Homeland Mythology: Biblical Narratives in American Culture
Penn State Press, 10 սեպ, 2015 թ. - 288 էջ
Since 9/11, America has presented itself to the world as a Christianist culture, no less antimodern and nostalgic for an idealized past than its Islamist foes. The master-narrative both sides share might sound like this: Once upon a time, the values of the righteous community coincided with those of the state. Home and land were harmoniously united under God. But through intellectual pride (read: science) and disobedience (read: human rights), this God-blessed homeland was lost and is now worth every drop of blood it takes, ours and others’, to recover.
For Americans, the prime source for this once-and-future-kingdom myth is the Bible, with its many narratives of blessings gained, lost, and regained: the garden of Eden, the covenant with Abraham, the bondage in Egypt, the exodus under Moses, the glory of David and Solomon’s realm, the coming of the promised Messiah, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, his apocalyptic return at the end of history, and his establishment of the earthly kingdom of God. As Homeland Mythology shows, these biblical narratives have, over time, inspired a multitude of nationalist narratives, myths ingeniously spun out to justify a number of decidedly unchristian policies and institutions—from Indian genocide, the slave trade, and the exploitation of immigrant workers to Manifest Destiny, imperial expansionism, and, most recently, preemptive war.
On March 25, 2001, George W. Bush shared a bit of political wisdom: “You can fool some of the people all of the time—and those are the ones you have to concentrate on.” The cynical use of religion to cloak criminal behavior is always worth exposing, but why our leaders lie to us is no longer a mystery. What does remain mysterious is why so many of us are disposed to believe their lies. The unexamined issue that this book addresses is, therefore, not the mendacity of the few, but the credulity of the many.
Արդյունքներ 36–ի 1-ից 5-ը:
According to this view, God had reserved this country to be the Promised Land for his True Church, his New Israel. The Puritans brought this exceptionalist mythology with them, and the early republic elaborated it.
Bible-based secondary narratives like this were devised to explain why and how God had illuminated American leaders and led their followers to claim the country “from sea to shining sea” as their Promised Land ...
... the fall of Judah to Babylon in 587 BC , never relinquished their vision of a restored kingship and a regathered Twelve Tribes that would someday reestablish the Law of Moses over the entire land that God had promised to Abraham.
The latter image connects with and draws energy from the widespread belief that America was indeed to be the new Promised Land toward which God continued to guide a New Israel, a persecuted people of faith. The history of America, ...
These religions promised direct access to the gods, unmediated by political authority, but they maintained a collaborative relationship with the secular state, to which they offered conditional legitimacy, receiving in turn conditional ...