Shaban, Fuad. For Zion's Sake: The Judeo-Christian Tradition in American Culture.
This well researched, rigorous book traces the distortions of Christianity in the west since Columbus to show the relationship between fundamental Christianity and the colonial project. The author discusses the Zionizatiion of Christianity and its relationship to orientalism. This historic treatment lays the basis for comprehending the Judeo-Christian tradition in American culture.
The historiography and the meta-theoretical commitment that under-gird the treatment of the subject serve the author well. He is able to cast a critical look at the way in which Christianity became fundamental to the American colonial project. The development of an ideology based in religion was the sine qua non to carrying out the genocide against the indigenous peoples and the enslavement of the African. It is embedded in the establishment of republican institutions and formed the basis for establishing the mythology of America (the U.S.) as the "shining city on the hill." Even African Americans develop these images that rest on Christian-Zionist interpretations of the Holy Bible in their struggle for emancipation and later for civil rights.
This fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity is extremely different from the way in which Christianity developed in the Arab world. The Christian right in the U.S. espouses a political agenda cloaked in such a fundamental interpretation of scriptures. The Christian right has become dangerous, especially after 11 September 2001 and has provided a social basis in support of U.S. domestic and foreign policies that express the notion that the U.S. is on a mission to civilize the Arab and Muslim worlds. Central to the Christian right is the millennial vision that rest on a literal interpretation of scriptures, which, in turn, rationalize violence in the Arab East as essential for the second coming of Christ.
However, it is important to realize that mainline churches in the U.S. do not subscribe to this literal interpretation that has deep historic roots in American culture. It is true that the danger lies in the reality that George W. Bush, who subscribes to such a vision, is in the White House and that this Christian-Zionist ideology serves well the U.S. imperial project.
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|Publication:||Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)|
|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2004|
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