An anointed State?

June 6, 2008 at 11:59 am Leave a comment

In ancient Jerusalem the dominant description of reality revolved around the conviction that (a) the temple is YHWH’s permanent residence; (b) the monarchy is YHWH’s chosen agent; and therefore (c) the city is safe from and immune to the threats of history. Mutatis mutandis, the dominant description of reality in U.S. society is that (a) democratic capitalism is the wave of the future that is sure to produce peace and prosperity; (b) the United States is God’s chosen agent in the spread of the gospel of democratic capitalism; and (c) the United States is by divine assurance immune to the threats of history. In both ancient Israel and the current sense of self in the United States, there is a theologically rooted exceptionalism that imagines privilege and entitlement of idolatrous proportion… We have, in the U.S. church, spent a very long time ceding over our evangelical voice to accommodation, to an alliance with U.S. exceptionalism and a timid refusal to say what we know most deeply. [W. Brueggemann, The Word Militant (Fortress Press 2007), 18]

Brueggemann writes in and to the contemporary U.S. situation; I as a Briton would be the first to add that his critique applies no less strongly to British colonialism and empire of recent centuries.


Entry filed under: bible, current affairs, faith, other people's stuff. Tags: , , , , , .

Dr Barth and Dr Seuss Clerical dress

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