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This passionate and powerfully argued book takes its title from President Bush's inaugural speech, when he quoted 18C statesman John Page, who enquired if it were not 'an angel who directed the storm' within which America came into being. Michael Northcott appraises two visions of religious freedom: the apocalyptic vision of George W. Bush and the Christian conservatives who back his policies, particularly in relation to Iraq and the so-called war on terror; and the peaceable vision of a Christian majority elsewhere who resist what they view as American neo-imperialism with an overlay of Christian apocalyptic rhetoric. Northcott suggests that Americans urgently need to recover a Christian critique of 'Empire' if their religion is to avoid the charge of idolatry.
Few people in the UK really understand what it is that drives the US Administration and the Bush Presidency. Michael Northcott is one of those, and his expose of the evangelical fundamentalism and neo-conservative ideology that underpins the Republican Party today is masterly - and deeply disturbing. "An Angel Directs the Storm" is an outstanding piece of scholarly insightful polemic from which we all have a lot to learn." Jonathan Porritt "I would hope that this book will be read widely in both Great Britain and America. It shows with skill and perspicuity that the nature of the US reaction to 9/11 had been long prefigured by the American subversion of Christianity. It is] a mature, historically informed and passionate analysis of the current American psyche, that tells Americans thingsof which they urgently need to take heed." Stanley Hauerwas "Northcott develops an incisive critique of American apocalyptic religion and argues for an understanding of church as counter-culture to empire. Those theologians willing to utilize 'just war' theory in support of imperial adventures like the first and second Gulf War ought to consult Northcott here Perhaps one should not talk of pleasure in reading a book so serious and so disturbing but not the least of its merits is that Northcutt writes beautifully and without the least trace of the barbaric jargon which mars so much current theological writing. The book should be read and attended to. Its importance, as Bush's second term gets underway, will only grow and if we want to understand ourselves and our world, we could have no better guide." Tim Gorringe Michael Northcott is Reader in Christian Ethics at the University of Edinburgh. He is author of The Environment and Christian Ethics, (1996, CUP) and of Life After Debt: Christianity and Global Justice (1999, SPCK).
Buy An Angel Directs the Storm by Michael S. Northcott from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780334041160 & 0334041163
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