America is widely regarded as the ultimate "Christian Nation." Religious language has always been at the forefront of American politics but this has increased since the events of 9/11. 'Myth and the Christian Nation' presents a startling analysis of how and why Christianity and national identity have been woven together in recent American political discourse. Drawing on examples of religious myth-making across the ancient world 'Myth and the Christian Nation' brings the weight of history to bear on America today, a place where myth, monotheism, sovereignty and power can be harnessed together in the service of specific interests. The book invites readers to rethink the role of religion in the construction of social democracy and to see America afresh.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction Part I: The Religions of Other Peoples 1. Looking for Religion in the New World 2. Noticing Social Interests in Myths and Rituals 3. Watching Myths in the Making 4. Thinking with Myths about Culture Part II: The Religion of Christianity 5. Early Christian Mythmaking 6. The Social Formation of Christendom 7. The State of the Christian Nation 8. Religions in a Polycultural World Conclusion Bibliography Index
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.