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Sleeping Giant Has Awoken / Edition 1

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Introduction by John Caputo and Afterword by Slavoj Žižek

The triumph of American political conservatism in the last two decades has been paralleled by the ascendance of Christian evangelicalism. More importantly, the political Campaigns of 2000 and 2004 marked a convergence between these two political entities with an effectiveness never before seen in national elections. On the one side, conservatives have successfully set the terms of debate around so-called "family values" and the status of religion in the public sphere. On the other side, evangelicals have mobilized in a new self-awareness of their formidable political power and now demand representation at all levels of government.

Upon what fundamental ideas does this convergence rest? What potential dangers does it present for the concepts of "religion," "politics" and "America"? How secure is this alliance, and what does each side sacrifice in order to sustain it? Must all religion in America now become similarly engaged in the political sphere?

This volume is a collection of articles by a group of young scholars addressing the nexus between political conservatism, evangelical Christianity, and American consumerist culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Robbins (religion & philosophy, Lebanon Valley Coll.; Between Faith and Thought) and Magee (philosophy, Le Moyne Coll.) present a philosophical conversation among academics addressing a multiplicity of historic trends in our philosophy and religion. This collection provides extensive background for an esoteric critique of the current politics of religion in the United States. A premise in one essay is that all of our knowledge has gaps and that "religion is usually quite at home with gaps and contradictions." The conclusion is that we have been misled and misinformed by the current politics of the religious right, and, as Marx classically indicates, "if people only understood what they were doing and what they were a part of they would throw it off and demand otherwise." The essays-e.g., "The Politics of Immanence" and "Jeb Stuart's Revenge: The Civil War, the Religious Right, and American Fascism"-denounce free-enterprise capitalism, big business, consumerism, and Christian beliefs that have restrictive applications such as opposition to same-sex unions and abortion. Missing is a practical description of a viable alternative that would correct the problems addressed. Recommended for academic libraries.
—George Westerlund

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826429681
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 4/11/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey W. Robbins is Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy (August 2002 to present) and Director of the College Colloquium (January 2006 to present) Lebanon Valley College, Pennsylvania.

John D. Caputo is the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities at Syracuse University

Neal Magee is Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Le Moyne College

Slavoj Žižek is one of the world's leading contemporary cultural critics and a hugely prolific author. He is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Visiting Professor at the New School for Social Research, New York, USA.

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Table of Contents

Introduction "A Taste for Theory" - John D. Caputo

1. "Radical Religion and American Democracy" - Jeffrey W. Robbins

2. "Prophetic Evangelicalism: Towards a Politics of Hope" - Peter Goodwin Heltzel

3. "A Christian Politics of Vulnerability" - Anna Mercedes

4. "Truthiness, Family Values and Conservative Consumerism" - Adam S. Miller

5. ""The Cultural Logic of Evangelical Christianity" - Christopher Haley and Creston Davis

6. "Jeb Stuart's Revenge: The Civil War, the Religious Right, and American Fascism" - Clayton Crockett

7. "In What Sense is the United States a Theocracy?" - Ben Stahlberg

8. "Christianity, Capitalism, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republic" - Andrew Saldino

9. "Sovereignty and State-Form" - Rocco Gangle

10. "The Politics of Immanence" - J. Heath Atchley

11. "'An Army of One?' Subject, Signifier, and the Symbolic" - Melissa Conroy

12. "Freedom Ain't Free: Politics and Religion at the Heart of a Muddled Concept" - Mary-Jane Rubenstein

13. "Incongruent Beliefs and the Vitality of Fantasy: The New Politics of Religion" - Neal Magee

Postface "Better Dead than Red — Again!" - Slavoj Žižek

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