The Bible and the State of Israel: Sacred Time and Story in Recent Pronouncements by Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel

Hosted by: David Tollerton (University of Exeter)

David Tollerton is a Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter. His first book, The Book of Job in Post-Holocaust Thought, was published in 2012. He also writes on media representations of the Bible and issues of free speech. David completed his postgraduate work at the Universities of Oxford and Bristol, afterwards lecturing at Bangor University for the three years before his arrival at Exeter in 2013.

The Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize-winning writer Elie Wiesel has for several decades been one of the most vocal and high-profile figures associated with Holocaust remembrance. Known also for his views regarding Israel and her neighbours, over the past twelve months he has very publically described contemporary developments concerning Israel, Gaza and Iran through the lens of biblical archetypes. This paper will critically consider these announcements against the backdrop of Wiesel’s wider work, suggesting that his ideas should be understood as reflecting the sacred temporality weaved into his views of history and biblical interpretation. It will be proposed this raises complex challenges for those interested in the interface between biblical reception and the conflicts of the modern world.

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