Current notions of nationhood, communal identity, territorial entitlement, and collective destiny are deeply rooted in historic interpretations of the Bible. Interweaving elements of history, theology, literary criticism, and cultural theory, the essays in this volume discuss the ways in which biblical understandings have shaped Western - and particularly European and North American - assumptions about the nature and meaning of the nation.
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Part of the Green College Lecture Series, this wide-ranging collection moves from the earliest Pauline and Rabbinic exegesis through Christian imperial and missionary narratives of the late Roman, medieval, and early modern periods to the entangled identity politics of 'mainstream' nineteenth-and twentieth-century North America. Taken together, the essays show that, while theories of globalization, postmodernism, and postcolonialism have all offered critiques of identity politics and the nation-state, the global present remains heavily informed by biblical-historical intuitions of nationhood.