Item description for A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation by Naim Ateek...
Overview A Palestinian Christian Arab, who is also a citizen of Israel, provides a sharp analysis of the conflict, centered on the land and its meaning for all the region's inhabitants. In this powerful sequel to Justice and Only Justice Naim Ateek focuses on events since the intifada of 1987, including the unrestrained violence of both suicide bombers and military forces. In an uncompromising style he draws on scripture, raising up biblical figures such as Samson, Jonah, Daniel, and Jesus as he examines issues of ownership of the land. Finally, Ateek presents a nonviolent strategy to achieve a peace that will promote justice for the Palestinians and security for both Israel and Palestine.
Publishers Description This sequel to Justice and Only Justice is divided into three parts. The first part focuses on events since the Intifada of 1987, including the violence that has come from Israel's aggression and from the use of suicide bombers by Palestinians. The second part of the book draws on scripture, raising up biblical figures such as Samson, Jonah, Daniel, and Jesus as it examines issues of ownership of the land. In the final section, Ateek presents a strategy to achieve peace and justice nonviolently that will promote justice for the Palestinians and security for both Israel and Palestine.
Citations And Professional Reviews A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation by Naim Ateek has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Reference and Research Bk News - 02/01/2009 page 55
Multicultural Review - 07/01/2009 page 67
Christian Century - 02/23/2010 page 50
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Studio: Orbis Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.74 lbs.
Release Date Nov 27, 2008
Publisher Orbis Books
ISBN 1570757844 ISBN13 9781570757846
Reviews - What do customers think about A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation?
Brutality of Israel Apr 15, 2010
The book is revealing truths that I saw with my own eyes. However, the author is better at describing the horrors.
Updating a Liberation Theology for Israel-Palestine Jul 26, 2009
Ateek is a Palestinian Christian, a citizen of Israel who lived through the Israeli occupation of 1948. The book is an accurate history of the various intifadas, peace initiatives and hope for reconciliation. He gives various biblical insights as his basis for hope.
Ateek: The "Desmond Tutu of Palestine:" Jun 29, 2009
THE REV. Naim Ateek is often called the "Desmond Tutu of Palestine" for his leading role in promoting Palestinian nonviolent resistance. Rejecting the misuse of scriptures by Jewish and Christian Zionists, he has written a new book offering theological insights to biblical texts that help Palestinian Christians living under Israeli occupation. These original Christians find relevance and meaning in a biblical God who is sympathetic to their cause for justice, and in Jesus of Nazareth, who suffered and died under Roman occupation.
The book may be even more important for Christians in the West, however, who, having little knowledge of their own scriptures' central message against the domination and violence of empires or of Jesus and his radical, subversive teaching, repeat the mistakes of history in their allegiances to power. A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation presents a very human Jesus who will appeal even to non-religionists (if they are peaceful ones), while also honoring the Jesus Christ of the Christian faith. Ateek also reaches back to Old Testament figures to debunk problematic Christian and Jewish theologies and uncovers ancient biblical teachings relevant to today's Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Ateek's book belongs to the genre called liberation theology, conceived in early Latin American colonial days by missionaries who questioned the treatment of indigenous peoples by their European conquerors. Major changes in the Catholic church during Vatican II spurred a renewal in the church's mission to the poor and its reflection on how the Gospel addresses issues of justice and peace. Supported by research discovering a whole new historical/political dimension to the Bible, liberation theology flowered in the 1960s and '70s among church workers and the poor peasants and urban slum dwellers they served. By shedding new light on Jesus' teachings with new knowledge of the history and culture of the New Testament, liberation theology made faith relevant to real life, helped the faithful to better understand their own suffering, inspired them to work for change, and pointed to a greater truth with definite political implications.
Ateek applies his knowledge of history and culture to stories and parables so ostensibly simple they can be told to children. His chapter on the Book of Jonah, for example, demonstrates how literalism and the lack of historical knowledge robs great literature of its power and meaning. Jonah is known as the Old Testament's shortest book, a simple story about a man who disobeys God, is thrown into the sea and swallowed by a whale, learns an important lesson about obedience and forgiveness-and that's it. Or is it? Religious Jews hear the story of Jonah every year on Yom Kippur, their Day of Atonement. "Do Jews today understand the revolutionary nature of the story," Ateek asks, "or its implications for modern-day Israel and its relationship with Palestinians?" He goes on to explain how the writer of the Book of Jonah became "the first Palestinian liberation theologian, someone who has written the greatest book in the Old Testament."
An Anglican priest from Beisan in the Galilee, Ateek attended seminary in Berkeley during the 1960s, where he had ample opportunity to learn about the new liberation theology movement, which had spread to North America from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico and other very religious Third World countries. Ateek took this new theology back with him to Palestine and cultivated it in the Palestinian Christian community through church discussion groups, just as it had been developed in the Americas. He established the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, thereby accomplishing what the institutional churches have failed to do-taking the Gospel beyond scholarship to discipleship and witness, into the pews and streets, to checkpoints, demolished houses, refugee camps, barrier walls and political prisons.
This is what Jesus did, inspiring a nonviolent resistance movement to build the kingdom of God on earth. That "original flame" of the first two centuries, says Ateek, was lost when Christianity became part of the Roman Empire. But the flame has been lit again, and may it set the world on fire.
(This review was first published in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 2009.)
Review by Stephen Sizer Feb 20, 2009
Twenty years in the writing, Canon Naim Ateek's long awaited sequel to Justice only Justice, may prove to be the most important work ever written by a Palestinian theologian. For those who know and respect Canon Ateek and the reconciliation work of the Sabeel Liberation Theology Centre in Jerusalem, the title says it all: A Palestinian Christian Cry for Reconciliation. He is unwavering in his conviction that "Our God-given mandate is to see that an enduring peace is achieved in the Middle East" (p. xiii). The book explains the reasons for the struggle for justice; the tortuously slow progress made in the last twenty years; why successive peace agreements have failed; and why reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis is as elusive today as it was in 1948 or 1967. While brutally realistic, it is nevertheless a hopeful book, calling for justice for Palestinians, peace for Israelis and reconciliation for both. The book has three parts. The first part is entitled, "Recapping History" and traces the birth of Sabeel, Canon Ateek's own personal story, the generous offer of the Palestinians to share the land in a "two state solution" and the consistent refusal of Israel to abide by international law which has led to both political extremism and the breeding of violence. There is an extended exposition of the parable of the unjust judge (Luke 18) and some of Jesus' harshest words against those who deprive others of justice (Matthew 23:25-26). With great care, Canon Ateek explains why successive peace negotiations failed because they failed to address the root cause of the conflict - Israel's illegal occupation, annexation and colonisation of the West Bank. One of the most helpful sections refutes Zionist propaganda about the "generous offer" and shows how Palestinians have consistently been willing to compromise land for peace but to no avail. The second part addresses Palestinian Liberation Theology in the service on nonviolence and peace. Here Canon Ateek examines the place of "Land" in Scripture and the centrality of the biblical demand for justice. He exposes the deficiencies and inherent racism of Zionist theology. There follows an examination of the theology and politics of Christian Zionism and he contrasts this with the non-violent way of the cross of Jesus. In successive chapters, Canon Ateek compares the strategies and paradigms of contemporary, historical and biblical figures such as Saddam Hussein, Jonah, Samson, Daniel and Judah Maccabeus. The third and final part is appropriately entitled "The Peace we Dream of". With sensitivity and compassion, Canon Ateek summarises Israel's predicament - how to remain a Jewish State committed to ethnic nationalism without rightly being compared to apartheid South Africa. He identifies the deficiencies of the "Two State Solution" and need for Israelis and Palestinians to move from justice to forgiveness and reconciliation. The foreword is written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and there are four appendixes dealing with the Zionist plan for Palestine from 1919, the infamous Balfour Declaration, Palestinian loss of land from 1946-2005, and the West Bank Barrier route as of June 2007. Consistently throughout the book, Canon Ateek, seeks faith based solutions based on biblical models and scriptural injunctions "to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God". Canon Ateek shows compellingly that one cannot divorce religion from politics. Both are he insists "deeply intertwined" He insists "Religion can be a source of tremendous spiritual strength, but religion, when misused and translated into action by people of power, can also become a deadly weapon." (p. xiv). It is clear why to many Zionists, Canon Ateek and other Palestinians who have disavowed violence as a means of achieving independence, are a greater threat than the terrorists. (see Camera and CUFI for examples) In this vitally important book, Canon Ateek identifies the major principles or building blocks upon which a just and lasting peace can and must be built. Canon Ateek strikes at the heart of the conflict and fearlessly addresses the major obstacles to peace, not least the unconditional support successive US administrations have afforded Israel. Canon Ateek warns prophetically, "Only when justice is done and Palestinians can celebrate their own independence will a comprehensive peace be felt throughout the land. As long as one side celebrates while the other mourns, no authentic celebration or peace is possible." As Jesus says, "Now that you know these things you will be blessed if you do them."
A fine pick for both religious and social issues libraries Feb 14, 2009
Ateek's vision is three-fold: the unity of all Palestinian Christians, dialogue between Christian and Muslim Palestinians, and peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It comes from a priest who is an Arab citizen of Israel and whose calling and proximity to internal affairs lends Biblical and social insights into the problems facing all in the region, making this a fine pick for both religious and social issues libraries alike.