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The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God: A Political, Economic, Religious Statement [Paperback]

By David Ray Griffin (Author), John B. Cobb (Author), Richard A. Falk (Author) & Catherine Keller (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   184
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.86" Width: 6.62" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.67 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 17, 2006
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664230091  
EAN  9780664230098  

Availability  108 units.
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Item Description...
Four distinguished scholars here level a powerful critique of the rapid expansion of the emerging American empire and its oppressive and destructive political, military, and economic policies. Arguing that a global Pax Americana is internationally disastrous, the authors demonstrate how America's imperialism inevitably leads to rampant irreversible ecological devastation, expanding military force for imperialistic purposes, and a grossly inequitable distribution of goods-all leading to the diminished well-being of human communities.

Publishers Description

In this book, four distinguished scholars level a powerful critique of the rapid expansion of the emerging American empire and its oppressive and destructive political, military, and economic policies. Arguing that a global Pax Americana is internationally disastrous, the authors demonstrate how America's imperialism inevitably leads to rampant irreversible ecological devastation, expanding military force for imperialistic purposes, and a grossly inequitable distribution of goods--all leading to the diminished well-being of human communities.

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More About David Ray Griffin, John B. Cobb, Richard A. Falk & Catherine Keller

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David Ray Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the School of Theology at Claremont. He is also Executive Director of the Center for Process Studies and founding president of the Center for a Postmodern World in Santa Barbara.

David Ray Griffin was born in 1939.

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Political   [1595  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Religious   [1337  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > U.S.   [1584  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy   [1924  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State   [1182  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Christians vs. the American empire  Apr 15, 2007
Thesis: The U.S. has always been expansionist, and for the last century imperialist, and now as a global empire is developing fascist undertones. Citizens should repudiate this trend and work for global democracy instead; for Christians this is in line with Jesus' opposition of the "commonwealth of God" to Roman imperial rule.

The authors, writing individual chapters, make a good case for their thesis in this brief and accessible book. They call for religious and other non-governmental groups to use Ghandian methods to build the democratic opposition.

I'm with them on that.

--Alan Zundel, the HeartAwake Center
We who venerate the early Christians who refused to bow down to the Roman emperors and faced death as a consequence are called to realize that we are now citizens of the most powerful empire in history.

This is the best book to date to spell it all out so a law degree is not needed to comprehend where we came from and how we got the way we are now.

It would make a great gift for that relative who is still bowing down to emperors!
Applause  May 28, 2006
A response from reader Val Scott

"If the means be just, the conduct true, applause in spite of trivial faults is due."
Alexander Pope

I have just completed my first reading of The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God - A Political, Economic, Religious Statement - a relatively brief book by authors David Ray Griffin, John B. Cobb Jr, Richard A. Falk, and Catherine Keller, who, together, argue very powerfully against the whole idea of a "Pax Americana" for our world. Their book is whole and complete in and of itself, and I, for one, have nothing but unmitigated praise for it. For me, the book is that good.

What I would like to do here instead of writing a formal review is to add some thoughts to what Griffin and his colleagues have set in motion for us, and particularly, if I may, from a non-theological perspective.

Although raised a Roman Catholic, I became an active Unitarian in my late 20's, and, since 1979, a committed student of "A Course in Miracles" (a comprehensive spiritual program which focuses on authentic forgiveness - see ).

Since the early 80s my politics has taken on the form of Mohandas K. Gandhi's satyagraha, or "truth force," outlook. Gandhi once observed, "There are seven sins in the world: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without faith, and politics without principle." Observations I can very easily identify with and do my best to embrace.

In short, in terms of internal spiritual/political power, I experience authentic forgiveness and Gandhi's "truth force" as the most effective combination to work with, and most particularly when confronted with the various challenges facing 9/11 truth, and neo-conservative notions like Pax Americana.

I am also an active Associate Member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth who happens to have a passionate interest in helping certain prominent US politicians (like Howard Dean, John Edwards, and Al Gore) become fully familiar with the work of the 9/11 truth movement.

And then there is a whole range of other kindred spirits to actively work and collaborate with also, spiritual/religious leaders like Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun Magazine, author of The Left Hand of God - Taking Back Our Country From the Religious Right (2006), and Jim Wallis of Sojourners, author of God's Politics - Why The Right Gets It Wrong, And The Left Doesn't Get It (2005); authors like John Perkins, Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man (2005), and Norman Solomon, War Made Easy (2005); classic authors like George Orwell, 1984, and Eric Hoffer, The True Believer; spiritual authors like Neale Donald Walsch, What God Wants (2005), and Marianne Williamson, Healing the Soul of America (2000). All of which, of course, may be obtained through this

And all of which, in my mind, fully supports what the authors of The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God have placed before us as "A Political, Economic, Religious Statement."

Just wanted to share that with you.

The American Empire?  May 27, 2006
The American Empire?

Griffin and a cast of distinguished scholars and peaceful globalists have collaboratively written an interesting collection of essays on American imperialism.

This book has a different title and content than the previous two best selling books by Griffin "The New pearl Harbor," and the 9/11 Commission Report, Omissions and Distortions." However, Griffin remains sincere, determined, undeterred, unhampered, and unco-opted (unlike the author of "The War on Freedom") and continues his quest for the truth about 9/11 and the American Empire while some of his co-authors danced around it, in order to be to be politically correct. This truth has become irrelevant nowadays, and has been replaced by credibility and propaganda. I guess it is best for some truth to remain unknown for the sake of social order. That is why, the 9/11 truth movement was infiltrated, discredited, dismantled, and rendered impotent. Griffin's new book with his co-authors takes a different approach to the truth. They discuss and analyze the historical, political, religious, and economical factors behind the build-up of the American Empire. An unadmitted empire that is portrayed by the creators as benign, because it is decorated with a flag and a popular socialist motto that appeals to the masses that is, liberty, equality, and justice for all.

"The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God" gives the reader a panoramic view rather than in depth discussion of American imperialism. A core issue that was left out in this volume is the discussion of the financiers behind the empires. There is an overwhelming evidence out there that connects the financial Anglo-American Cartel to the ownership and the financing of the American empire. This same Cartel had previously financed the Soviet Union, and other socialists regimes, as well as theocracies, and pseudo-democracies all over the world. This Cartel consists of a globalist/racist group that classifies themselves as citizens of the world to justify their self-serving divisive and fiscal policies. They have a foot in every camp and they argue as well as fincance both sides of a conflict. This Cartel thrives on conflict!

These elites tend to see the peace process as a threat to their survival as well as to the foundation of society that was based on war. They perceive war as a political necessity to legitimize the power of the government and to create nationhood. War is a political, economical, and social stabilizer, as well as a necessary tool for population reduction. Controlled and contrived conflict becomes imperative, in order to create stability and a new order that would behoove these masters of the universe. New monsters must be regularly created and slayed by the freedom fighters, in order to perpetuate conflict. This process would provide the cartel with massive profits, which in turn would engender more power for them. What motivates these financial moguls? Narcissism is definitely the original sin! Man desperately continues his illusive pursuit to become god, and his main tool to achieve this goal is "money." Another critical issue that should have been emphasized by the authors of this book is the actual foundation of the American empire. This foundation is actually made up of paper (called fiat money or Federal Reserve notes) which could be made to collapse overnight just as the Soviet Union did, when the financial Cartel decides to weaken or kill their golden goose for higher profits or globalization purpose. This same cartel has also been heavily financing and investing for many years in two prospective Eastern regional powers, India and China that have the nuclear capacity to annihilate each other, in the hope that the future will bring a contrived conflict to that region, which will prove to be lucrative, and would serve as a population reduction measure in these overcrowded nations. Unfortunately, an empire cannot be run by peaceful means as the authors of the book suggest.

Empires require wars, fiat money, dictatorship, ruling class, no middle class/bourgeoisie, new forms of slavery (low wage earners), mass media, blood shows and sports, mighty military, propaganda, hybrid politicians (half CEOs and half politicians), global corporations, divisiveness, dumbing down of the population, government controlled media, fear, total information awareness, domestic secret service, foundations, WMD, space programs,weather manipulation, and even Martial laws if needed to achieve the goal of complete control. Fear is an intrinsic part of the political process in an empire that is conducive to regressive behavior, which would render adults into incapacitated children. Fear mongering must continue to manufacture consent. Yesterday, we had Nazism and Sovietism, today we have Islamism, and tomorrow we shall have Chinism and environmental crises that will threaten the eradication of the planet.

Finally, "The American Empire and The Commonwealth of God" is a fairly unbiased view of an evasive truth, and a thought provoking volume. This book will provide the reader with an edifying jolt of reality that would awaken the oblivious person to the current state of affairs.

heartfelt and thoughtful, but misses the central reality  May 25, 2006
This book is one of many recent efforts to understand Christianity within the matrix of the Pax Americana, which the authors describe clearly and denounce strongly. Its authors are some of the leading thinkers in theology and international relations and have many strong insights into the causes of the disease of empire.

It is disappointing, then, to conclude that their "political, economic, religious statement" comes out as rehashed 60s progressivism, rather than an authentic Christian response to global empire. One suspects, and then discovers near the very end of the book, the reason: they simply don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus as a historical event, but present it instead as a (weak) metaphor for maintaining one's identity in the face of imperial threats. This lack of faith in the heart of the Christian message unfortunately undermines any power the book otherwise might have had as a manifesto for inspiring a revitalized Christian movement for peace and justice.

While professing to be familiar with and energized by recent biblical scholarship which roots the gospels (and Paul) in the matrix of the Roman empire, they collectively cite only one such book, Richard Horsley's fine "Jesus and Empire." But there is so much more (including Horsley et al's "Paul and Empire" and "Paul and Politics") that would have given them a fuller understanding of a field which is clearly outside each of their individual familiarity (Griffin and Cobb are esteemed "process theologians," while Falk is an international lawyer and Keller is a feminist theologian). For instance, the landmark work of NT Wright has demolished their claim that early Christians (including the NT writers) didn't understand Jesus' resurrection as "of the body." As Wright definitively and exhaustively shows, there would have been no other explanation of the "empty tomb" and the gospels' reports of Jesus' risen presence that would have made any sense to Jewish disciples. It is precisely resurrection of the body (in fulfillment of the Danielic prophecy in Dan 12) that inspired the otherwise terrified disciples to stand up both to the Empire and to their own collaborator religious leaders. Our own contribution, "Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now," is also a modest attempt to contribute to this new biblical movement.

In the absence of this crucial and necessary faith affirmation, it is no surprise that the remainder of this book's proposals lack true biblical courage and insight. They offer, for example, a vague kind of "global democracy" that would be somehow free of the very corruptions (money, self-interest) that they acknowledge lead to both empires and the corruption of every other human-made governmental form. In their inability to specific how or why this imaginary body (different from the UN?) would "work," they reveal the flaw at the heart of their entire argument: even the most well-meaning and "thoughtful" counter-imperial proposals are doomed to fail. The hope for humanity lies not in any kind of centralized global power structure, but rather, as the Bible consistently strives to show, in the devolution of power back to local networks of kinship grounded in the love (agape) of God and love of neighbor.

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