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Evangelizing the Chosen People

Missions to the Jews in America, 1880 - 2000

Evangelizing the Chosen People by Yaakov Ariel
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With this book, Yaakov Ariel offers the first comprehensive history of Protestant evangelization of Jews in America to the present day. Based on unprecedented research in missionary archives as well as Jewish writings, the book analyzes the theology and activities of both the missions and the converts and describes the reactions of the Jewish community, which in turn helped to shape the evangelical activity directed toward it.

Ariel delineates three successive waves of evangelism, the first directed toward poor Jewish immigrants, the second toward American-born Jews trying to assimilate, and the third toward Jewish baby boomers influenced by the counterculture of the Vietnam War era. After World War II, the missionary impulse became almost exclusively the realm of conservative evangelicals, as the more liberal segments of American Christianity took the path of interfaith dialogue.

As Ariel shows, these missionary efforts have profoundly influenced Christian-Jewish relations. Jews have seen the missionary movement as a continuation of attempts to delegitimize Judaism and to do away with Jews through assimilation or annihilation. But to conservative evangelical Christians, who support the State of Israel, evangelizing Jews is a manifestation of goodwill toward them.
The University of North Carolina Press; October 2000
380 pages; ISBN 9780807860533
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Title: Evangelizing the Chosen People
Author: Yaakov Ariel
 
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