Book Review

March 19, 2015

Andii Bowsher, a chaplain at Northumbria University in England, wrote a review of my latest book, Sacramental Politics: Religious Worship as Political Action. Here are a couple highlights from his review:
I have to say that one of the effects on me of reading this book was that I became more deeply concerned and at times scared by what I was reading. ... My fear at reading the research in this book is for the way that USAmerican influence might be prodded and pushed along by a form of religion which is not good for the global community (let alone for its host nation).

... The form of religion which I saw as I read the research presented in this book is one in which the global dominance of the USA is pretty much equated with the will of God. ... I don't think I'd truly grasped the depth of popular USAmerican exceptionalism until I read the way that public prayers in The USA assume and promote that the Kingdom of God is pretty much co-terminous with USAmerican interests.

... This poisonous mix of religion (and not just formally Christian, either) and chauvinism is seen expressed and assumed in prayers and rhetoric. And for the rest of us it is deeply scary and gives no real sense of benevolence to the rest of the world; so we have to live with edgy appeasement or fearful opposition. here is Empire and the Constantinian settlement is alive and well. The problem is, we are the barbarians in this way of looking at the world.
I hope others will check out the book. I'd love to hear your thoughts on my apparently scary book. Please don't read it too close to bedtime!

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