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.
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This apocalyptic prophecy has always braced Americans to accept the bitter and otherwise incomprehensible truth that, despite their righteousness and generosity, there would be those abroad who would regard them not merely as peculiar ...
In it we learn that a single divine speaker, Yahweh, first spoke the world into being, and later imparted his commands directly to Moses and the prophets, who then relayed them to the people, announcing “thus saith the Lord.
... Christians became God's Chosen People, and they stretched it to interpret all references to the Chosen Ones of the Old Testament as being prophetic references to themselves as a covenanted people in the wilderness.
their congregations that both devils and angels will soon descend to earth, these New Age prophets warn that space aliens might either be evil abductors or compassionate saviors. Both Christian and New Age rapturists, yearning to take ...
... of premillennialist evangelists who follow an interpretation of biblical prophecy known as dispensationalism. ... God's “prophetic time table,” only when the Twelve Tribes are regathered in their historical homeland and 144,000 of ...