Review Of "The Holy Land In American Religious Thought, 1620-1948: The Symbiosis Of American Religious Approaches To Scripture's Sacred Territory" By G. Greenberg

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Greenberg chronicles Americans' attitudes toward the Holy Land from the Puritans until 1948. Those who wrote about Israel included Mormons, millennialists, American consuls, writers (Twain and Melville), African Americans, biblical literalists, Catholics, Protestant liberals, and Jews. Initially the main theme was the relationship between Israel as promised land and the American Zion. After 1800, travelers contrasted Jerusalem's squalid present with a romanticized biblical past and heavenly future and showed ambivalence between a sympathy for oppressed Jews and an antisemitism (often because of an alleged deicide). In the 20th century, Jews and Christians pondered their faiths' relation to the Holy Land and the political future of Palestine. The approach is biographical; that is, each individual's writings are summarized and often quoted at length. (An editor should have cut the book by at least one third.) There is no attempt at providing a social context or an assessment of the significance of differing views. Scholars will find this book useful mainly as a source of information about obscure 19th-century Americans who wrote about the Holy Land. Graduate; faculty.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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