Description : This compelling book argues that American patriotism is a civil religion of blood sacrifice, which periodically kills its children to keep the group together. The flag is the sacred object of this religion; its sacrificial imperative is a secret which the group keeps from itself to survive. Expanding Durkheim's theory of the totem taboo as the organizing principle of enduring groups, Carolyn Marvin uncovers the system of sacrifice and regeneration which constitutes American nationalism, shows why historical instances of these rituals succeed or fail in unifying the group, and explains how mass media are essential to the process. American culture is depicted as ritually structured by a fertile center and sacrificial borders of death. Violence plays a key part in its identity. In essence, nationalism is neither quaint historical residue nor atavistic extremism, but a living tradition which defines American life.
Description : Explores the ways in which the nation-state and nationalism are challenged by contemporary realities. This volume addresses changes to our understanding of national sovereignty, problems posed by violent conflict between rival national projects, the feasibility of postnationalist democracy and citizenship, and the debate over global justice.
Description : The study of Augustine's political teachings has suffered from a history of misreadings, both ancient and modern. It is only in recent years that the traditional lines of 'Augustinian pessimism' have been opened to question. Scholars have begun to explore the broader lines of Augustine's political thought in his letters and sermons, and thus have been able to place his classic text, The City of God, in its proper context. The essays in this volume take stock of these recent developments and revisit old assumptions about the significance of Augustine of Hippo for political thought. They do so from many different perspectives, examining the anthropological and theological underpinnings of Augustine's thought, his critique of politics, his development of his own political thought, and some of the later manifestations or uses of his thought in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and today. This new vision is at once more bracing, more hopeful, and more diverse than earlier readings could have allowed.
Description : Bringing a postcolonial perspective to UK constitutional debates and including a detailed and comparative engagement with the constitutions of Britain’s ex-colonies, this book is an original reflection upon the relationship between the written and the unwritten constitution. Can a nation have an unwritten constitution? While written constitutions both found and define modern nations, Britain is commonly regarded as one of the very few exceptions to this rule. Drawing on a range of theories concerning writing, law and violence (from Robert Cover to Jacques Derrida), Constitutions makes a theoretical intervention into conventional constitutional analyses by problematizing the notion of a ‘written constitution’ on which they are based. Situated within the frame of the former British empire, this book deconstructs the conventional opposition between the ‘margins’ and the ‘centre’, as well as between the ‘written’ and ‘unwritten’, by paying very close, detailed attention to the constitutional texts under consideration. Pryor argues that Britain’s ‘unwritten’ constitution and ‘immemorial’ common law only take on meaning in a relation of difference with the written constitutions of its former colonies. These texts, in turn, draw on this pre-literate origin in order to legitimize themselves. The ‘unwritten’ constitution of Britain can therefore be located and dislocated in postcolonial written constitutions. Constitutions is an excellent addition to the bookshelves of all students of the philosophy of law, political theory, constitutional and administrative law and jurisprudence.
Description : The connections between religion and violence are complex and multifaceted. From the conflicts in Middle East and the Balkans to those in Southeast Asia and beyond, religion frames and legitimates political violence. Moreover, in international relations since 9/11, religious language and metaphors have acquired a new significance. In this context the emerging consensus appears to be not only that violence is intrinsic to religion, but also that religions incite, legitimate, and intensify political violence. However, such an unambiguous indictment of religions is incomplete in that it fails both to appreciate significant counter examples and to recognize the diversity that exists within religions on the issue of violence, particularly the religious roots of pacifism and the ethics of non-violence. This collection explores aspects of this ambivalence between religion and violence. It focuses on traditions of legitimation and pacifism within the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and concludes with an examination of this ambivalence as it unfolds in each tradition's engagement with the politics of gender.
Description : What if the sanctification of war and contempt for women are both grounded in a fear that breeds hostility, and a hostility that rationalizes conquest? The anti-Gospel Christian history of war-loving and women-hating are not merely similar but two aspects of the same dynamic, argues Stan Goff, in an "autobiography" that spans millennia. Borderline is the historical and conceptual autobiography of a former career army veteran transformed by Jesus into a passionate advocate for nonviolence, written by a man who narrates his conversion to Christianity through feminism.
Description : Increasingly, the religious practices people engage in and the ways they talk about what is meaningful or sacred take place in the context of media culture—in the realm of the so-called secular. Focusing on this intersection of the sacred and the secular, this volume gathers together the work of media experts, religious historians, sociologists of religion, and authorities on American studies and art history. Topics range from Islam on the Internet to the quasi-religious practices of Elvis fans, from the uses of popular culture by the Salvation Army in its early years to the uses of interactive media technologies at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Beit Hashoah Museum of Tolerance. The issues that the essays address include the public/private divide, the distinctions between the sacred and profane, and how to distinguish between the practices that may be termed "religious" and those that may not.
Description : This new collection of key authors on nationalism presents the latest thinking on this fundamental aspect of Politics, International Relations and Sociology. John Breuilly, Walker Connor, Steven Grosby, Eric Hobsbawm, Anthony D Smith and Pierre van den Berghe comprehensively explain and address the key contemporary question in nationalism studies of 'when is the nation?' , or what point in a nation's history is it born, with authority and freshness. Our world is still deeply imbedded in the language and practice of nations and nationalism and they remain central parts in understanding human society. This comparison and contrast of the main approaches reveals their strengths and weaknesses. This new text: * introduces the main schools of thought with clarity and concision * tackles the most pertinent questions in nationalism * delivers both theoretical and empirical perspectives * uses an innovative new interactive debate format with questions and answers * presents key case studies bringing theory to life The inclusion of case studies gives the reader fresh insight into specific nations and national groups, including The United States, Greece, England and Fiji. The accessible debate format puts main theories and thinkers to the test, enabling the reader to interact with the issues directly. This unique volume is an invaluable resource for students and scholars of nationalism, ethnicity and global conflict.
Description : Twenty-three essays by young professional philosophers examine crucial ethical and metaphysical aspects of the Buffyverse (the world of Buffy). Though the show already attracted much scholarly attention, this is the first book to fully disinter the intellectual issues. Designed by Whedon as a multilevel story with most of its meanings deeply buried in heaps of heavy irony, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has replaced The X-Files as the show that explains to Americans the nature of the powerful forces of evil continually threatening to surge into our world of everyday decency and overwhelm it. In the tradition of the classic horror films Buffy the Vampire Slayer addresses ethical issues that have long fascinated audiences. This book draws out the ethical and metaphysical lessons from a pop-culture phenomenon.