his personal emotions and opinions; and sharpens his theological argument in the context of the new developments surrounding the crisis in the Middle East. Whose Land? Whose Promise? offers insight on an explosive topic and challenges personal truths on peace.
Zionism through Christian Lenses: Ecumenical Perspectives on the Promised Land, by Carole Monica Burnett
Dear to the hearts of many Christians is the land of the Bible, which today is convulsed by strife. Contradictory claims about the past, present, and future of this land can bewilder us. The essays in this volume invite Christians of every denomination to share in perspectives that are solidly grounded in Scripture and tradition, yet serve as alternatives to the currently prevailing approaches. A Lutheran, two Roman Catholics, two Episcopalians (one of whom is also a member of the American Baptist Church), an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and a Congregational (United Church of Christ) pastor explore the ramifications, for today’s ongoing crisis, of ancient Israel’s Covenant, of the early church’s theological insights, and of the post-Reformation experiences of various branches of Christianity.
Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, and the Idea of the Promised Land, by Shalom L. Goldman
The standard histories of Zionism have depicted it almost exclusively as a Jewish political movement, one in which Christians do not appear except as antagonists. In the highly original Zeal for Zion, Shalom Goldman makes the case for a wider and more inclusive history, one that brings the substantial Christian involvement with Zionism–most recently by American evangelical Protestants–into the light.
Goldman offers a fresh perspective on the history of Zionism, deftly weaving together the stories of poets and diplomats, Christian scholars and Jewish leaders, the Vatican and the State of Israel, and modern literary masters such as Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Graves, and Vladimir Nabokov. Goldman argues that Jewish Zionism was influenced by–and cannot be understood in isolation from–Christian culture generally and Christian Zionist culture specifically. Shedding light on the deep and interrelated roots of Christian-Jewish relations, fraught with tension and ambivalence, he finds that Christian support for the Jewish Zionist cause has been essential to the success of the movement.
Christian Zionism has a long history and has been embraced at various times by Catholics and Protestants, liberals and conservatives, reformers and traditionalists. Zeal for Zion places this vital movement within the larger history of Zionism, making the story of Zionism all the more rich and complex.
Comprehending Christian Zionism: Perspectives in Comparison
By Goran Gunner and Robert O. Smith
The question of the Christian Zionism the religious and political support of the state of Israel is fiercely debated within theology and the church, as well as in the wider political and social arenas. Examination of the issue is, however, highly relevant and crucial, as it cuts across a wide array of constitutive features and beliefs of Christian life, from interpretation of scripture to religious and political ethics.
Comprehending Christian Zionism brings together an international consortium of scholars and researchers to reflect on the network of issues and topics surrounding this critical subject; these essays are the fruit of several years of collaboration by the special working group on Christian Zionism. The volume includes essays from Christian scholars around the globe, as well as Jewish and Palestinian contributors to provide interfaith contextual dialogue. Taken together, the volume provides a lens on the history of Zionism within Christian theology from a variety of locations and perspectives and offers a constructive, multidimensional path for assessment and introspection around the meaning of Zionism to Christian faith and practice.
The Bible & Zionism
By Nur Musalha
Does the bible justify Zionism? Since the foundation of the Israeli state in 1948, Torah and tank have become increasingly inseparable, resulting in the forced expulsion and subjugation of millions of indigenous Palestinians. Nur Masalha’s groundbreaking new book traces Zionism’s evolution from a secular, settler movement in the late 19th century, to the messianic faith it has become today. He shows how the biblical language of ‘chosen people’ and ‘promised land’ has been used by many Christian and Jewish Zionists as the ‘title deeds’ for Israel, justifying ethnic division and violence. With Edward Said, Masalha argues that a new politics of peace can only be achieved through a single, democratic state, which replaces religious zealotry with secular equality.
The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
By Rosemary Radford Ruether and Herman Ruether
The wrenching situation in the Middle East, recent events have shown, is as complex as it is volatile. In this immensely learned and clarifying volume-here updated and issued in paper for the first time-the Ruethers trace the tortured and contested history of Israel/Palestine from biblical times through the Diaspora, the development of Zionism, the creation of the modern state of Israel, and the subsequent conflict with Arab and Palestinian nationalism. Magisterial in its grasp of the historical, political, economic, and religious roots of the conflict, The Wrath of Jonah also offers convincing analysis of the moral and political dilemmas facing Israelis and Palestinians today. Though they see possibilities for peace, the Ruethers are forthright about what they and others see as Israel’s betrayal of its own original mandate. Their purpose, state the Ruethers, “continues to be to make a modest contribution to truthful historical accountability that must underlie the quest for justice, without which there can be no ‘peace.'”
Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon?
By Stephen Sizer
The term “Zionism” was first coined in the late nineteenth century, and referred to the movement for the return of the Jewish people to an assured and secure homeland in Palestine. Ironically, this vision was largely nurtured and shaped by Christians long before it received widespread Jewish support. The origins of “Christian Zionism” lie within nineteenth-century British premillennial sectarianism, but by the early twentieth century it had become a predominantly American dispensational movement, and pervasive within all main evangelical denominations. The contemporary Christian Zionism movement emerged after the “Six Day War” in Israel in 1967, and it has had a significant influence on attitudes towards the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. Evangelicals are increasingly polarized over whether Christian Zionism is biblical and orthodox or unbiblical and cultic. In this book Stephen Sizer provides a thorough examination of the historical development, variant forms, theological emphases and political implications of Christian Zionism. His excellent and informative survey is interwoven with critical assessment that repudiates both nationalistic Zionism and anti-Semitism.
Zion’s Christian Soldiers? The Bible, Israel and the Church
By Stephen Sizer
Many Bible-believing Christians are convinced that God blesses those nations that stand with Israel and curses those that don’t. This belief has had a significant influence on attitudes toward the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. Claims made in books like The Scofield Reference Bible and Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth have fed into contemporary Christian Zionism, with radical implications for how we view our faith and the world in which we life. Stephen Sizer contends that this view is based on misinterpretation of the Bible. He provides an introduction to Christian Zionism and a clear response and positive alternative based on a careful study of relevant biblical texts. This clear, straightforward volume includes tables and diagrams, questions for Bible study and further reflection, and a glossary of terms. It concludes with a previously unpublished sermon by John Stott titled “The Place of Israel.” Here Sizer offers encouragement for readers to dialogue on the relationship between Israel and the Christian Church and a more constructive view of the future and our role in it.
More Desired than Our Owne Salvation: The Roots of Christian Zionism
By Robert O. Smith
Millions of American Christians see U.S. support for the State of Israel as a God-ordained responsibility. American sympathies for the State of Israel are consistently and often substantially higher than for Arab states or Palestinians. More Desired than Our Owne Salvation is a compelling historical look at how this consensus came to be. In 2006, John Hagee founded Christians United for Israel. Several high-level policymakers, both Christians and Jews, rushed to endorse the effort. Soon, however, questions arose about anti-Catholic and anti-Islamic ideas contained in Hagee’s preaching and writing. More Desired than Our Owne Salvation shows that these ideas draw from a long heritage of Anglo-American Protestant culture.
Contemporary Christian Zionism may say more about American culture than most Americans care to admit. The roots of Christian Zionism in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Protestant interpretations of scripture and history formed not only Anglo-American theology but the foundations of American culture itself. Black Protestant views show, for instance, how Christian Zionism is connected intimately with racial identity and American exceptionalism, not just Christian beliefs. Martin Luther and John Calvin’s identification of the Pope and the Turk as the two heads of the Antichrist echoes in our world today. Robert O. Smith has identified an English Protestant tradition of Judeo-centric prophecy interpretation that shaped Puritan commitment. In New England, this tradition informed the foundations of American identity.
From the Cartwright Petition in 1649 to the Blackstone Memorial in 1891 to the work of John Hagee today, Christian Zionism has prepared the ground for Christians in the U.S. to see the modern State of Israel as a prophetic counterpart, a modern nation-state whose preservation “may be more desired then our owne salvation.”
Anxious for Armageddon: A Call To Partnership For Middle Eastern and Western Christians
By Donald E. Wagner (1995)
This unique resource offers the fascinating account of Donald E. Wagner’s personal experience with the Middle East and calls Western Christians to work with Middle East Christians in healing the pain of Jews and Palestinians.Wagner grippingly tells of his early involvement with streams of Christianity that treat Israel’s possession of the Holy Land as fulfillment of a divine plan that will result in the apocalyptic battle of Armageddon.
The First Advent in Palestine: Reversals, Resistance, and the Ongoing Complexity of Hope
by Kelley Nikondeha
When we picture the first Advent, we see Mary and Joseph huddled by a manger. We picture Gabriel, magi, and shepherds tending their flocks. A shining star against a midnight sky. But this harmonized version has lifted the Advent story out of its context–those who experienced the first Advent had to travel through great darkness to reach the hope that shining star announced. Trusted scholar and community organizer Kelley Nikondeha takes us back, to where the landscape of Palestine is once again the geographic, socioeconomic, and political backdrop for the Advent story.
Reading the Advent narratives of Luke and Matthew anew, in their original context, changes so much about how we see the true story of resistance, abusive rulers and systems of oppression, and God coming to earth. In Luke, Rome and Caesar loom, and young Mary’s strength and resolve shine brightly as we begin to truly understand what it meant for her to live in the tumultuous Galilee region. In Matthew, through Joseph’s point of view, we see the brutality of Herod’s rule and how the complexities of empire weighed heavily on the Holy Family. We bear witness to the economic hardship of Nazareth, Bethlehem, and the many villages in between–concerns about daily bread, crushing debt, land loss, and dispossession that ring a familiar echo to our modern ears. Throughout her explorations, Nikondeha features the stories of modern-day Palestinians, centering their voices to help us meet an Advent recognizable for today. This thought-provoking examination invites us into a season of discovery, one that is realistic and honest, and that still wonders at the goodness of God’s grace.
“If you are wearied by or bored with the sentimentality and careless religious nostalgia of American Advent and Christmas, this is the book for you. Kelley Nikondeha takes a deep, alert dive into the natal poetry of the Gospels that has become for us too trite and jaded in its familiarity. She reads this poetry differently because she has, at the same time, made a deep investment in the contemporary life of real people in the actual circumstances of Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem, people who happen to be Palestinians who continue to be outsiders to imperial power. The outcome of her bold reading is to see that these Gospel texts initiated a peace movement into the world that defies and subverts the phony peace of every imperialism. This rich, suggestive book permits us to reappropriate in knowing ways the good news of Advent-Christmas, news that destabilizes and emancipates.”
—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
“This powerful and poetic book has enriched my faith and deepened my understanding of the first Advent. Kelley Nikondeha gets under the skin of the biblical narrative and breathes new life into it―seeing its drama play out through the lens of contemporary Palestinian reality.”
—James Zogby, founder and president of the Arab American Institute and author of Arab Voices
“Kelley Nikondeha writes with the textual insight of Walter Brueggemann, the historical understanding of Borg and Crossan, and the prose-poetry writing style of Barbara Brown Taylor. She brings her own unique perspective as a Christian with a mixture of Catholic, Evangelical, US, African, and post-colonial experiences. The result is a reading of the Advent stories that will illuminate the Middle Eastern world of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus–and our world today as well, so full of agony, anxiety, and pregnancy.”
—Brian McLaren, author of Faith After Doubt (St. Martin’s, January 2021), among many others