Weird John Brown: Divine Violence and the Limits of Ethics (Encountering Traditions)

Smith, Ted A.

Published by Stanford University Press, 2014
ISBN 10: 0804788502 / ISBN 13: 9780804788502
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Conventional wisdom holds that attempts to combine religion and politics will produce unlimited violence. Concepts such as jihad, crusade, and sacrifice need to be rooted out, the story goes, for the sake of more bounded and secular understandings of violence. Ted Smith upends this dominant view, drawing on Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, and others to trace the ways that seemingly secular politics produce their own forms of violence without limit. He brings this argument to life―and digs deep into the American political imagination―through a string of surprising reflections on John Brown, the nineteenth-century abolitionist who took up arms against the state in the name of a higher law. Smith argues that the key to limiting violence is not its separation from religion, but its connection to richer and more critical modes of religious reflection. Weird John Brown develops a negative political theology that challenges both the ways we remember American history and the ways we think about the nature, meaning, and exercise of violence.

From the Back Cover: "John Brown is perhaps the most polarizing figure in America's past, 'the stone in the historian's shoe,' as scholars have acknowledged. Ted Smith's Weird John Brown removes the stone, as it were, and reframes the debate. It examines Brown on Brown's own terms, from the perspective of political theology. A brilliantly original and compelling book, it offers a new way to understand Brown, and its fresh insights on almost every page resonate deeply in a post 9/11 world."--John Stauffer, Harvard University

"Ted Smith has given us something that heretofore has not existed, a very sophisticated philosophical and theological reflection on John Brown and the question of divine violence. Smith not only analyzes the shortcomings of ethical reasoning and moral vision locked within an immanent frame against the backdrop of the complexity of John Brown, but he also explores the racial unconscious embedded in the American political unconscious in ways both refreshing and convincing. This book teaches John Brown. It gives us a John Brown restored to his preeminent place as a mirror of the dilemmas of an American world, a white world that has forgotten we exist in God's world."--Willie James Jennings, Duke Univers

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Title: Weird John Brown: Divine Violence and the ...
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Stanford University Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Conventional wisdom holds that attempts to combine religion and politics will produce unlimited violence. Concepts such as jihad, crusade, and sacrifice need to be rooted out, the story goes, for the sake of more bounded and secular understandings of violence. Ted Smith upends this dominant view, drawing on Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, and others to trace the ways that seemingly secular politics produce their own forms of violence without limit. He brings this argument to life?and digs deep into the American political imagination?through a string of surprising reflections on John Brown, the nineteenth-century abolitionist who took up arms against the state in the name of a higher law. Smith argues that the key to limiting violence is not its separation from religion, but its connection to richer and more critical modes of religious reflection. Weird John Brown develops a negative political theology that challenges both the ways we remember American history and the ways we think about the nature, meaning, and exercise of violence. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780804788502

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Book Description Stanford University Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Conventional wisdom holds that attempts to combine religion and politics will produce unlimited violence. Concepts such as jihad, crusade, and sacrifice need to be rooted out, the story goes, for the sake of more bounded and secular understandings of violence. Ted Smith upends this dominant view, drawing on Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, and others to trace the ways that seemingly secular politics produce their own forms of violence without limit. He brings this argument to life?and digs deep into the American political imagination?through a string of surprising reflections on John Brown, the nineteenth-century abolitionist who took up arms against the state in the name of a higher law. Smith argues that the key to limiting violence is not its separation from religion, but its connection to richer and more critical modes of religious reflection. Weird John Brown develops a negative political theology that challenges both the ways we remember American history and the ways we think about the nature, meaning, and exercise of violence. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780804788502

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