Faith-based history education: the case of redemptionist Religious Zionism

Roy Weintraub*, Eyal Naveh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modern historical research challenges religious education by undermining the arguments in favour of the existence of a supreme power who is responsible for patterns of reality. This article explores how the new generation of history textbooks of Religious Zionism, one of Israel’s ideologically most influential populations, cope with this dilemma. Two international models of faith-based history teaching that we characterize the ‘national-religious’ and the ‘divine’, analyse the novelty and singularity of these textbooks. The analysis reveals that the new Religious-Zionist textbooks surmount the gap between faith in divine responsibility for human events and professional research and analysis of these events by creating a hybrid learning process that has two parallel interpretive dimensions. The first presents a historical process that remains formally true to the principles of reason and the discipline, although segueing to tendentious content at sensitive junctions. The second explores a metahistorical dimension in which these principles are bracketed with and subjugated to a theological, metaphysical, interpretation of history. The findings concerning both the two international models and the unique historiosophical stance of the Religious-Zionist textbooks provide fertile soil for future research on faith-based history teaching in a variety of theological, political, and social contexts and circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-63
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • History education
  • Religious Zionism
  • divine model
  • faith-based history teaching
  • national-religious model


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