WESTERN SCHOLARSHIP
AND
THE HISTORY OF PALESTINE

edited by Michael Prior C.M.


The history of Palestine has been written mostly by Western scholars, who have had their own agenda: to find the roots of European culture. As a result, they have presented a distorted picture of Palestine, determined by the particular standpoint of the Bible.

Although the papers in this book reflect on Israel-Palestine from different perspectives, they reflect common concern, a passion for historical truth, and for contemporary justice and legality.

Three papers deal with the controlling role of the narrative of the Bible in discussions about the region. Although the focus is distinctive in each case, Professors Whitelam, Thompson and Prior insist that the biblical narratives must be examined in terms both of their literary forms and the circumstances of their composition. Whitelam and Thompson are particularly sensitive to the influence of nineteenth- and twentieth-century European concepts of nation and state, which have distorted the real past of history. Prior concentrates on the moral burden of the land traditions of the Bible, which appear to legitimise and even mandate what our generation would regard as crimes against humanity. The fourth paper by Professor Quigley situates an aspect of the contemporary Israel-Palestine conflict in the wider context of international law and conventions on human rights.

Contributors

Michael Prior, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, St Mary's College, University of Surrey, England.

John Quigley, Professor of Law and Political Science at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Thomas L Thompson, Professor of Old Testament in the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Keith W Whitelam, Professor of Religious Studies and Head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Stirling, Scotland.

216 x 138 mm, 128 pages, paperback
£8.50
ISBN 1 901764 02 8
1998

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