Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Land

I have been asked by several people, since my last post about Bishop Suheil, about some helpful reading materials on sorting through the issues of the Palestinians and Israelis. As someone once said, on the really tough stuff the goal is not to "simplify" but to "complexify." I have found this to be true here. There are historical (and whose history do you trust?), political (in this case often blinded by ideology), economic and religious issues all intertwined here. (See a post I made during my trip to Jerusalem in January 2010 here.) There are no "good guys" and "bad guys."

That said, three books I have found very helpful in shaping my own views, which are still "in process" are offered below. I'd be glad to receive other helpful suggestions from readers of this blog. I'm planning to do some re-reading of these books over the summer and perhaps offer some kind of discussion group that focuses on the Biblical and theological aspects of this in my parish for the Fall 2011.

I first read this book by Fr. Elias Michael Chacour, a Palestinian Christian and Archbishop of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church, when I was in seminary (1985-1988). While it's an old book I still find it helpful because it is a first-person narrative: Chacour lived in Palestine when it was still Palestine: he was born in 1939 and tells the story of what it was like to be evicted from his home in 1948. He is a peacemaker, and it's a compelling read.

Tom Friedman covers the political side of things in a thorough and I think balanced way. To cover politics you also need to learn some history, and he is helpful in this regard.

This book was on the reading list when I traveled to Israel over a year ago, to St. George's College. There was a LOT of reading and to be honest I skimmed this more than read it at the time. But it is very good and I want to re-read it much more closely over the summer; it includes more of the Biblical and theological reflection that interests me.

No comments:

Post a Comment