Kuruvilla, SJ: Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel…

April 7th, 2013

Samuel J. Kuruvilla, Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel: Liberation and Theology in the Middle East

series: Library of Modern Religion

London & New York: I. B. Tauris, 2013

ISBN: ISBN-10: 1848855516 | ISBN-13: 978-1848855519

Christianity arose from the lands of biblical Palestine and, regardless of its twentieth century association with the Arab-Israeli conflict, to Christians around the world it remains first and foremost the birthplace of Christianity. Nevertheless the size of the Christian population among Palestinians today living in Israel and the Palestinian territories is now relatively insignificant. Here Samuel J. Kuruvilla argues that Christian Palestinians often employ politically astute as well as theologically radical means in their efforts to appear relevant as a minority community within Israeli and Palestinian societies. He charts the development of a theology of Christian liberation, particularly in the work of Palestinian Anglican cleric Naim Stifan Ateek and Palestinian Lutheran Pastor Mitri Raheb, among others, as part of the Palestinian people’s struggle for independence. In doing so, Kuruvilla provides a new perspective of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the role of Christians within it.

It has been reviewed in:

This work is a major contribution to the scholarly literature on contextual theologies and Palestinian theologies of liberation- theologies which have flourished against the odds within the context of ‘occupied’ and colonised Palestine. It is a must read for those interested in truth, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel. — Professor Nur Masalha, Director of the Centre for Religion and History, School of Theology, Philosophy and History, St. Mary’s University College, London, and Professorial Research Associate, Department of History, SOAS, University of London.

At this critical moment in events in the Middle East, Samuel Kuruvilla brings fresh perspectives to the troubled situation for Arab Christians in both Israel and Palestine. As an Indian Christian academic, with a UK research background, he brings his originality as a post-colonial thinker o bear on his subject. As a radical political theologian,it is the insights of liberation theology that are chosen as the lens with the most acute focus. With discerning critical skill, he offers a brilliant analysis of the three currents of Christian liberationist thinking in Palestine and Israel- that of the Al-Liqua centre in Bethlehem, of the NGO Sabeel in Jerusalem, with its inspiring Director, Canon Naim Ateek, and that of Revd Mitri Raheb, a Lutheran pastor and founder of the International Centre in Bethlehem, Dar Annadwa. It is rare to discover a book that brings together deep knowledge of the context, discernment of the differences, strengths and weaknesses of the key thinkers, and the pressures on them. — Professor Mary Grey, Professor Emerita at the University of Wales, Lampeter and Visiting Professor at St. Mary’s College, Twickenham

Submission: Sam Kuruvilla (Author), 4.4.13

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