Abstract

This article documents changes in Palestinian Christian identities during the Oslo Peace Process, 1993–2000. Drawing on a year of formal fieldwork in 1999–2000, and five years of experience living in the Occupied Territories during the first intifada (1987–1993), the author uses diaries, field notes, and life history interviews with activists from across the political spectrum to identify diverging interpretations of what it means to be both a Palestinian and a Christian in the face of unrelenting Israeli occupation, sharp demographic decline, a powerful Islamist movement, and the corresponding weakening of the secularnationalist milieu. The resulting portrayal depicts the emergence of three synchronic identity orientations within the generation of Christians who came of age during and after the first intifada. The first tendency perpetuates traditional secular-nationalism; the second advocates for a religio-communal revitalization similar to the Islamist one; the third expresses an apolitical piety resulting in an otherworldly "flight from the world." The emergence of these tendencies sheds new light not only on the Palestinian situation today, but also on identity formation processes, generally. The study also raises questions for the comparative analysis of majoritarian religious and ethnic revitalization and its impact on minorities within the modern nation-state.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1477-4585
Print ISSN
0002-7189
Pages
pp. 777-813
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-02
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2007
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