International Online Conference: The Global Transformation of Christian Zionism
This conference, scheduled for Oct. 23-25, 2021, aims to explore the dynamics of the recent transformation in discourses on the Palestinian cause, especially with regards to Christian discourses in both Western and non-Western countries.
The Trump administration’s radical pro-Israel policies demonstrated how Christian Zionism still plays pivotal roles in US policies vis-à-vis the Middle East. However, such an overt political utilization of religion is apparently becoming less ideologically persuasive, even among American evangelicals who have been recognized as the core of Christian Zionism. Recently, it is reported that young American evangelicals are becoming comparatively less pro-Israel.
On the contrary, in non-Western countries, where anti-colonial discourses have been predominant after WW2, Christian Zionism seems to be penetrating more and more into Protestant minority communities. Furthermore, sympathy for Israel can be seen not only in Christian communities but also in some non-Christian majority communities where chauvinistic religious nationalism is on the rise. Examples include Hindus in India, Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Shintoists / Buddhists in Japan.
Taking these temporal and spatial transformations of the Gentile Zionist constellation into consideration, we can analyze and characterize Christian Zionism in the wider historical and geopolitical context. So far, academic research on Christian Zionism has almost exclusively focused on the context of Britain and the US. We need to relativize this originally Eurocentric phenomenon from a new perspective.
To tackle this challenge, we will hold panels inviting speakers from different countries and areas, religious backgrounds, and academic disciplines, but with a shared aspiration for justice and peace in Palestine/Israel and beyond. We will make academic exchanges to promote interdisciplinary research of transnational/intersectional politics spanning religion, ethnicity, nation, gender, class and more. Anyone interested in these subjects are welcome to join this ambitious event.
The Conference is co-hosted by the International Conference on the Global Transformation of Christian Zionism Organizing Committee, the Center for Interdisciplinary Education and Research, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University; and is sponsored by the Unit of Kyoto Initiatives for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Kyoto University. All sessions will be conducted in English.