The main hypothesis of this paper argues that dispensationalism, specifically dispensational pre-millennialism, has significantly impacted a segment of evangelical Christian attitudes toward Muslims in the post-9/11 era, primarily in a negative fashion. The central concept of this thesis depends on a comprehensive analysis of evangelical Christian attitudes toward Muslims and Islam post-9/11 and the influence of the evangelical interpretation of dispensationalism on these attitudes in the context of the history and development of millennialism and modern dispensationalism in Britain and the United States. Two factors are identified that contribute to the dispensational focus on Muslims by evangelical Christians: 1) Christian Zionism and its self-proclaimed mandate to contribute to the security of Israel in order to fulfill eschatological prophecy and; 2) the necessity of identifying a modern apocalyptic “scapegoat”—a country, group of countries or religion that is perceived to fit the description of the aggressor against Christianity during the Judgement dispensation. Furthermore, the research indicates that the impact of dispensationalism, in conjunction with the entry of evangelical Christians into the political realm, endangers the foundational concept of religious pluralism in American society. The concluding portion of this paper presents examples of evangelical congregations with moderate, non-dispensational, and peace-building theological beliefs and will suggest avenues that evangelicals can take to develop a counterweight to the religious division and opposition to pluralism promoted by an overwhelming majority of dispensationalists.
|Department:||Theological & Religious Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, American studies, Theology|
|Keywords:||Christians, Evangelicals, Islam, Muslims, Pre-millennialism, September 11, 2001|
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