Christian Zionism is usually studied within an Anglo-American
context. This thesis examines the movement in Germany after 1945. Its
emergence from Restorationism, its development, and its present state
are described. The movement was not imported from abroad, but to a
large extent has German roots.
Analyses of ideaSpektrum, the weekly news magazine of the
Evangelical Alliance, and of evangelical books in German dealing with
Israel and the end times explore the broader evangelical context.
German evangelicals have a more moderate approach to Israel than
Americans, but also display a narrower spectrum of views. No
institutional voice promotes a non-Zionist position. There exists a
large reservoir of pro-Israel sentiments and beliefs, exemplified in
the common phrase ‘solidarity with Israel’, but this frequently falls
short of a fully developed ideological Christian Zionism.
Based on the literature surveyed, a model of the theology/ideology
of the movement is developed to explain its coherence and persuasive
power. In the resulting narrative, an Israel-centred retelling of the
biblical story and world history, Israel fulfils numerous functions and
becomes an object of admiration or even veneration. The model shows
that the Jewish-Christian past is far more important in Christian
Zionism than commonly recognized. Dispensationalism is less important,
at least outside of the United States.
In neo-Pentecostal circles, Christian Zionism takes on a number of
unique characteristics, warranting the distinction of a charismatic
variety of Christian Zionism. It is particularly through this variety
that Christian Zionist publications and other activities have increased
dramatically since 1990, leading to an ‘Israel boom’ after the
‘prophecy boom’ of the 1970s.
The final chapter offers an evangelical critique of the movement and
of the observed structures of popular evangelical thought, in which
interpretation of Scripture and of world events is often dictated by an
established tradition more than by anything else.
Copyright © W. L. Hornstra 2006