Colonialism and Christianity in Mandate Palestine

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Colonialism and Christianity in Mandate Palestine. By Laura Robson. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 2011. Pp. 227. $55.

The relationship between colonial aspirations of so-called Christian nations and their impact on local Christian communities or Christian missionary endeavors has long been a subject of serious discussion. In Colonialism and Christianity in Mandate Palestine, Laura Robson sheds light on this important relationship by focusing on Mandate Palestine, which existed from 1923 to 1948. One of the major objectives of the author is to trace the interaction of the local Christian communities with British authorities. The British mandate of Palestine failed to understand the social, religious, and political dynamics of the Palestinian Christian communities and thereby played a major role in the marginalization of these communities. This result, however, has helped these communities to "re-imagine their religious communities as modern political entities" (p. 11), thus giving them "a viable political identity " (p. 100). Robson explores the roots of violent sectarianism in Mandate Palestine, convincingly arguing that the British mandate itself was a major factor in promoting this sectarianism.

The book combines well-researched historical data with sociopolitical analysis. …