This article seeks to understand what it means when, in 2006, a noted British pastor and Bible teacher stood up in front of 8000 evangelical Zionists from all over the world at the convention centre in Jerusalem and addressed the audience with the following counter-intuitive words: ‘Thank you Israel, for supporting America!’ Evangelical Christianity has complex relations and ambivalent relations to the nation state and globalisation. Supernaturally speaking, Israel is the only nation state in the world that matters. Contemporary Israel becomes a kind of litmus test, both for manifesting the truth of the word of God and for manifesting the individual’s or the nation’s commitment to realising God’s will in this world. For Christian Zionism, this transnational flow of resources into and out of Israel ultimately redeem locality, offering ‘the nations’ a place in the story, and the opportunity to serve as vehicles for God’s will.
This study focuses on the creative reconstruction of Jewish history via a spiritual New Age perspective. Using the case of the Jewish Spiritual Renewal (JSR) narrative of the past and the land, this article aims to shed light on some of the cultural transformations which are taking place in contemporary Israeli public discourse, especially the reconfiguration of the association between Jewish history, contemporary spirituality, and the land. The JSR narrative recovers, reinterprets and remolds Jewish history in order to legitimize the claim for a spiritual renewal of the present. By offering new perspectives on the Jewish past and history, the JSR attempts to validate its post-modern and spiritual version of Judaism as an original, uncorrupted form of Jewish thought and practice. The comparison of the JSR narrative with the classical Zionist and Canaanite narrative reveals that the JSR spiritual narrative replaces particularistic and nationalistic values regarding the land with universal and global values concerning nature and the environment, in order to create a universal Jewish spirituality that caters to the identity needs of contemporary non-Orthodox Jewish Israelis.