Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr.

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9780199334223: Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr.

Biblical texts have been one of the most potent sources in the Western political imagination. Presenting a new account of how the Bible's liberationist texts were deployed and disputed at critical junctures in British and American history from the Reformation to the Civil Rights Movement, Exodus and Liberation argues that the Exodus story carried one of the big ideas in Anglophone political culture - the idea of deliverance.

In the sixteenth century, Calvinist rebels and reformers identified with Old Testament Israel as they sought liberation from "popish bondage." The Puritan Revolution of 1640-60 was depicted as England's Exodus, provoking a fierce contest for control of the biblical story. In the Glorious Revolution and the American Revolution, Protestants turned the Exodus narrative and deliverance language against "political slavery." Revolutionary rhetoric exposed the contradiction between libertarian ideology and black chattel slavery. Abolitionists forged a theology of liberation, articulated in resonant biblical mottoes: "Let my People Go!", "Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land," "Break every Yoke", "Release the Oppressed." African Americans cast themselves as the Children of Israel, forging a distinct identity and throwing into question the scriptural construction of the United States. Black migrations to the North were imagined as journeys to the Promised Land, and black Exodus politics climaxed in the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. Among American statesmen, foreign policy rhetoric continued to yoke Providence to Liberation. By the twenty-first century, both George W. Bush and Barack Obama laid claim to the Exodus story.

Using sermons, speeches, pamphlets, song, verse, and iconography, Exodus and Liberation documents the extraordinary reach of these biblical traditions, demonstrating how the political reading of scriptural texts powerfully informed Protestant debates over slavery and liberty.

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About the Author:


John Coffey is Professor of Early Modern History, University of Leicester. He is the author of Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558-1689 and the co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism and Seeing Things Their Way: Intellectual History and the Return of Religion, among other works.

Review:


"[A] distinctive and important book....A project of this kind would, one suspects, have been impossible in pre-digital days, but Coffey is consistently alert to historical context and avoids the potential pitfalls of over-systematic citation of the results of a word search. The result is a book that draws together the strengths of traditional and digital modes of scholarship. A related impressive feature is the effective weaving together of theology and politics, blending a sure-footed awareness of the religious background with a sensitivity to the processes by which texts and narratives were used to legitimate rebellion
and motivate followers....Both in its content and its methodology, this is a pathbreaking book that sets important agendas for future research and writing."--John Wolffe, English Historical Review


"[A] fascinating,...thoroughly-researched and very well-written book."--Reformation 21


"This book, a tour de force of historical research and cultural analysis, demonstrates that a rhetoric of 'deliverance' grounded in several key biblical texts has been an under-appreciated but vitally important theme of political mobilization in Britain and American from the 16th century to the present. The argument is built on careful analysis of these texts from the Book of Exodus and elsewhere in Scripture, and of their surprisingly broad effect in different historical periods and national circumstances. The effect adds significantly to political understanding of religious history and religious understanding of the political. It is a noteworthy, but also surprisingly timely work." --Mark Noll, author of Protestantism: A Very Short Introduction


"Coffey's book is a significant contribution to the work of intellectual historians seeking to discover the roots of Western ideals of liberty, who have sometimes overlooked their origins in Judeo-Christian thought. It is exhaustively researched and rich with data supporting the author's contention that even contemporary references to Exodus have been shaped by a long intertextual tradition of deliverance rhetoric. But its greatest contribution may simply be the rich insight it offers into the power of a big idea and into the potent role that narrative plays in shaping political and social movements."--American Historical Review


"A fascinating, original, and thought-provoking book. In a riveting analysis that crosses centuries and continents, John Coffey explores how a wide range of intellectuals and activists, from American Presidents to African slaves, have been inspired by-and taken advantage of -the biblical ideals of exodus and liberation. This is global, religious, intellectual and social history at its best, raising important questions about the practical power of theology in pursuit of freedom and equality." --Stephen Tuck, author of We Ain't What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama


"With Exodus and Liberation John Coffey makes an original contribution to the literature in this well-written, insightful, and cogently argued text by extending the discussion back to the Reformed Protestant use of Exodus in the English Puritan and Revolutionary movements of the 16th and 17th centuries." --Albert J. Raboteau, Princeton University


"In this study, John Coffey shows that the Exodus narrative has deep roots within Western political discourse going back to the sixteenth century. He meticulously draws out the long tradition of using the narrative in Western political dialogue, specifically with regard to slavery...It is intended as a high compliment that this fascinating and exhaustive work at times reads like a novel." --The Historian


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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA 12/1/2013, 2013. Hardback or Cased Book. Book Condition: New. Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780199334223

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The history of deliverance politics in Anglo-American history contains remarkable moments of achievement, but this is not a story of triumphal progress. Exodus was hotly contested, used by the powerful as well as the weak, and mobilized to support a host of rival causes. By writing themselves into the Protestant history of liberty, African Americans undercut complacent narratives of progress, injecting a powerful sense of unease into the tradition. The argument over who owns the biblical narrative has continued into the twenty-first century. If Barack Obama saw himself as an inheritor of Exodus politics, so too did George W. Bush. Many Christians - and many non-Christians too - remain understandably suspicious of those who read Israel s history as political paradigm, especially when it underpins religious nationalism. This story is riddled with moral ironies. The Books of Moses could be used to justify anti-black racism and the dispossession of Native peoples as well as freedom from slavery. In the name of liberation, Protestants have justified war, revolt, and imperialism. High-minded missions have often had dismal consequences. In excavating the history of deliverance politics, Coffey relies on sources buried in many generic strata. As a study of political rhetoric, the core materials are sermons and speeches, the published versions of oral performances. Deliverance discourse found its way into almost every kind of genre, just as it left its mark on virtually every kind of Hebrew literature. It is present in an array of literary texts, including pamphlets, treatises, biblical commentaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers, periodicals, constitutional documents, and even children s literature. Most strikingly, the gospel of liberation was depicted in visual sources, such as paintings, illustrated Bibles, official seals, commemorative coins and medals, mastheads and banners. Finally, deliverance politics proved easy to sing. Its strains are heard in Puritan psalms, Evangelical hymns, African-American spirituals and the Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement. These sources form a documentary record, testifying to the powerful political appeal of the Exodus, the Jubilee and the biblical language of liberty. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780199334223

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The history of deliverance politics in Anglo-American history contains remarkable moments of achievement, but this is not a story of triumphal progress. Exodus was hotly contested, used by the powerful as well as the weak, and mobilized to support a host of rival causes. By writing themselves into the Protestant history of liberty, African Americans undercut complacent narratives of progress, injecting a powerful sense of unease into the tradition. The argument over who owns the biblical narrative has continued into the twenty-first century. If Barack Obama saw himself as an inheritor of Exodus politics, so too did George W. Bush. Many Christians - and many non-Christians too - remain understandably suspicious of those who read Israel s history as political paradigm, especially when it underpins religious nationalism. This story is riddled with moral ironies. The Books of Moses could be used to justify anti-black racism and the dispossession of Native peoples as well as freedom from slavery. In the name of liberation, Protestants have justified war, revolt, and imperialism. High-minded missions have often had dismal consequences. In excavating the history of deliverance politics, Coffey relies on sources buried in many generic strata. As a study of political rhetoric, the core materials are sermons and speeches, the published versions of oral performances. Deliverance discourse found its way into almost every kind of genre, just as it left its mark on virtually every kind of Hebrew literature. It is present in an array of literary texts, including pamphlets, treatises, biblical commentaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers, periodicals, constitutional documents, and even children s literature. Most strikingly, the gospel of liberation was depicted in visual sources, such as paintings, illustrated Bibles, official seals, commemorative coins and medals, mastheads and banners. Finally, deliverance politics proved easy to sing. Its strains are heard in Puritan psalms, Evangelical hymns, African-American spirituals and the Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement. These sources form a documentary record, testifying to the powerful political appeal of the Exodus, the Jubilee and the biblical language of liberty. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780199334223

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 320 pages. Dimensions: 9.4in. x 6.2in. x 1.3in.Biblical texts have been one of the most potent sources in the Western political imagination. Presenting a new account of how the Bibles liberationist texts were deployed and disputed at critical junctures in British and American history from the Reformation to the Civil Rights Movement, Exodus and Liberation argues that the Exodus story carried one of the big ideas in Anglophone political culture - the idea of deliverance. In the sixteenth century, Calvinist rebels and reformers identified with Old Testament Israel as they sought liberation from popish bondage. The Puritan Revolution of 1640-60 was depicted as Englands Exodus, provoking a fierce contest for control of the biblical story. In the Glorious Revolution and the American Revolution, Protestants turned the Exodus narrative and deliverance language against political slavery. Revolutionary rhetoric exposed the contradiction between libertarian ideology and black chattel slavery. Abolitionists forged a theology of liberation, articulated in resonant biblical mottoes: Let my People Go!, Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land, Break every Yoke, Release the Oppressed. African Americans cast themselves as the Children of Israel, forging a distinct identity and throwing into question the scriptural construction of the United States. Black migrations to the North were imagined as journeys to the Promised Land, and black Exodus politics climaxed in the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. Among American statesmen, foreign policy rhetoric continued to yoke Providence to Liberation. By the twenty-first century, both George W. Bush and Barack Obama laid claim to the Exodus story. Using sermons, speeches, pamphlets, song, verse, and iconography, Exodus and Liberation documents the extraordinary reach of these biblical traditions, demonstrating how the political reading of scriptural texts powerfully informed Protestant debates over slavery and liberty. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780199334223

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