This research project deals with the earliest settlement attempts of European millenarist Christians in 19th century Palestine. Millenarism as the belief in the Second Coming of Christ and his thousand-year reign on earth is an ideology which has not received much attention from historians of the Middle East. Millenarist ideas have however played an important role in shaping European and North American views of the Middle East and continue to do so particularly in the United States, as well as in some evangelical milieus in Europe. In the 19th century, European and North American millenarists founded several settlements in Palestine which constitute an important element in the entwined history of the Middle East and Europe.
The social and transnational aspects of these settlements are at the center of this research project. For millenarist Christians, Palestine was not only the future stage of judgment day, but also an important meeting ground on which they built links with fellow believers from different parts of Europe and North America. This project will therefore focus firstly on the religious milieus and support networks of the settlers in their home countries, and secondly on the social and political contexts of millenarist settlements in Palestine, and especially on their relationships with the indigenous population and the Ottoman administration.
Archival research in five countries (Great Britain, Germany, United States, Jordan and Turkey) will make it possible to compare the support networks millenarist settlers had back in their home countries (missionary archives), the different degrees of political support which millenarist settlers enjoyed (consular correspondence) and the difficulties they encountered in their coexistence with the indigenous population (Ottoman court and state archives).
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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