Added on 01/11/2012
The worldwide launch of a document addressing Christian attitudes to the Holy Land took place in Dublin today, Thursday 1 November 2012. Entitled Land of Promise? An Anglican exploration of Christian attitudes to the Holy Land, with special reference to Christian Zionism, the document was launched by the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, the Archbishop of Dublin and chairperson of the Anglican Communion’s Network for Interfaith Concerns (NIFCON) in the Church of Ireland College of Education in Rathmines. This is the first time such a document has been launched in Ireland and it will be presented to the Anglican Consultative Council, currently meeting in New Zealand, tomorrow.
The document was written to enable Anglicans across the world to engage more deeply with and become more informed about the issues surrounding the situation in the Holy Land. Following a resolution which was debated by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Jamaica in 2009, it was agreed that a resource providing an overview of Christian attitudes to the Holy Land, and specifically an understanding of Christian Zionism, should be produced. As a result the management group of NIFCON was asked to prepare the document for the current meeting of the ACC.
Speaking at the launch, Archbishop Jackson said: “The Holy Land remains both a geographical space and a way of life which matters fervently to millions of people worldwide. Passions run high – and understandably. The Holy Land features large in three World Religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – and is a pivotal point of international interest. The land itself is an inescapable component. The Christian communities of the Holy Land continue unashamedly to be the Body of Christ in their place. They are not curators but show the living reality of the universal church in this unique locality.”
While Christian Zionism remains a focal point of reference, the document explores Zionisms, both Jewish and Christian. It provides definitions of Jewish and Christian Zionism and presents some stories of the impact upon, and dilemmas faced, by some Anglicans that stem from Christian attitudes to the Holy Land. It also explores how relationships in Isreal/Palestine have had an affect on parts of the Anglican Communion.
The document provides a range of theological resources for Anglicans as well as an exploration of key theological issues such as the Gift of the Land, Exile and Return and Holy City and Temple to enable the reader to get a sense of the Holy Land and Zion and how both relate to one another. It concludes with suggested short statements which Anglicans can and should affirm; others which are deemed unacceptable within the boundaries of an Anglican interpretation of the Christian faith; and others where there are significantly different views within an Anglican interpretation, held with integrity but in diversity.
The current meeting of the ACC will be the last such meeting to be attended by The Most Reverend Dr Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop has written an Afterword to LAND OF PROMISE?
Archbishop Jackson said the hope of NIFCON was that the ACC would receive and endorse the document which it has requested of them.
For further information please contact:
Diocesan Communications Officer
Dublin & Glendalough