1st Edition

Political Theologies in the Holy Land
Israeli Messianism and its Critics

ISBN 9780415850025
Published March 7, 2013 by Routledge
200 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

This book examines the role of messianism in Zionist ideology, from the birth of the Zionist movement through to the present. Is shows how messianism is not just a religious or philosophical term but a very tangible political practice and theology which has shaped Israeli identity.

The author explores key issues such as:

  • the current presence of messianism in the Israeli public sphere and the debates with jewish settlers in the occupied territories after the 1967 war
  • the difference between transcendental messianism and promethean messianism
  • the disparity between the political ideology and political practice in the history of Israel
  • the evolution of the messianic idea in the actions of David Ben-Gurion
  • the debate between Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, Isaiah Leibowitz, J. L. Talmon and other intellectual figures with Ben-Gurion
  • the implications of political theology and the presence of messianic ideas in Israeli politics

As the first book to examine the messianism in Israeli debate since the creation of the Israeli state, it will be particularly relevant for students and scholars of Political Science, modern intellectual history, Israel studies, Judaism and messianism.

Table of Contents

1. The Rise of Secular Messianism  2. David Ben-Gurion and the Messianic Idea  3. J. L. Talmon, Gershom Scholem and the Price of Messianism  4. Isaiah Leibowitz and the Critique of Canaanite Messianism  5. Israel Eldad and the Nietzschian Hebrew Messianism  6. The Critique of Political Theology

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David Ohana is Professor of Modern European History at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. He was a visiting fellow at the Centre for European Studies at Harvard University and the first academic director of the Forum for Mediterranean Cultures at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. His books include The Promethean Passion, The Rage of the Intellectuals and the trilogy The Nihilist Order.