Nationhood, Providence and Witness
Israel in Modern Theology and Social Theory
By Carys Moseley
Due for release: 31/10/2013
Nationhood and nations lie at the very heart of the biblical meta-narrative that forms the framework for Christian theology; the one nation of Israel is represented as chosen by God to further his purpose of redemption for the whole world. At the same time, the biblical canon gives us a view of history that denies the division of the world into nations in the beginning and in its consummation.
Within this apparent theological dichotomy, the parallels between the cry for recognition by members of subordinate nations, and the struggle for recognition in a direct, state formation as with the history of Israel, is one that is often neglected by modern English-speaking theologians and ethicists. In the case of Israel this is undoubtedly because debates about the state of Israel tend to be inseparable from debates about US foreign policy and Israel’s relation to the Palestinians. This book goes beyond this perspective by confronting readers with the necessity of recognition of Israel as part of the Christian necessity for recognition of all nations.
The other purpose of Nationhood, Providence and Witness is to address what Carys Moseley sees as a very serious problem with modern, western Christian ethics, at least in the English-speaking world.
Moseley sees the lack of informed theological discussion on ideas of nationhood and recognition that goes against the grain of the biblical witness, good missiology and Christian ethics. To address this, Moseley presents a conversation between Reinhold Niebuhr, Rowan Williams, John Milbank, and Karl Barth to explore the a very difficult topic of recognition in Christian theology.
While nationalism may be almost unacceptable in our politically correct society today, Moseley asks if we are missing something important by denying this universal issue. After all, the church cannot metaphysically replace Israel, because it is a spiritual community of those who are born from above, whereas Israel remains a nation, a community of first birth.
About the Author: Carys Moseley studied Classics and Theology at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Edinburgh, and has taught Theology and Christian Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of Nations and Nationalism in the Theology of Karl Barth (2013).
About the publisher: James Clarke and Co Ltd is a long-established British academic publisher specialising in historical and theological books and also in reference material. It has been associated with the Lutterworth Press since 1984.
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Israel and Babylon: The Babylonian Influence on Israelite Religion, by Hermann Gunkel and K.C. Hanson, ISBN: 9780227173671
Israel’s Messiah and the People of God: A Vision for Messianic Jewish Covenant Fidelity, by Mark S. Kinzer, ISBN: 9780718892609