Life Stories and Christian Zionist Ideology: A Theoretical Outline of How to Capture the Interplay between Individual and Ideology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


Christian Zionism is usually characterized as a theological and political movement grounded in literalist bible hermeneutics and End-time speculations that dedicate unwavering support to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. The prophetic element in Christian Zionism has in later years been downplayed for a more down-to-earth focus on social and political commitment to the well-being of the state of Israel. This shift in emphasis leaves the floor open to new investigations into the identification with Israel that is central to many western evangelicals’ understanding of their Christian faith. In my research I use narrative methods to investigate contemporary Christian volunteer workers in Israel. I want to investigate how individual life-stories relate to the grand narrative of Christian Zionism in order to answer the question of the symbolical value that Israel bears to these believers. In the present paper I discuss theoretical and methodological questions in relation to my research project. As the interplay between individual biographies and ideology is the particular focus of my research I use James A. Holstein and Jaber F. Gubrium’s theoretical approach combined with ethnographic methods.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Religious Studies


  • Christian Zionism, Evangelicalism, Identity, Israel, Life Stories, Narrative, Religious Fundamentalism, Volunteer work
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking with Stories
Subtitle of host publicationNarrative as a Meeting Place for Theory, Analysis and Practice. Proceedings from the 2nd ENN Conference, Kolding 2011
EditorsPer Krogh Hansen
PublisherEuropean Narratology Network
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-87-994644-0-1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
EventWorking with Stories: Narrative as a Meeting Place for Theory, Analysis and Practice - The University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Kolding, Denmark
Duration: 2011 Mar 92011 Mar 11


ConferenceWorking with Stories: Narrative as a Meeting Place for Theory, Analysis and Practice

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)

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