- Ask Dr. Cobb
- Creative Transformation
American Empire and the Commonwealth of God
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Year Published: 2006
Weight: 9.6 oz
Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.5 in
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 dimished well-being of human communities. These four prophetic voices - three Christians, one Jew - persuasively indict the American empire as being diametrically opposed to divine values and powerful enough to threaten the purposes of God.
From Publishers Weekly
What do you get when you put three theologians together with an attorney? Not a joke, but a deadly serious, academic analysis of our nation, its past and its future. This collection of nine essays addresses the ideological and practical evidence and consequences of what the authors see as an often disguised imperial agenda inherent in the founding and development of the United States. The authors, besides sharing the conviction that the United States "is seeking to become the world's first borderless empire" whose imperialist policies constitute "the primary threat to the survival of the human species," share an affinity for the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. While they object to imperialism on "political, economic and ecological grounds" as well as on "religious-spiritual-moral grounds," they spend most of the book making their secular statement; only the last three essays speak directly of religion. Keller's contribution contains a particularly interesting "debate" between the people she calls "Bush-Doctrine Idealists and the great idol-smasher John Calvin." Students of American history, government and political science, will feel quite at home within these pages, but nonacademics may need to dust off their college texts to remember the particulars of, say, the Marshall Plan.
Copyright: Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"I am convinced that this is an enormously urgent and important book. It not only represents the best of current theology and political wisdom, and accurately interprets our present desperate situation, but it also provides the basis for an authentically religious response to the end-time Armageddon "Left Behind" insanity that seems to be capturing the popular religious imagination. It builds on the finest new biblical scholarship in viewing the scriptural setting the Reign of God against Empire, but also suggests how all the religious traditions can - and must - contribute to an unprecedented civilizational transformation. I plan to use this book in my own teaching and to commend it to everyone I know. I only wish it had appeared ten years ago."
~ Harvey Cox (Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University)
"The collections of essays by John Cobb, David Griffin, Richard Falk and Catherine Keller, The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God, is timely and important. The four authors relentlessly analyse the political, economic and historical issues with the construction of American empire. They also unmask the idolatry of its religious justifications. But they also envision alternatives to American empire in global relations and envision ways to imagine a more just and sustainable global society."
Rosemary Radford Ruether Carpenter Professor of Feminist Theology, GTU, Berkeley, Visiting scholar, Claremont Graduate University
"Three outstanding theologians and one of the world's leading experts on international policy issues have joined forces to deliver a scathing critique of the aims, policies, impact, and pretensions of the American Empire. While their criticisms may be familiar to some readers, it is their alternative futures that offer such a practical and morally compelling alternative to the disaster that looms ahead. Anyone concerned about the future of American world leadership must read this book."
Joseph C. Hough, Jr. President and William E. Dodge Professor of Social Ethics Union Theological Seminary New York
About the Authors David Ray Griffin is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at Claremont School of Theology, Professor of Religion Emeritus at Claremont Graduate University, and Codirector of the Center for Process Studies. He is the author of numerous books, including the popular best-sellers The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.
John B. Cobb Jr. has held many positions, including Ingraham Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology; Avery Professor at the Claremont Graduate School; Fullbright Professor at the University of Mainz; and Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Chicago Divinity Schools.
Richard A. Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, Emeritus, at Princeton University. Falk is an honorary member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and a member of the editorial boards of The Nation and The Progressive.
Catherine Keller, Professor of Constructive Theology in the Theological and Graduate Schools of Drew University, teaches and writes across a wide range of contemporary theological and religious studies.