Mapping Exile and Return: Palestinian Dispossession and a Political Theology for a Shared Future

Book, 2014, 174 pp
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One of the most persistent, if vexing, issues is the state of affairs in the ancient land of Palestine. Palestinian Christians bear the enormous brunt of suffering and dispossession in the current situation, and are burdened even more by Christian political appropriation of Zionism.

Through an analysis of Palestinian refugee mapping practices for returning to their homeland, Alain Epp Weaver argues against the political theology embedded in Zionist cartographic practices that refuse and eliminate all evidence of co-existence, and offers a political theology of redrawing the territory compatible with a bi-national vision for a shared Palestinian-Israeli future.

Read reviews in The Conrad Grebel Review and the Journal of Palestian Studies.

“The right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes is in many ways the central issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Epp Weaver takes on this topic from the novel perspective of political theology. Examining a wide variety of cartographic imaginings of return demonstrates the vitality of practical thinking on this issue. It highlights the diversity and creativity of Palestinian Christian thinking on—and mapping of—return. This nuanced and moving book will be valuable to scholars and activists concerned with refugee rights, and to all of those interested in theological conceptions of place, rights, and liberation.” —Amahl Bishara, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Tufts University

“This beautifully conceived and beautifully written book ought to convince many Jews and many friends of the Jews that not only do they need Palestinian aspirations for justice not to be a threat to Jewish existence but even more, that it is only through the recognition of the claims of Palestinians and the seeking of justice for Palestine that a worthwhile Jewish existence can be secured for the future as well.” —Daniel Boyarin, Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, University of California, Berkeley

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