Get American Prophecy: Race and Redemption in American Political PDF

By George Shulman

ISBN-10: 0816630747

ISBN-13: 9780816630745

ISBN-10: 0816666180

ISBN-13: 9780816666188

Prophecy is the elemental idiom of yankee politics—a biblical rhetoric approximately redeeming the crimes, soreness, and promise of a unique humans. but American prophecy and its nice practitioners—from Frederick Douglass and Henry Thoreau to Martin Luther King, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison—are hardly ever addressed, not to mention analyzed, via political theorists. This paradox is on the middle of yankee Prophecy, a piece during which George Shulman unpacks and evaluations the political which means of yank prophetic rhetoric. within the face of non secular fundamentalisms that affiliate prophecy and redemption with dogmatism and domination, American Prophecy reveals connections among prophetic language and democratic politics, relatively racial politics. Exploring how American critics of white supremacy have again and again remodeled biblical prophecy, Shulman demonstrates how those writers and thinkers have remodeled prophecy right into a political language and given redemption a political that means. to check how antiracism is associated with prophecy as a vernacular idiom is to reconsider political theology, recast democratic thought, and re-examine the bearing of faith on American political tradition. nonetheless, prophetic language isn't consistently liberatory, and American Prophecy continues a severe dispassion a few rhetoric that's either well-known and tricky.

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Such claims are imperative and conditional, stating what we must acknowledge in order to flourish. Their unequivocal, compelling character is entailed not by theism or moral absolutism, but by grasping the meaning of acknowledgment and its refusal. Such claims seek not subjection to orthodoxy but a “turn” toward what has been disavowed. Again, prophecy links authority not to truth as theology, law as command, or faith as consensus but to bearing witness and warning. By saying what they see and standing against it and by warning to forestall danger, prophets also declare, indeed demonstrate, that we can act otherwise.

We inherit them, but they lose authority, unless we make them our own, make them anew. In this existential sense, prophets can return to origins not to fix authority conceived as a noun but to renew it as a verb: God or justice are not substances to define rightly as grounds of justification but commitments to risk and remake in action. Exercising authority not by justifying but by enacting a principle or idea, they live by love rather than duty, surrender rather than subjection, faith rather than certainty.

42 What do we learn from Bercovitch? ” Denying separate “strands” of discourse, he makes the “liberal-communitarian” debate moot. Moving from consensus to hegemony to show cultural idioms as forms of power, he depicts dissent “contained” because the “form” of criticism renews both liberal axioms and a national frame. ” He thus distinguishes, not Falwell and Douglass, but Debs and Emma Goldman, or King and Malcolm X, to expose the hegemonic gravity defining how critics “must” speak to be legitimate.

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American Prophecy: Race and Redemption in American Political Culture by George Shulman

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