Evangelicals and Empire

Evangelicals and Empire: Christian Alternatives to the Political Status Quo

Edited by: Bruce Ellis Benson, Peter Goodwin Heltzel, and Michael Hardt
Publisher: Brazos Press (Baker Publishing Group) | On the web
Year: 2008
ISBN: 9781587432354

Evangelicals & Empire cover 200 x 300This groundbreaking collection considers empire from a global perspective, exploring the role of evangelicals in political, social, and economic engagement at a time when empire is alternately denounced and embraced. It brings noted thinkers from a range of theological perspectives together to engage the most explosive and discussed theorists of empire in the first decade of the twenty-first century, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.

Literary theorist Hardt and political philosopher Negri, named “innovators to watch” by Time magazine, are coauthors of the provocative book Empire and its sequel, Multitude. In Empire they argued that nation-states are subordinated to the power of transnational, global capitalism. At the same time, they viewed empire in its very tendency toward de-centering as opening up new, creative possibilities for the “multitude” of ordinary folk to spread and practice democracy. In Multitude, they argued that their basic arguments on empire had not been disproved by 9/11 and its aftermath.

Using Hardt and Negri’s work as a springboard, the contributors challenge evangelicalism’s identification with right-wing politics and grapple with the natures of both empire and evangelicalism. The book includes a foreword by Nicholas Wolterstorff and an afterword by Hardt and Negri.

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Table of Contents

Introduction | Bruce Ellis Benson & Peter Goodwin Heltzel

Section I: Present
1. Dangerous Religion: George W. Bush’s Theology of Empire | Jim Wallis
2. The Contested Chruch: Multiple Others of Evangelical Multitude | Helene Slessarev-Jamir & Bruce Ellis Benson
3. Acting in Common: How the Flesh of Multitude Can Become Incarnate Words against Empire | M. Gail Hammer
4. Betrayed by a Kiss: Evangelicals and U.S. Empire | Charles W. Amjad-Ali & Leser Edwin J. Ruiz
5. Empire-Building or Decomracy-at-Work? The Growing Influence of White U.S. Evangelical NGO Lobbying at the United Nations and in Washington, DC | Jennifer Butler & Glenn Zuber
6. The Gospel of Freedom, or Another Gospel? Theology, Empire, and American Foreign Policy | James K. A. Smith
7. Liberality vs. Liberalism | John Milbank

Section II: Past
8. Historians and the Past Tense: Evangelium and Imperium as Genealogies of the Concept of Sovereignty | Patrick Provost-Smith
9. Empire’s Future Religion: The Hidden Competition between Postmillennial American Expansionism and Premillennial Evangelical Christianity | Sébastien Fath
10. Political Complexities and Rivalries of Pneuma and Imperia | Kurt Anders Richardson
11. Stepchildren of the Empire: The Formation of a Lation Evangelico Identity | Juan F. Martínez
12. Empire, Race, and the Evangelical Multitude: Jesse Jackson, Jim Wallis, and the Evangelical Coalitions for Jstice | Eleanor Moody-Shepherd & Peter Goodwin Heltzel
13. Where Are the Pentecostals in an Age of Empire? | Elaine Padilla & Dale T. Irvin
14. Intermezzo: A Discussion between Donald W. Dayton and Christian T. Collins Winn about Empire and Evangelicals

Section III: Future
15. Empire and Transcendence: Hardt and Negri’s Challenge to Theology and Ethics | Mark Lewis Taylor
16. Empire and the Ethics of Opacity: The End of Theology and the Beginning(s) of Theological Thinking | Corey D. B. Walker
17. What Empire, Which Multitude? Pentecostalism and Social Liberation in North America and Sub-Saharan Africa | Amos Yong & Samuel Zalanga
18. In Praise of Profanity: A Theological Defense of the Secular | Michael Horton
19. The Future of Evangelical Theology in an Age of Empire: Postfoundational and Postcolonial | Mabiala Kenzon & John R. Franke
20. Evangelicalism and/as New Constantinianism: Globalization, Secularity, and the Heart of the Gospel | Paul Lim
21. Love in Times of Empire: Theopolitics Today | Mario Costa, Catherine Keller, & Anna Mercedes

Afterword | Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri