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Palestine and Political Theology Virtual Event

The journal Political Theology will host an event on “Palestine and Political Theology” April 4 at 2pm eastern.

What does political theology have to say about the situation in Gaza and Palestine? How can political theology, as a discipline, and the Political Theology Network, as a community, center the stories of Palestinian people and contribute to the liberation of Palestinian people? The journal Political Theology will hold a virtual event on April 4 at 2pm Eastern time over zoom with three recent contributors to Political Theology‘s special issue on “Settler Colonialism and Political Theology.” Register here.

Hosted by the journal Political Theology, the event will feature a discussion of each author’s work, as well as a springboard to discuss steps to keep attention on, theorize about, and take action against the devastating events unfolding in Gaza.

With questions, reach out to Ben Davis (benjamin.davis.1@slu.edu), Special Projects Editor, and Jacques Linder (jacques.linder@villanova.edu), Managing Editor.

Bahia Munem, “Manifold Nakbas and the Making of a Palestinian Diaspora in the Americas”

This article considers how ongoing Palestinian dispossession, manifold Nakbas (catastrophes), stemming from the active frontiers of Israeli settler colonialism and catalyzed by religious nationalism and international impunity, continues to extend and expand the Palestinian diaspora into the Americas and other regions. This also structures Palestinian personhood beyond the active space of the settler-colony. I utilize three seemingly disparate cases to make this argument. I begin with Israel’s military onslaught on Gaza in May 2021. I then offer a personal account, followed by ethnographic research conducted with Palestinian Iraq War refugees resettled in Brazil and also examine other military conflicts in the Middle East that have resulted in continual forced Palestinian displacements. Throughout, I demonstrate how Israeli settler colonialism is not an event but a structure (Wolfe. Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology: The Politics and Poetics of an Ethnographic Event. London: Cassell, 1999) which impacts Palestinian life far outside of the original space of displacement.

Raef Zreik, “Zionism and Political Theology”

This paper is an attempt to identify what is unique about the political theology of Zionism. It also explores what the consequences of this uniqueness might be, particularly with regard to future decolonization projects of Israel-Palestine. Dealing with the case of Zionism and Israel is interesting because it allows us – in fact, it forces us – to ask questions about the nature of modernity, liberalism, secularism, colonialism and nationalism writ large. Zionism itself combines many aspects of modern Europe, including nationalism, colonialism, religion, liberalism, and socialism; this raises the question of whether we can offer a critique of Zionism that is not also a critique of the modern Europe that invented all of these categories and practices. All these issues raise the question of how we are to judge Zionism. Can we offer a critique of Zionism that is not at the same time a critique of Europe?

Zahiye Kundos, “Beginnings, Belongings and Political Anxieties”

Until I started university, I felt a natural sense of belonging to the city of my birth, Jaffa – ﻳﺎﻓﺎ (Yafa in Arabic), and to the history of my land, Palestine ﻓﻠﺴﻄﻴﻦ (Falastin). This sense of belonging was inextricable from experiencing my life under the eye of God. City, land, and God occupied the same space and time: I lived a theological life. Gathering for evening prayer with my mother, ʿAysheh Abu Dayyeh, my brothers Islam and Muhammad, and my sisters Huda and Duʿāʾ – all of us in a straight line behind the praying voice of my father, Hassan Kundos – was the daily ritual that brought us all together.

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