Reviews

Strange Miracle


God’s Country: Christian Zionism in America

by Samuel Goldman

University of Pennsylvania Press, 248 pp., $34.95

"It was the faith of the Jewish people that gathered the scattered fragments of a people and made them whole again; that took the language of the Bible and the landscape of the Psalms and made them live again.” As the Jerusalem Post noted, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence took this and similar statements out of the books of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and inserted them (in collaboration with Rabbi Sacks) into his impressive speech to the Knesset in January. If Pence had given this address a bit sooner, some of his own words would almost certainly have made their way into Samuel Goldman’s new book, for the evangelical Christian vice president’s affirmation of the Jews’ return to the Land of Israel perfectly illustrates the phenomenon Goldman describes and underscores its continuing importance. 

God’s Country: Christian Zionism in America draws on several earlier studies to assist “readers who want to learn more about Christian Zionism but have little background in theology, history, or political theory—let alone all of these fields.” Yet, as a political scientist, Goldman has a broader theoretical point to make as well: to provide an example of the contemporary persistence of political theology—“a way of thinking about the order and purpose of politics oriented by God’s will.”

Photo of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum,
Jerusalem, January 23, 2018. (Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL.)

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About the Author

Allan Arkush is professor of Judaic studies and history at Binghamton University and the senior contributing editor of the Jewish Review of Books.

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