American Empire and the Commonwealth of God: A Political, Economic, Religious Statement
David Ray Griffin, Richard A. Falk, Catherine Keller, . . Westminster John Knox, $19.95 (175pp) ISBN 978-0-664-23009-8
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.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006