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Mapping Exile and Return

Palestinian Dispossession and a Political Theology for a Shared Future

By Alain Epp Weaver

Publication Year: 2014

One of the most persistent, if vexing, issues facing not just theology but also political theory, sociology, and other disciplines, is the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. For theology, the problem is especially nettlesome on account of the church's shared history and tradition with the Jewish people. Palestinians, including Palestinian Christians, bear the brunt of suffering and dispossession in the current situation, yet 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 takes up the troubled issue of Palestinian dispossession and argues against the political theology embedded in Zionist cartographic practices that refuse and seek to eliminate evidence of co-existence. Instead, Alain Epp Weaver offers a political theology of redrawing the territory compatible with a bi-national vision for a shared Palestinian-Israeli future.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii


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pp. ix-x

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Praise for Mapping Exile and Return

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pp. xi-xii

“Like many modern technological advances, maps have significant origination in military needs dating back to the early years of Euro-Christian colonialism and conquest. Yet maps are entirely artificial devices, mere representations of any actual terrain—and always created from particular...

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pp. xiii-xiv

This study has its roots in the West Bank village of Zababdeh, a small, predominantly Christian town south of Jenin to which my spouse and I were sent by the Mennonite Central Committee in 1992 to teach English at the Latin (Roman Catholic) Patriarchate School for three years. That initial assignment...

Note on Transliteration

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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. 1-24

In one of his best-known works, “The Place Itself,” the shopkeeper and poet Taha Muhammad Ali explores the tensions embodied in conceptions and practices of memory, homecoming, and return. As Ali stands amidst the ruins of Saffuriya, the village from which he was expelled in 1948 at the age of...

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“Homecoming Is Out of the Question”

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pp. 25-58

“Forgetfulness leads to exile, while remembrance is the secret of redemption.” The Palestinian refugee activist Salman Abu-Sitta deploys this quotation, which he attributes to the Baal Shem Tov, as one of the epigraphs to his “register of depopulated locales in Palestine,” one of Abu-Sitta’s initial attempts to...

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Reclaiming the Place of Exile for Political Theology

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pp. 59-90

In the refugee mappings examined in the preceding chapter, exile is primarily presented as a location to escape through return. Yet, I contend, these cartographies of return from exile, when they create palimpsests and reveal the land to consist of heterogeneous places and overlapping identities, do more than...

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Kafr Bir‘im, Elias Chacour, and the Arboreal Imagination

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pp. 91-126

The prophet Isaiah’s vision of rootedness in the land and freedom from dispossession echoes the yearnings for belonging and return of millions of Palestinian refugees, both Christians and Muslims. An affirmation that one’s ultimate dwelling place is in God (Ps. 90:1) does not negate human attachment...

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Return Visits to ‘Imwas and the Liturgical Subversion of Ethnocratic Topology

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pp. 127-162

In this book I have examined competing political theologies of exile, considering how a political theology of exilic landedness (as articulated in different, yet I would argue complementary, ways by Yoder, Raz-Krakotzkin,and others) might counter Zionism’s political theology of negation of exile. I...

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pp. 163-166

The two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, politicians warn, is in peril. Decisive action must be taken to preserve its viability. “If we do not make progress very soon, then the two-state solution could become impossible to achieve,” cautioned British Foreign Secretary William Hague, in February...

Index of Names and Subjects

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pp. 167-174

Back Cover

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p. BC-BC

E-ISBN-13: 9781451479683
E-ISBN-10: 1451479689
Print-ISBN-13: 9781451470123
Print-ISBN-10: 1451470126

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 2014