Praise for Covenant Brothers
“Covenant Brothers is a smart, compelling, and pathbreaking book. The arguments are provocative, in the very best sense. Daniel G. Hummel challenges his readers to see their worlds in new ways. This deeply researched book will stand as the definitive study of American Christian Zionism for a long time to come.”
—Matthew Avery Sutton, Washington State University
“Engagingly written and persuasively argued, Covenant Brothers is based on extraordinary primary research that amply demonstrates that we cannot understand U.S.-Israel relations without examining the impact Israel had on American opinion.”
—Andrew Preston, University of Cambridge
Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019)
Through the stories of evangelical activists, American Jewish leaders, and Israeli officials, Covenant Brothers portrays the dramatic rise of American Christian Zionism after World War II. According to Daniel G. Hummel, conventional depictions of the Christian Zionist movement--the organized political and religious effort by conservative Protestants to support the state of Israel--focus too much on evangelical apocalypticism. Hummel emphasizes instead the institutional, international, interreligious, and intergenerational efforts on the part of Christians and Jews to mobilize evangelical support for Israel.
From missionary churches in Israel to Holy Land tours, from the Israeli government to the American Jewish Committee, and from Billy Graham's relationship with Richard Nixon to John Hagee's courting of Donald Trump, Hummel depicts modern Christian Zionism as an evolving and deepening collaboration between Christians and the state of Israel. He shows how influential officials in the Israeli government, tasked with pursuing a religious diplomacy that would enhance Israel's standing in the Christian world, combined forces with evangelicals to create the vast global network of Christian Zionism that exists today.
Using new religious and government archival sources in the United States and Israel, Covenant Brothers reveals how an unlikely mix of Christian and Jewish leaders, state support, and transnational networks shaped U.S. foreign policy and international politics.
Review at Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations
"Hummel has mined an impressive collection of primary sources and offers an elegant argument. His prose is clear, direct, and lively, making this book a pleasure to read."
Review at Journal of American History
"The volume [is] particularly valuable for scholars of evangelicalism or those who want to learn more about it, by laying out the foundation and evolution of the theological debates, often centered on key religious agents who shaped the debates or built bridges between Christianity and Judaism."
Review at Israel Studies Review
"Drawing on extensive research in American and Israeli archives, Hummel provides an in-depth and nuanced account of the emergence and rise of Christian Zionism in the United States since 1948 and its recent expansion around the world."
Review at American Jewish History
"Within the large and difficult to define world of American evangelicals, Hummel identifies certain key players in the development of support for Israel. His chapter on pioneering Christian Zionist G. Douglas Young, founder of the American Institute of Holy Land Studies, is excellent."
Review at American Jewish Archives Journal
"Daniel Hummel’s impressive research and detailed biographical accounts of the leading figures in Jewish-evangelical relations make this book an engaging read. Covenant Brothers compellingly makes the case for the inclusion of Christian Zionism in scholarly discussions of both U.S.-Israel relations and Jewish-evangelical interreligious alliances."
"Hummel’s deep knowledge of evangelicalism, coupled with his expert use of Israeli archival material, stands out and makes this book a tremendously valuable contribution to the scholarship on Christian Zionism."
Review at Political Science Quarterly
"Rich in detail mined from a range of archives, this meso‐level account of evangelical reckoning with Jewish statehood offers valuable insights into a globalizing political force that today far transcends U.S.‐Israel relations."
Review at Journal of Church and State
"There is a difference between histories that analyze American religious imaginaries of the Middle East and the Holy Land and those
that study transnational engagements, and even entanglements, on
the ground. We now have a plethora of the former, but only a few of
the latter. Combining English and Hebrew primary-source materials
from both U.S. and Israeli archival collections, Daniel G. Hummel’s
book Covenant Brothers offers a useful model for how the latter
kind of study can be done and done well."
"Although his book is far from uncritical, Hummel argues that from 1948 onward evangelicals broadly and consistently sought reconciliation with the Jewish people through a variety of channels involving theology, politics, and even Holy Land tourism (treated in a chapter wittily entitled 'Sightseeing is Believing')."
"Covenant Brothers is an important addition to the growing literature on Christian Zionism. Like scholars including Caitlin Carenen, Joseph Williams, and Melani McAlister, Daniel Hummel helps extricate (mostly) American Protestants’ enthusiasm for the State of Israel from the conspiracy theories and eschatological speculations with which it is associated in the public imagination."
"Hummel’s work goes far in correcting simplistic narratives and misunderstandings about the religious history of American-Israeli relations. Deeply researched, coherently structured, historically focused, and pleasing to read, Covenant Brothers makes a lasting contribution to postwar American religious history as it relates to Israel, the Middle East, and the world."
"Covenant Brothers is going to prove indispensable to scholars of Christian Zionism and even Jewish-Christian relations writ large. And it is certainly accessible enough for nonspecialists seeking to understand the emergence of a movement currently enjoying unprecedented political sway during the Trump presidency, as well as for those interested in glimpsing at the movement’s future."
[Covenant Brothers] is, by far, the most thorough, fair-minded, and best-written analysis of Evangelical Christian Zionism in the period from 1948 to the present.
Review at Washington Report for Middle East Affairs
"[I]n this excellent book...Hummel shows the dangers of dismissing Christian Zionism as a fringe movement limited to adherents of dispensational pre-millennial theology, which views the return of the Jews to the Promised Land as a prelude to the return of Christ and the beginning of New Times. He argues that Christian Zionism is a much broader, mainstream movement in the United States."
Review at Breaking Israel News
"Covenant Brothers puts the historically unprecedented cooperation between Jewish and Christian religious and political leaders in its widest international and historical context. The book is a worthy read for anyone interested in the issue of Christian support for Israel."
"Hummel has written a masterful, very readable book that manages at once to mount a surprising argument and tell compelling narrative history."
"Hummel’s work is an extraordinary contribution to the literature about evangelicalism and Christian Zionism....It is an essential read for anyone interested in the theological and intellectual underpinnings of Christian Zionist support for Israel; in fact, I think it is the best book to date.