A review of i am a palestinian christian a novel by mitri raheb

Written by Paul R.

A review of i am a palestinian christian a novel by mitri raheb

Click to print Opens in new window 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.

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. Radical Christianity in Palestine and Israel: Liberation and Theology in the Middle East.

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This book is a discussion of radical Christian theology among Palestinians by an Indian Christian theologian. Kuruvilla comes from Kerala and brings his own experience of living as a member of a minority religious community to this study of Arab Christians living in an overwhelmingly Muslim environment.

The most ancient Christian communities of historical Palestine are the descendants of those who resisted conversion to Islam when it spread to the region after the seventh century. More recently the missionary efforts of foreign churches have created additional congregations following other denominational traditions.

Over the last few decades both the absolute number and the proportion of Christians there has been decreasing as a result of emigration by Palestinians seeking to escape the pressures of life under occupation, with Christians sometimes finding it easier than Muslims to be accepted for residence in Western countries.

Christians are now a minority community even in Beit Laham Bethlehemthe literal birthplace of Christianity. Chapter One summarises the history of the region now usually known as Israel and the Palestinian Territories, both political and religious, and could usefully be read alone.

This radical doctrine spread to other societies who felt themselves oppressed, such as the Palestinians. Kuruvilla mentions that many prominent Palestinian Christian activists studied in the United States and were very influenced by the African-American civil rights struggle.


Christians involved in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, notably Desmond Tutu, were also a very important source of ideas. A little more detail about these various influences and how they came together in Palestine would have been welcome.

Kuruvilla explains that Naim Ateek, a leading figure in radical Palestinian Christianity, adopted a policy of non-violence as a calculated political strategy and not just as a matter of moral principle.

Martin Luther King made exactly the same calculation, but this comparison is never made explicitly by Kuruvilla. The remaining chapters discuss the work of the leading Palestinian Christian activists.

The main focus is on two figures: So much does Sabeel prioritise overseas support that it has been criticised for producing most of its material in English and very little in Arabic.

Raheb founded the International Centre of Bethlehem, which has a greater focus on local residents and seeks to improve the educational and cultural opportunities available to them as a way of discouraging emigration.

A review of i am a palestinian christian a novel by mitri raheb

The central dilemma for Palestinians in their relationship with the Bible is the story known as the Exodus Narrative, found in the Old Testament Book of Exodus. This is an account of how the ancient Hebrews were led out of slavery in Egypt and granted the land of Canaan to be their home, with divine permission to expel its original inhabitants.

It is cited in justification of the foundation of the modern state of Israel by both religious Jews and Christian supporters of Israel. Ateek chooses to emphasise the doctrine that for Christians the universalist message of the New Testament has superseded the more narrowly ethnically based account of the Old Testament.

Raheb prefers to argue that the giving of the Ten Commandments to the ancient Hebrews was more important than the grant of land; he supports a two-state solution where modern Israelis are permitted to enjoy the possession of a portion of Canaan in return for their observance of the moral code embodied in the Commandments, which in his view would preclude much of their treatment of the Palestinians to date.

While overseas Christians usually concentrate on the doctrinal disagreements between Christians and Jews, local Palestinian Christians stress that the spiritual encounter with Muslims is their inter-faith priority. Interestingly, Ateek has said p. In this he reminds us that Christians in the East and Muslims in the West suffer from the same problems of being perceived as culturally alien and suspected of being loyal to foreign powers.Raheb, a Christian pastor in Bethlehem, explores the history of the Palestinian Christians, and the complex meeting of the world's three major monotheistic religions.

In the pains and hopes of his people, Raheb reveals an emerging Palestinian Christian theology. May 13,  · The most widely published Palestinian theologian to date, Dr. Raheb is the author of 18 books including: The Cross in Contexts: Suffering and Redemption in Palestine; I am a Palestinian Christian; Bethlehem Besieged, Faith in the Face of Empire: The Bible through Palestinian Eyes.

Mitri Raheb is a Palestinian Christian, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem, and the founder and president of the Diyar Consortium, a group of Lutheran-based, ecumenically-oriented institutions serving the Bethlehem.

Home» Christian Books» Understanding The Faith» Other Religions. Faith in the Face of Empire Paperback The Bible Through Palestinian Eyes by Mitri Raheb.

In Stock - Usually dispatched within 8 days. Free UK delivery when you spend £10 or more. In his most recent book, A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation (), Naim Ateek highlights what he believes is the essence of Palestinian liberation theology: ¡§In many ways, a Palestinian theology of liberation has re-established the balance between .

"Raheb wishes Western Christians to understand the Palestinian Christian's reality, of which they have been deeply ignorant and whom they have injured and betrayed in that ignorance. He also grapples with how Palestinian Christians can develop a local theology that can be both truthful and helpful in mediating the conflicts between Israel and.

The Palestinian Christian. | Christian Faith