Christian mentality is a matter of some consequence for the way we think about our communities, others, and the nation. The focus of this book is on the social issues currently under discussion in the United States, a discussion that reveals an uncertainty about the reasons that have been taken for granted in forming policies and practices as a nation. The thesis of the book is that the narrative grammar of the Christian myth is entangled with the underlying reasons for these policies and practices, reasons that are rooted in American self-understanding as an exceptional nation of manifest destiny. The correlations between this self-understanding and the social grammar of the Christian myth is the challenge that confronts the efforts now underway to reimagine and restructure a society that is not a Christian nation, but polycultural people seeking to clarify their vision of a social democracy.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I: Metalities Chapter 1: The Christian Nation Chapter 2: The Way Myths Work Chapter 3: The Christian Myth and Legacy Part II: Social Issues Chapter 4: Social Issues Chapter 5: The Mythic Correlations Chapter 6: The Entanglements of Power Chapter 7: The Entanglements of Violence Chapter 8: The Entanglements of Fear Part III: Critique Chapter 9: The Nation-State and Violence Chapter 10: Parsing the Entanglements Chapter 11: Rethinking Mentalities Conclusion
Burton L. Mack, now retired, was formerly John Wesley Professor in Early Christianity at the Claremont School of Theology and Graduate University in California. He is the author of numerous publications on Hellenistic Judaism, ritual theory, Classical rhetoric and Christian origins from the viewpoint of cultural anthropology and the history of religions.