Reviews - What do customers think about Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation?
Worthy successor to St Marcion Mar 12, 2008
With this book, the Right Reverend Naim Ateek has established himself as a worthy successor to the 2nd century saint and martyr Marcion of Sinope who was persecuted and defamed by the religious authorities of his time. See Lost Christianities by Bart Ehrman for more information.
Like St Marcion, he utterly rejects the Old Testament as an ethnocentric compendium of restrictive laws, whilst opposing the Neo-Sanhedrinesque oppression of his people and preaching the gospel to the infidel in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran where he has founded many churches.
As if that weren't enough, Ateek is in the vanguard of combating heresy through his Sabeel Ecumenical Centre. It is important to keep the flock on the straight and narrow. Thrice blessed is he: fearless preacher, freedom fighter and liberator from legalism.
His passion for justice is evident from this thought-provoking work that strives to make the good news contextually relevant. Every page, nay every word, bespeaks a spirituality rooted in peace, love, non-violence, liberation and reconciliation amongst faith communities.
And yet, and yet. As saintly as this gentleman is and recognizing the value of his contribution to freeing us from all those uncomfortable things in the Old Testament like for example the ten commandments, I don't think he has gone far enough in the faith.
Saint Marcion tossed out everything but his own version of Luke plus ten heavily edited letters of St Paul. Let us have heaps of hope for the further refinement of Ateek's theology and the establishment of a revised canon that, it is hoped, will include this remarkable book!
A brave attempt Aug 12, 2007
This is a brave attempt to construct a praxis of a Liberation Theology for Christian Palestinians. Unfortunately brave and attempt is all it is. The theology falls down because Ateek's exegesis is at best simplistic. While Ateek criticises 'Jews' for their exegesis, he uses only First Testament examples and not particularly well at that. I would have liked to see Ateek use, for example, one of the birth narratives as his base Biblical study.Ateek confuses with his seemingly interchangaeable use of 'Zionist' and 'Jew'. The book lacks the rigour of Gutierrez Sobrino and Boek, and adds little to the litertaure of Liberation Theology. He should be credited though, with raising the profile of Palestinian Christians, a small and often forgotten minority.
false and fake Sep 8, 2005
If you are really interested in the Middle East history, read the documentary study "Palestine Is Our Land And The Jews Are Our Dogs" conducted by Professor Francisco J. Gil-White. This is the best published scientific article on the Middle East history. [...] Mark Bernadiner, Pearland, Texas
Anti-Jewish and anti-Christian Oct 17, 2004
This is an amazing book. Those of us who support human rights realize that without justice and truth, we won't have rights. So we're tempted to agree with an author who asks for "justice."
The problem is that the word "justice" is misused here, just as the word "socialism" was by the National Socialists, or the word "democratic" by the German Democratic Republic, or the word "racism" by the United Nations. For those who want a discussion of justice, I recommend "A Theory of Justice" by John Rawls.
I think of justice as fairness. Before saying what is just, I think Ateek would have done well to pretend that he didn't know whether he happened to be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Pagan. And as a minimum, he had to realize that demanding everything for himself by right (even if he generously gave some crumbs to others) is neither fair nor just.
Of course, the whole point of Ateek's dishonest book is to deny justice to Jews so that Jews can be denied human rights as well. It represents a Marcionite point of view, namely a takeoff on Christianity that tosses the Old Testament into the trash basket. While those who don't subscribe to monotheism may applaud this attitude towards the Old Testament, it is a little surprising coming from a Christian clergyman.
In real life, just about the time when Zionism was about to establish a Jewish state, with hundreds of thousands of Jews already in what is now Israel, genocide in Europe killed most of the Jews who were intending to move to the region. This genocide was abetted by many Arabs, especially by helping to convince the British to stop most Jewish immigration to the region in 1939. Well, Ateek admits that there has been genocidal behavior. But to him, the Arabs are innocent victims, and the Jews, while victims in World War 2, have been perpetrators against the Arabs. And he's willing to forgive the Jews for all this. But only if the Jews apologize for a fabricated set of misdeeds.
The scariest thing about this book is what it does to the image of Christians in the area. I can only imagine how thoroughly Ateek is despised by honest people. And this can't be good for the rest of the Arab Christians, many of whom are obviously decent people and deserve far better representation than this.
Justice and only justice - A Palestinian Theology of ... Nov 24, 2001
Unlike the first reviewer of this book, I am impressed by the author's ability to forgive the occupiers of his native land. After describing the impact of the establisment of Israel and the follow on occupation of Palestinian lands (1967) from a personal perspective (his family was expelled from their home with no notice by the Israeli Army), he tries to find a way for Palestian Christians to understand the situation from a non-literal Biblical perspective.
If more Americans read books like this, we might have a better understanding of what is really happening in the Middle East. Peace will never come until the United States and Israel stand in the shoes of the Palestinians and accept the fact that a huge injustice continues against the Palestinians. Likewise the Palestinians must come to terms with the reality of the modern Israeli State and accept the fact that Israel exists today because of the Holocaust and the resulting sympathy for a Jewish State. This is a position Naim Stifan Ateek proposes.
This is an excellent read, although sometimes a bit depressing.