This book offers a new insight into the political, social, and religious conduct of religious-Zionism, whose consequences are evident in Israeli society today. Before the Six-Day War, religious-Zionism had limited its concern to the protection of specific religious interests, with its representatives having little share in the determination of Israel’s national agenda. Fifty years after it, religious-Zionism has turned into one of Israeli society’s dominant elements. The presence of this group in all aspects of Israel’s life and its members’ determination to set Israel’s social, cultural, and international agenda is indisputable.
Delving into this dramatic transformation, the book depicts the Six-Day War as a constitutive event that indelibly changed the political and religious consciousness of religious-Zionists. The perception of real history that had guided this movement from its dawn was replaced by a "sacred history" approach that became an actual program of political activity. As part of a process that has unfolded over the last thirty years, the body and sexuality have also become a central concern in the movement’s practice, reflection, and discourse. The how and why of this shift in religious-Zionism – from passivity and a consciousness of marginality to the front lines of public life – is this book’s central concern.
The book will be of interest to readers and scholars concerned with changing dynamic societies and with the study of religion and particularly with the relationship between religion and politics.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Six Days that Split Generations: War and Values 2. Real History and Sacred History 3. The Body and Messianism Epilogue
Avi Sagi is a professor of philosophy at Bar-Ilan University and founder of its Graduate Program in Hermeneutics and Cultural Studies. He has written and edited many books and articles in philosophy, and his research interests include phenomenology and existentialism, hermeneutics, the religion-morality relationship, Jewish philosophy, and critical theory.
Dov Schwartz was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Bar-Ilan University and head of its Departments of Philosophy and of Music, and currently heads the Departments of Philosophy. He has published extensively on medieval and modern Jewish philosophy, and his current research interests include religious-Zionism and sixteenth century Jewish thought.
"Religious Zionism and the Six-Day War is a much-welcomed contribution to the study of Israeli society and history. It details how a change occurred in the ideology of religious Zionism that pushed it to political activism motivated by right-wing and messianic belief, moving it into the front lines of the leadership in modern and contemporary Israel. Although the rise of Gush Emunim has been already the subject of much previous research, the strength of the book lies in its detailed analysis of this transformation, and the "before and after" comparison."
Motti Inbari for H-Net Reviews, July 2019
"The book offers some important contributions. Primarily, the authors’ decision not to focus exclusively on Gush Emunim and the settlement movement illuminates some frequently overlooked aspects of the impact of the war, such as the discourse on sexuality and tsni‘ut (modesty). Moreover, the authors’ status as witnesses to the processes as they were unfolding leads to a more personalized account of the revolution."
Hayim Katsman for University of Washington, Autumn 2019