His Land and the Origins of the Jewish-Evangelical Israel Lobby

The 1970 release of His Land, a religious documentary about Israel produced by Billy Graham's film studio, World Wide Pictures, took the evangelical world by storm. It was shown to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of churchgoers and encapsulated the mix of prophecy beliefs and cultural...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Church history
Main Author: Hummel, Daniel G.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Cambridge Univ. Press [2018]
In:Church history
Year: 2018, Volume: 87, Issue: 4, Pages: 1119-1151
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B His land / Israel / USA / Judaism / Evangelical movement / Lobbyism
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:The 1970 release of His Land, a religious documentary about Israel produced by Billy Graham's film studio, World Wide Pictures, took the evangelical world by storm. It was shown to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of churchgoers and encapsulated the mix of prophecy beliefs and cultural arguments that cohered a decade later into the Christian Zionist movement-a major component of the religious right. Surprisingly, American evangelicals were not the only fans of His Land. American Jews, led by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), helped make the film an international success. AJC officials organized ecumenical screenings and kept detailed records of the film's reception, praising it as "an authentic interpretation" that "strengthen[s] the current interreligious discussion on the Middle East question." By 1971, the AJC was showing this unabashedly evangelical film to Jewish audiences in synagogues and community centers. Through reconstructing His Land's production and reception, this article provides a new interpretation of the origins of bipartisan, Jewish and evangelical support for Israel in the late-twentieth century. It recasts the rise of a Jewish-evangelical pro-Israel lobby as an important religious episode to understanding the rise of the religious right and the continuing importance of confessional and theological identity even in the era of the "culture wars."
ISSN:1755-2613
Contains:Enthalten in: Church history
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1017/S0009640718002391