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Title: Religion and lobbying in the European Union : Christian Zionism in Brussels
Author: King, Elvira
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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The reawakening of interest among Europeans of the nexus between religion and politics in the 21st century is nowhere better demonstrated than in the proliferation of new religious movements, revival of old religious identities, and formation of religious lobby groups. This revival has generated a debate about what kind of identity the EU is projecting, given the fact that the EU, as a unique post-Westphalian and secular construct, rejects the traditional tenets of identity that are normally associated with a nation-state, but it has also proved to be an area that has generated academic interest, since religious representations in Brussels are part of the lobby scene where they aim to exert influence just as much as business interest representations. The European Coalition for Israel (Eel) is one among many religious representations at the EU level that have well-established networks and specific aims for their lobbying, but, as a Christian organisation that supports the State of Israel, the ECI remains the only one such Christian Zionist group in Brussels. Contrary to widespread assumptions that Christian Zionism is uniquely an American phenomenon, it is in fact embedded in European Christianity, . and its current political activism in the EU is a natural progression of a centuries old philosemitism, specifically in Britain and Germany. Even though the ECI is at its core evangelical, it nonetheless conducts its advocacy within a secular framework for two reasons. Firstly, the organisation does not belong to any large Christian denominational structure in Brussels, and secondly, its primary aims and goals are in the political rather than the spiritual domain. The spiritual convictions of European Christian Zionists, i.e. God's un-annulled covenant with the Jews and eschatology, are of central importance to the movement, but equally a powerful factor that constitutes their value system is a historical dimension of Jewish experience in European Christendom. Consequently the normative framework of the ECI's Brusselsbased advocacy is defined by the fight against resurgent antisemitism, whilst its both defensive and offensive lobby strategy is conducted within the context of. the security issues of the Jewish state.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available