Nation-Statist Soteriology and Traditions of Defeat: Religious-Zionism, the Ninth of Av, and Jerusalem Day

Yaacov Yadgar, Noam Hadad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We ask how the theopolitics of a nation-state, and especially its soteriology, engage with traditions that preceded the state and relay messages that contradict this theopolitics. To discuss this question, we address the evolving (re-)interpretation of the Ninth of Av - a ritual commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of Jewish (Judean) self-rule in ancient times - by Religious-Zionist commentators. We further compare this interpretation to the Religious-Zionist appropriation of Jerusalem Day, a civic holiday celebrating the establishment of Israeli control over East Jerusalem in the June 1967 war. We argue that the statist imperative of the superiority of nation-statist theopolitics suggests that traditions are co-opted to fit in with its soteriology, with varying degrees of resistance or willing accommodation by carriers of these traditions. This co-opting may result in either the de-politicization of what the statist view would see as religion or the religionization of the state's own civic and so-called secular holidays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-525
Number of pages20
JournalPolitics and Religion
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.


  • Israel
  • Judaism
  • Nationalism
  • Zionism
  • soteriology
  • theopolitics


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