Western Societies and the Holy Land

Western Societies and the Holy Land

Western Societies and the Holy Land

Western Societies and the Holy Land


This book breaks new ground in Holy Land Studies by presenting a comparative analysis of the influence and effects of the Holy Land idea in various Western societies. The contributors examine 19th and 20th century records of American, British, French, Canadian, and Iberoamerican involvement in the Holy Land in an effort to illuminate both parallelisms and unique elements in each society's perception of the Holy Land. In addition to analyzing what the Holy Land has meant as a religious symbol to the various groups, the book also looks at issues of diplomatic policy toward the Holy Land, Christian devotion, Jewish attachment, and cultural manifestations of the Holy Land idea.


The thrust of this third volume in our continuing series, With Eyes Toward Zion, is to move from the conceptual and methodological approaches of America-Holy Land Studies to a comparative analysis of the Holy Land idea in such Western societies as Canada, Iberoamerica, Great Britain, France, and Germany.

The early stages of the America-Holy Land Project are traced in Chapter 2 by Robert T. Handy, the co-director. Beginning with its inception in 1970, he reviews its conceptual design, colloquia, and publications. Deborah Dash Moore's evaluation in Chapter 3 envisages expansion and deepening of the subject from the vantage of contemporary historical and social research.

As the project advanced, the quest for sources spread beyond primary materials in the United States and Israel, into Great Britain and Turkey, resulting in the publication of With Eyes Toward Zion-II (1986). An illuminating example of further outgrowth is the recent publication of V. D. Lipman Americans and the Holy Land through British Eyes 1820-1917: a Documentary History (1989).

The present volume introduces a new dimension into Holy Land Studies-- namely, international academic participation in the exploration of related data within Western societies, thus illuminating both parallelisms and unique elements. Concrete examples emerging from the respective authors' interpretations are instructive.

The holy land idea in comparative context

The central thesis of Leonardo Senkman essay, "The Concept of the Holy Land in Iberoamerica," states: "The pervasive influence of the Holy Land idea . . .

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