Christian Mentality: The Entanglements of Power, Violence and Fear (Religion in Culture)

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9781845538958: Christian Mentality: The Entanglements of Power, Violence and Fear (Religion in Culture)
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The Christian myth is entangled with American politics, with the nation's image of its own manifest destiny. 'Christian Mentality' analyses the myths that have shaped America's collective mentality. Concepts that are taken for granted in the formation of American policy - namely power, violence and fear - are examined. The book argues that America must find an image for itself which more truly reflects its reality as a polycultural nation still struggling for social democracy. 'Christian Mentality' will be invaluable to students and scholars interested in the impact of religion on political thought

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About the Author:

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.

Review:

"A brilliant tour de force bringing the author's work in analyzing the Christian Myth into the twenty-first century. The work sheds new light on what shapes and drives the political discourse in the United States by tracing it back to the "Christian Mentality" that has been formed by the Christian story." --Randall Reed, Appalachian State University

"It is difficult to demonstrate the pervasive influence of a mentality from within a culture, especially when it persists as a mythic grammar and social logic from a medieval world radically different from our own, but that is precisely the remarkable achievement of this book." --Merrill P. Miller, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

"Mack's politics are plain for all the world to see (which does not mean that they are wrong), and Christian Mentality can and arguably should be taken as a polemic more than a scholarly analysis. Yet, whatever one's politics, the fact that a society s dominant religion provides pervasive myths and shapes its collective mentality is true, and it is necessary and urgent to recognize the fact. Anthropologists may or may not agree with his policy criticisms (and if David Horowitz is correct, most of us probably agree), but anthropologists can surely appreciate the light of critique being shined on our own society. If religious myth is a charter or a model for society in primitive (and also Islamic) societies, then it is equally a charter or model in ours." --Anthropology Review Database

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