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America and Zion: Essays and Papers in Memory of Moshe Davis (American Holy Land Series) Hardcover – October 1, 2002

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Book Description

Dedicated to Moshe Davis, this ecumenical collection of essays focuses on the theme of Zion in American spiritual history, while highlighting the relationship between American Judaism and its predominantly Christian environment.

From the Publisher

Moshe Davis was a prominent scholar of contemporary Jewish history and a recognized leader in the field of bicultural American/Jewish studies. These wide-ranging essays, many of which were presented at a colloquium that Professor Davis had organized but did not live to attend, honor him by exploring the theme of Zion as an integral part of American spiritual history and as a site of interfaith discourse.

American attitudes toward the land of the Bible reflect values that arose from Jewish abiding attachment to Zion and the uniquely American Christian vision of Zion as a utopian, pre-industrial, pre-urban, pre-secularized world. Whereas American Christians expected to be lifted out of their ordinary lives when they visited the Holy Land, Jews saw in their affinity for Zion a strong link to their everyday American environment. Jews viewed America's biblical heritage as a source of practical values including fair play, equality, social vision, and covenantal politics.


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Product Details

  • Series: American Holy Land Series
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814330347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814330340
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,066,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonathan D. Sarna (1955- ) is the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Chair of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, as well as Chief Historian of the new National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.

Dubbed by the Forward newspaper in 2004 as one of America's fifty most influential American Jews, he was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community, and is recognized as a leading commentator on American Jewish history, religion and life. He is the only American Jewish historian ever elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Born in Philadelphia, and raised in New York and Boston, Dr. Sarna attended Brandeis University, the Boston Hebrew College, Merkaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, and Yale University, where he obtained his doctorate.

He has taught and lectured on four continents, has appeared in half-a-dozen documentary films, and is regularly quoted in newspapers across the world.

Sarna is perhaps the field's most prolific scholar. He has published hundreds of scholarly articles, writes a column in the Forward entitled "Now and Then" (because, he says, he produces it "now and then") and has written, edited or coedited more than thirty books, including, most recently, When General Grant Expelled the Jews..

He is probably best known for his acclaimed American Judaism: A History, winner of the Jewish Book Council's "Jewish Book of the Year Award." It has been praised as being "the single best description of American Judaism during its 350 years on American soil."

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Format: Hardcover
A set of essays by different authors discussing Americans' relationship to Israel. Most of the essays (but not all) focus on the last half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th.
The essays vary widely in quality. Some are fairly interesting snapshots of American attitudes (I especially liked the essay discussing the evolution of Mormon attitudes towards Israel from strongly pro-Zionist to conversion-oriented). Other essays were sleep-inducing laundry lists of American good deeds.
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