Canon Garth Hewitt has retired as a director and trustee of Peacemaker Trust, but has kindly agreed to join the International Board of Reference. Visit Garth’s website
Tuesday 26th June 2018 – King’s College London
King’s College London
Lecture Theatre 2
Bush House, 30 Aldwych
London WC2B 4BG
Is it time to stop reading large parts of the Old Testament in our churches? Why do we read passages which present a Gospel message that is not Good News for all?
Rev Naim Ateek is an Anglican priest, a Palestinian Arab, a citizen of Israel and the founder of the Sabeel Centre in Jerusalem.
For 30 years Naim and the Sabeel Centre have challenged a reading of the Bible that supports an exclusive Zionist claim to the land. They have presented a Palestinian theology of liberation that emphasises the prophetic themes of inclusivity and justice.
Naim will speak of his work and of the struggle to read Old Testament passages that seem to deny his right to exist in his Land, including the Exodus passages that have been used to bring liberation in so many other places. He will ask how we should encounter those passages, which seem to reinforce the subjugation of an oppressed people?
There will be a 45-minute talk and then an extended period of time for questions and discussion. The event is jointly hosted by King’s College Chaplaincy, Amos Trust, and Sabeel Kairos.
It is part of Amos Trust’s occasional theology series and is run in collaboration with Sabeel Kairos. The focus will be on theology, and while Naim will talk about the current situation in Palestine, it will seek to draw out learning for us in our churches today.
Please make sure you register as Kings College will need a list of attendees.
Naim’s new book will be available at the event – ‘A Palestine Theology of Liberation: The Bible, Justice and the Palestine Israel Conflict’
Photos of yesterday’s conference organised by King’s College, London & Balfour Project: 1st May 2018. Speakers included Sir Vincent Fean (former British Counsel-General, Jerusalem), Alon Liel (former Director-General, Israeli Foreign Ministry), Ghada Karmi (Palestinian doctor, writer, Research Fellow, Exeter University), Peter Shambrook (British historian specialising in the Middle East), Leila Sansour (Palestinian film maker based in Bethlehem) and Menachem Klein Department of Political Science, Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Visiting Professor, Kings College Middle East Studies Department). View more photos here
About the Film
In 1948, tens of thousands of Palestinian villagers were driven from their homes in what was officially dubbed “Operation Broom”, intended to literally sweep tens of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in the fertile hills and valleys of the Galilee, and make way for settlers in the newly created state of Israel.
Elias Chacour, now the Archbishop of the Galilee, was just a little boy when Israeli troops ordered his family out of the Christian village of Kifr Bir’am. He left the village with a blanket on his shoulder, walking to his new home, a cave.
Today Kifr Bir’am is an Israeli national park, the houses of the village are crumbling, the church is abandoned.
After the Galilee came the expropriation of the West Bank in 1967, the settlements, the wall. Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, is now hemmed in by the wall, cut off from Jerusalem, and robbed of much of its agricultural land.
All too often media coverage of the conflict in Palestine has framed it as a fight between Muslims and Jews, largely ignoring the fact that Palestine was the birthplace of Christianity, that Palestinians are both Muslims and Christians, and that Palestinian Christians have played a critical role in their land’s history and the struggle to maintain its identity.
From 1948 up to today, through wars and uprisings, leading Palestinian Christians, including the late President of Beir Zeit University Gabi Baramki, Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi, civil society activist Ghassan Andoni, Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah and others recount the unwavering and sometimes desperate struggle of all Palestinians to resist Israel’s occupation and stay on their land.
I wonder if you are old enough to remember the early Beatles hit, “Help”? How do the lyrics go? “Help. I need somebody. Help. Not just anybody. Help. You know I need someone. Help!” Some people view prayer that way. They only call on God when they have a problem.
Corrie ten Boom, knew the importance of prayer. She once asked the question, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tyre?” While your car has both, they have very different purposes. When you are driving, your need to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times.
The steering wheel allows you to navigate and gets you to your destination safely. But the spare tyre plays a secondary role. You may never have touched the spare tyre in your car. You may not even know where it is. It is probably new and unused because it is only needed in case of an emergency.
How is your prayer life defined by this question? Is prayer like your steering wheel or a spare tyre? Does your prayer life guide you in every facet of your life? Is it something you have your hands on every waking moment of the day? Or is it like a spare tire, something you only use in times of emergency? For most of the day you forget that it’s there. You’re not even sure how to use it and find yourself struggling when you need to use it. Continue reading
President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, destroyed in the stroke of the pen any lingering illusions of a shared city, the two state solution or an independent sovereign Palestine. Jewish and Christian Zionists regard Jerusalem as the exclusive, undivided and eternal capital of the Jewish state, justifying the annexation, segregation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
Following the Arab-Israeli war of 1967 and the capture of Jerusalem, in June 1971, a conference took place in Jerusalem of over 1,200 evangelical leaders from 32 different countries. Welcomed by David Ben Gurion, the conference was billed as “the first conference of its kind since A.D. 59”. The capture of Jerusalem was portrayed as “confirmation that Jews and Israel still had a role to play in God’s ordering of history” and that the return of Jesus was imminent. Continue reading
Frank Sinatra’s song, “I did it my way”, would have made a good epitaph on my early life. I was brought up in a Christian home, believed in God and we went to church on Sundays. I thought Jesus was a good man sent from God but Easter didn’t make sense. If only Jesus had not died, he could have done so much more good in the world. I had a Bible but it had small print and was written in old English so I rarely attempted to read it. When I left home and went to work in London for the Civil Service, I never got round to finding a church. I tried to live by the Ten Commandments and hoped that when I died, in the scales, my good would outweigh my bad. I remember praying on the way to work thanking God for the beauty of creation but he always seemed distant, like a sepia photo of my great-grandparent, we were related but I didn’t know them.
Read more here
The Revd Canon Garth Hewitt speaks about the tragedy of Gaza and Syria.
The Right Revd Riah Abu El Assal, retired Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, speaks candidly about Syria.