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A Land Full of God: Christian Perspectives on the Holy Land Paperback – May 12, 2017
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About the Author
Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon is the executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP); author of the award winning Social Justice Handbook and other books on spirituality and justice. Cannon has several masters degrees and earned her doctorate in American History with the minor in Middle Eastern studies from the University of California -- Davis, focusing on the history of the American Protestant church's engagement in Israel and Palestine.
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Besides the contributors being Christian each contributor has their own unique connection to the Holy Land and a passion to see a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Aziz Abu Sarah writes in the preface: "We do not know of a mass movement with people like Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon who are able to try and border-cross between different groups and break down barriers while seeking to help others to also cross that border. Instead, we see people strengthening each side of the border, building up taller and stronger walls of division.
"By definition, American Christians are already engaged in the conflict of the Holy Land because they have so much at stake in the land. The question is, how can Americans most helpfully engage?"
Sarah’s observation is sadly too often true. However, what you will find in “A Land Full of God” is essays more focused on seeking to understand the other side and in the process breaking down walls rather than building them.
One of the most helpful ways for Americans, particularly the Christian Church in America, to engage is to listen. Famous peacemaker and Notre Dame Professor John Paul Lederach writes in his “The Moral Imagination:” "Stillness is the prerequisite to observation and the development of a capacity to see what exists. Seeing what exists is the prerequisite of transcendent imagination…The paradox is this: Stillness is not inactivity. It is the presence of disciplined activity without movement. Stillness is activism with a twist. It is the platform that generates authenticity of engagement, for it is the state that makes true listening and seeing possible." Here we have more than thirty narratives— thirty opportunities to be still, thirty opportunities to observe, thirty opportunities to see what exists, thirty opportunities to authentically engage, thirty opportunities to imagine, thirty opportunities to listen. This is a book I will highly recommend to friends and peers.
In my opinion, A LAND FULL OF GOD provides a balanced commentary for which Christian scholars have been looking. Even though people who study scripture and have a passion for the Holy Land may not agree with every author, they will have the opportunity to grow and be stretched.