Decolonizing Palestine: The Land, The People, The Bible
By: Mitri Raheb
“A brilliant, concise, and long overdue decolonial theology of Palestine. Raheb puts justice at the center of an ecumenical theology of liberation in the face of anti-Palestinian Christian Zionists mired in racist settler-colonial geopolitics. This book is a searing rebuke to all those who profess Christianity but ignore justice. It is also a clarion call for a profoundly ethical reading of the Bible that advances liberation for all in multireligious Palestine.” —Ussama Makdisi, professor of history and Chancellor’s Chair, University of California Berkeley
“As a ‘Christian in the West,’ my biblical understanding of the birthplace of Jesus justifies, reinforces, and contributes to the settler colonialism which oppresses Mitri Raheb, who was born and lives there. The Bethlehem of my religious imagination has nothing to do with Raheb's daily experiences. Decolonizing Palestine decolonizes my mind by raising my consciousness to show how my understanding of the so-called Holy Land weaponizes the Bible against the people of the land. A must read for all of us Christians in the West who wish to stand in solidarity with the oppressed.” —Miguel A. De La Torre, professor, Iliff School of Theology; author, Reading the Bible from the Margins
Decolonizing Palestine challenges the weaponization of biblical texts to support the current settler-colonial state of Israel. Raheb argues that some of the most important theological concepts –Israel, the land, election, and chosen people – must be decolonized in a paradigm shift in Christian theological thinking about Palestine. Decolonizing Palestine is a timely book that builds on the latest research in settler-colonialism and human rights to place traditional theological themes within the wider socio-political context of settler colonialism as it is practiced by the modern nation-state of Israel. Written by a native Palestinian Christian theologian who continues to live in the region, Decolonizing Palestine provides an insider’s perspective that disrupts hegemonic and imperialist narratives about the region.
Mitri Raheb is founder and president of Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem, Palestine. Raheb is the most widely published Palestinian theologian to date, including his Orbis books Faith in the Face of Empire and, with Suzanne Henderson, The Cross in Contexts: Suffering and Redemption in Palestine. He received the 2017 Tolerance Ring Award from the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, the 2015 Olof Palme Prize, the 2012 German Media Prize, the 2006 International Mohammad Nafi Tschelebi Peace Award, and the 2007 German Peace Award of Aachen. He holds a doctorate in theology from Philipps University, Marburg, Germany, and an honorary doctorate from Concordia University, Chicago.
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