The Danger of Redemption
Messianic Visions and the Potential for Nonviolence
Religious settlers dream of redeeming the Promised Land through Jewish presence and commitment to a pious life. This dream has often been associated with violence, including the violence of settlement in the occupied territories itself, seizure of scarce and valuable resources like land and water, and the concomitant practices of face-to-face violence. The messianic visions of religiously motivated settlers and their attendant discourses resonate profoundly with rhetorics of redemption that have also been associated with state power, violence, and exclusion. This chapter reveals in contrast that among religiously motivated settlers, there are those whose belief in a messianic vision is precisely what allows room for flexibility, patience, and compromise.
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