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Empire of Sacrifice


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Explains how both distinctive features of American culture - being exceptionally religious and exceptionally violent - work together

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction 1 Rethinking Violence and Religion in America Rethinking "Violence" Rethinking "Religion" Rethinking "Religious Violence" in America 2 Sacrificing Youth: From Reefer Madness to Hostel Spectacles of Sacrifice in the Cinema of Adolescence A Theater of Terror, or Innocent Martyrs to the "Beast in the Boudoir"Beyond Hollywood's Happy Endings 3 Sacrificing RaceFrom Christian Ambivalence to a Total System of Bodily Discipline "A Severe Cross" 4 Sacrificing GenderAsa's Tale: Patriarchy Lost Abigail's Tale: Providential Power The Hidden Hand in Handmaids' Tales 5 Sacrificing Humans: An Empire of Sacrifice from Mary Dyer to Dead Man WalkingSacrifice and Empire Building from the Aztecs to Puritan Boston via John BunyanMimesis in Massachusetts, 1656-1657 Ecstatic Asceticism: The Domination of Discourse and Rhetorical Inversion, 1658-1661Sacrificial Rites and an Imagined Community, 1660-1776 Dead Man Walking and an American Empire of Sacrifice Epilogue: Innocent Domination in the "Global War on Terror" Notes Bibliography Index About the Author

About the Author

Jon Pahl is professor of the history of Christianity at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, including Paradox Lost: Free Will and Political Liberty in American Culture, 1630-1760 and Shopping Malls and Other Sacred Spaces: Putting God in Place.


"An astute indictment of four centuries of American violence." The Journal of Religion

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