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Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, and the Idea of the Promised Land Hardcover – December 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


A fascinating story. . . . Highly recommended to Jewish as well as Christian readers, and especially to Israelis.--Israel Studies Review

Compelling. . . . A welcome addition to the growing body of literature on the very important subject of 'Israel in the eyes of the Gentiles.'--American Jewish History

A useful and exciting new departure for the scholarly study of political and theological Zionism, and the complex of personal and institutional relationships between secular and religious Jews and Christians that has so often undergirded it." --Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception

A fresh look at the movement that spawned the Jewish homeland.--Jewish Book World

Shalom Goldman has succeeded in dealing with [Zionism] in a remarkably fair, clear, and informative way." --Times Literary Supplement

A smartly conceived and original approach to the history of Zionism. . . . Concludes with a fascinating examination of the relationships between evangelicals, the Bush presidency and Israel.--Christian Century

All told, the value of Zeal for Zion lies in bringing together the overlooked Christian Zionists into a single volume.--Haaretz

The material that has been drawn on and the way in which new light has been shed on a diverse group of Christian supporters of Zionism is a most welcome and important addition to the literature.--Church History

Engaging. . . . There is much in this book that is new and important. Zeal for Zion will undoubtedly stand as an important source of information and insight.--American Historical Review

For those who think Christians are either far right, pro-Israel/anti-Arab Evangelicals or far left, pro-Arab/anti-Israel 'mainline' Protestants and Catholics, Shalom Goldman's Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, and the Idea of the Promised Land should come as good news.--The Jerusalem Post

Important if sometimes unsettling readings of history that could point to a reshaping of the traditional Zionist story. . . . A very useful and comprehensive review of the Protestant role in the establishment of Israel. . . . [A] necessary piece of historical housecleaning.--Jewish Review of Books


This is a fascinating book, imaginatively written, that tells the story of Jews and philo-Semites who supported the movement to create and sustain a Jewish state. In Goldman's retelling, religion cannot be separated from secular nationalism. The book is full of startling ironies, and should prove to be an important corrective to the existing story of Zionism.--Gerald R. McDermott, Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion, Roanoke College|Zeal for Zion is a highly important study of the role of Christians in the rise of the modern Zionist movement. The book unearths overlooked yet fascinating episodes of Christian-Jewish encounters. Shalom Goldman skillfully shows how Christians inspired and supported Jews in their attempts to build a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine. This groundbreaking research should be read by every student of the modern Middle East as well as by anyone interested in the history of Christian-Jewish relations.--Yaakov Ariel, author of Evangelizing the Chosen People: Missions to the Jews in America, 1880–2000|Zeal for Zion provides a historical context for Christian Zionism and uncovers a great deal of information that scholars of the history of Zionism have never mentioned before. This is a superb book on a topic of much contemporary interest and concern. Creative, imaginative, and full of intellectual gems and surprises.--Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College, author of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany|Who could have guessed that the Jewish people would attract such interesting friends? Some of the best were Christian champions of Zionism, and their lives and ideas are the subject of Shalom Goldman's absorbing, learned, elegant, and often surprising book.--Stephen J. Whitfield, Brandeis University

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Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, and the Idea of the Promised Land
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