Biblical geographies of Palestine in nineteenth-century writing

Dingle, Alison (2019). Biblical geographies of Palestine in nineteenth-century writing. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines a number of texts from the mid-nineteenth century which portray the land of Palestine. A ‘biblical’ land may seem familiar but in actuality naturalises a combination of that historical and geographical concepts to produce an identity for the land that overrides contemporary experience of it. In the context of an Evangelical movement that sought the conversion of Jews, representations of the land link the restoration of the Jews to Palestine. Jews’ link to the land became exploited by Protestants because of the changing circumstances of the Eastern Question.

The texts below confront the relationship between cliché and geographical actuality, recognizing an indigenous Christianity at odds with the restraint of Protestant worship. By following the chronological development of the Protestant view of Jews I argue that there is an apparent warmer portrayal of Jewish characters in fiction, corresponding to increased interest in the land yet whether there is lessening anti-Semitism is questionable because the Jewish characters become agents of Evangelical prophetic fulfilment rather than independently drawn characters. Language used to describe the land increasingly reflected a Protestant and imperial topography as Palestine was increasing imagined as part of the western economy and potential western polity.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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