Ashland University Scholar to Speak on Christian Zionism

10/21/10 ASHLAND, OH -- Dr. Elizabeth Phillips, visiting scholar in the Department of Religion at Ashland University, will speak on the role of Christian Zionism in supporting and expanding settlements in the Occupied Territories on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium. The Department of Religion and the Ashland Center for Nonviolence are sponsoring the event.

Christian Zionism is the belief that the return of Jews to the Holy Land is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Christian Zionists believe that the Jews returning to the Holy Land is a prelude to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Issues surrounding the expansion of Jewish settlements into the Occupied Territories have been a major stumbling block in the negotiations.

"Elizabeth Phillips is an American scholar who teaches theological ethics at Westcott House, which is a theological seminary," said Dr. Craig Hovey, assistant professor of Christian theology and ethics at Ashland University. "She is going to be coming here to talk about the research she did for her Ph.D., which is tied to the question of Christian Zionism and in particular how it flows out of Ethnographic research that she did.

"Christian Zionists believe that with the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948 was God fulfilling a vision of how aspects of time prophecies were meant to come together," Hovey said. "Her research took her not only to the West Bank, but to some of the churches in the U.S. where she interviewed people and asked about their support of Israel.

"Here you have American churches that are supporting Israel in doing what many see as being the most offensive thing they can do, which is continuing to build settlements on the West Bank," Hovey continued. "And then you have American Christians who are giving money to support this. And so the question is, why would they do this? They have particular theological convictions that Israel must come back into its own as part of the plan for the end times to be fulfilled."

The Ashland Center for Nonviolence is a group of citizens committed to exploring and promoting alternatives to violence in ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. It does this through programming and training that foster discussion and consideration of issues,

both historical and contemporary, related to nonviolence. It serves as a resource center for people exploring nonviolence.  It links people to information about nonviolence and to activities exploring and promoting nonviolence.

Additional information about the Ashland Center for Nonviolence is available during their programs, on their website www.ashland.edu/acn,<http://www.ashland.edu/acn,>  by calling 419-289-5313 and leaving a message, or by e-mail at acn@ashland.edu<mailto:acn@ashland.edu>.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.