18 July 2014

Why evangelicals’ love for Jews is a case of unrequited love

Evangelical upwelling of philo-Semitism seems to have little to do with actual Jewish people, and more to do with Jewishness as an abstract theological concept. A lot of evangelical support for Israel, for example, grows out of certain strains of dispensationalist theology, in which the Jews’ return to Israel is seen as a prerequisite for the Second Coming. ... When evangelicals speak about Jews this way, they shouldn’t be surprised if their love goes unrequited. At its core, philo-Semitism has much in common with anti-Semitism. Both approaches view Jewishness as an abstract monolith, and both endow Jews with particular historical roles — roles, it seems, that are rarely of the Jews’ own choosing.